Business | Students' struggles with the effects of rising costs of living

According to a survey, as rising costs hurt students' welfare, they are dealing with both financial and mental health issues.

The average maintenance loan is insufficient to cover living expenses, according to more than eight in ten respondents who stated they worried about making ends meet.

According to a poll conducted by the website Save The Student, four out of every five respondents have thought about leaving college.

One-half of those cited financial concerns.

Jake Butler of Save The Student stated, "This is the most concerned I've ever been about the financial crisis students are facing.

The National Student Money Survey has been conducted for ten years, and this year's results are depressing. We anticipate much worse to come.

The biggest expense for students is by far their rent, followed by their food costs. According to the results, living expenses have increased by 14% since the survey last year, with the typical student now shelling out £924 per month.

That exceeds the official inflation rate, which tracks the evolution of the cost of living over time, which is 9.9%. Save According to The Student, a typical maintenance loan in England would fall £439 short of paying for these expenses each month.

Many students depended on their parents, part-time jobs, or savings to cover the difference, but the study found that one in ten students had visited a food bank in the previous academic year.

64% and 59%, respectively, of those who were concerned about making ends meet, claimed that their social lives had been negatively impacted by their inability to pay their bills.

'Isolating' impact

One student, who preferred to remain anonymous, told the BBC that it was impossible to find housing that was covered by the maintenance loan.

She said, "I managed to save £2,000 over the summer between A-levels and university to go towards my rent, but after rent, I had none left to pay for eating, going out, train tickets to visit home, and so on."

"My mental health suffered greatly as a result of my inability to do anything because it was so isolating. I felt like I missed out on a lot of possibilities to meet people because I couldn't go out for all the nights out or go for a short coffee with pals.

"I was unable to try out for societies or teams in sports.

She advised students who were having financial difficulties to look at part-time employment options, consult with their families, and inquire about bursaries and support payments.

According to a recent study by BBC News, at 95 UK universities, the number of students requesting emergency financial aid nearly tripled between 2018–19 and 2020–21.

Responses also indicate that last year's distribution of hardship funds nearly doubled.

Save Between May and August, The Student polled 2,370 university students in the UK.

The government has since added more assistance to help people with their energy expenses. According to politicians, students should profit from the cap on gas and electricity costs, and landlords should pass along any benefits.

"Although the two-year restriction on energy costs is commendable, the new rate is still more than twice what consumers were spending the previous year. Despite being one of the categories that will continue to face difficulties, students are receiving the same rate and support as millionaires "said Mr. Butler.

Chloe Fields, vice president of higher education for the National Union of Students, described the survey results as "shocking, but sadly not surprising."

She urged for further support for people who are studying despite previous initiatives: "We need an emergency student support package for every single person studying and we need it now."

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