University student benefits from new student finance package

First-year English student becomes one of the first to benefit from generous financial support.

Sophie Hutchinson, a first-year English student at the University of Leicester, is one of the first cohort of students to benefit from a new student finance system that is the UK’s most generous package of financial support for undergraduates.

The package is part of a Welsh Government initiative that offers students the opportunity to focus more on their studies and less on their expenses.

Eligible students get a minimum grant of £1000, and students from households with a combined income of less than £59,200 get up to £10,124 in London and £8,100 in the rest of the UK.

Sophie received the full grant.

Sophie said: “If I’d had to take out the full maintenance loan to cover my living costs on top of the tuition fee loan that would have been a lot to think about.

“But I get a grant of £8,100 to cover my living costs for each year of my degree.”

Sophie chose to come to Leicester because of the unique nature of the degree she wanted to study.

“I chose Leicester because the course is unique as it allows me to choose one of my course modules in my first year.

“I liked that because I get to start specifying where I want my English degree to go. I’ve chosen to do teaching English as a Second Language.”

Sophie suggests that other students, who might be concerned about finances when considering going to university, should explore their options. She adds: “My advice to people who may be put off going to university because they think they can’t afford it, is that there are so many opportunities to get the funding, especially through Student Finance Wales, so look into it.”