A survey conducted by the Australian National University and the Australian Institute of Family Studies has found that there is a growing need for students to fund their education through a college loan.
In the study, 2,065 students who had graduated from university were asked to answer the following questions:What is your major?
What is the number of credits you have completed in that major?
How many years have you been studying at the university?
How much money have you paid into the Commonwealth Student Loans Scheme (CSLS) in the past?
The researchers said that this trend was particularly pronounced among those from lower socio-economic backgrounds and students who were self-sufficient in some way.
“For students from low-income families, the average annual cost of attendance at university was $23,500 per year.
For those with a household income of more than $70,000, it was $32,000,” the study’s author, Professor Anne Coyle, told news.com.au.”
In terms of financial aid, this is even higher for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.”
What this means is that students are paying for the college they will go to, which is something that the student needs to fund.
“Professor Coyle said students with low or moderate incomes would be most affected by the lack of financial support, but those from higher incomes would not be as vulnerable.”
If you look at the student population, it is about 40 per cent of students who are self-sufficing,” she said.”
When you look into the affordability of higher education, it’s a big issue.
“There is a need for those students to be able to fund a higher education.”
Professor Mandy Coyle of the Australian Centre for Higher Education and Research said the survey’s findings would have implications for student finances.
“I think it’s very important that we provide students with financial support to make sure they get the education they need,” she told news in.au, adding that the current student loan system was too easy for students.
“Students need a little more encouragement and a little bit of help, so it is important that the students have some type of assistance available to them.”
Professor Kym Stetson from the Australian Council of Social Service also said that students need help with financial aid.
“We have a lot of students in this country who are in debt, we’ve got a lot who are going through financial hardship, and it’s quite concerning to see that,” she added.
“So I would like to see an overhaul of the way we provide financial support.”
Professor Stetso said that some of the funding provided through the CSLS scheme was also being used for student housing, which she said should be better resourced.
“The housing sector in the country is really underfunded, we’re seeing more and more students come to the universities, particularly those from low income backgrounds,” she explained.
“It’s not just the students that are being used to pay for it, it also goes to the university’s administrators, and the university administrators are not being paid to run the university, so there’s a need to make that money better used for other things.”
Professor Darrin Broughton from the University of Queensland’s College of Law said the problem was compounded by the current system.
“A student who is self-paying is not necessarily the person who will be paying for their education,” he told news,.
“I think we need to look at other means of funding that are more sustainable.”
Professor Broughson said that if students did not have access to funding, they would not have a chance to pursue their studies.
“As students, it would be really hard to get out of debt,” he said.