A new national report has called for urgent reform to the maintenance support system after research found that students are not receiving enough money to live.

The Sutton Trust, a leading educational charity, has found that for 57% of students, the maximum loan does not cover essential costs. In comparison, 19% find that even housing costs exceed the available loan.

Lucy Martin, a University of Sheffield student, said: “Because I get the minimum student loan, it means that day-to-day life is really hard. I have to ration out my money, and when I go to the shops, it can be really embarrassing.”

Students attending university in South Yorkshire can receive a maximum maintenance loan of £9,978 per year. However, the average student spends £11,400 per year on essentials.

The report also predicts that for the 2024/25 academic year, students will be £2,000 worse off than if rises in maintenance support had been in line with inflation since 2021/22.

The Trust has advised the next government to reintroduce maintenance grants for poorer students and increase the overall maintenance available to reflect students’ costs better.

To learn more about the report, click here.