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Is this fair?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
I would appreciate some opinions on this. I have applied for university in september, and a few of my choices, including liverpool offer a non-repayable grant of £1,500 if i acheive AAB (this only applies to certain degrees) however, at Birmingham this grant is only available to students achieving AAB from low income families. Am I right in thinking this is a bit unfair at Birmingham? Surely someones income shouldnt affect reward for acedemic achievment?

(not sure if this should be in student or not)

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't agree with it,it's a bit like EMA.

    Why should some people get it and not others,your doing exactley the same thing as everyone else.

    It's not your fault your parents earn over the very low threshold and just becase they do it doesn't mean you reap the rewards.

    In our school it meant all the chavs got to spend £30 a week on weed while the rest of us had to work minimum 6 hours for it!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No, it's not fair, but it's completely allowed.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't agree with it,it's a bit like EMA.

    Why should some people get it and not others,your doing exactley the same thing as everyone else.

    It's not your fault your parents earn over the very low threshold and just becase they do it doesn't mean you reap the rewards.

    In our school it meant all the chavs got to spend £30 a week on weed while the rest of us had to work minimum 6 hours for it!

    *cough* some people have to give it to their parents, as was the case with one of my friends. There's a lot of pressure if you're from a low income background to start earning and paying bills. Especially if your family lives off credit and it's very much hand to mouth.

    I was stingy with mine and hid it from my mum pretty much, although I've had to lend her hundreds over the years. So whilst there probably are chavs who spend £30 a week on weed or whatever, equally it really can be an enabling factor for lots of people.

    I do agree it's not distributed completely fairly, but I think part of the problem is people see it as reward / spending money when I think for most it goes towards expenses, and without it a fair few would be pressured into getting jobs.

    I feel the same about income assessed bursaries. I get them and my friends dont, I end up with more than them week to week and because I'm quite good with budgeting, though their parents save them money and buy them things like cars which I would have to save up for. Swings and roundabouts. I think those who lose out most are those who are just over the earning threshold so get nothing but whose parents cant afford stuff.

    It's a bit of a grey area. I think it's naive to assume that giving it to low income families is not fair because it just gets spent on rewards, because there's often more financial problems behind it. I know if mum is short for something I'll lend her the money and I wont get it back - we've had lots of arguments about that. And when you're short you can't exactly tell the finance office you want a hardship grant / loan because you've just given 1/2 your money to your mum. But that's not to say that those who get nothing don't have it tough either, and it's a bit harsh that they're seen as 'haves'. On the other hand, a person I know whose family income just clears the threshold where you get no income assessed loan gets £50 a week from her family whilst she's at uni... and they've got two cars, horses to keep, etc.

    So I think it's unfair to the extent that people might lose out and some people might gain, i.e. someone earning £18k might get an extra £2000 and someone whose family earn £19k might get nothing, even though in affordability terms there's probably no real difference. (£83 a month different in salary... that's like a sky subscription isn't it?). However, in the broader scheme, the money is more likely to go to someone who it will help significantly by having it income assessed.

    And at the end of the day being cynical, there is a drive to get people from low income areas into university - so it can be seen as a bit of a bribe. (But if you consider also that many people who don't go to university from lower income areas could be genius', but because of other problems they'll never get to go - it's tapping into an unused 'resource' of intelligence).

    On the whole, a good thing, but person to person not always fair. There is a lot of bribery about, if I was still doing maths I'd be getting an extra £2000 a year 'scholarship' even though it's just a bribe because there aren't enough maths graduates.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    *cough* some people have to give it to their parents, as was the case with one of my friends. There's a lot of pressure if you're from a low income background to start earning and paying bills. Especially if your family lives off credit and it's very much hand to mouth.

    I was stingy with mine and hid it from my mum pretty much, although I've had to lend her hundreds over the years. So whilst there probably are chavs who spend £30 a week on weed or whatever, equally it really can be an enabling factor for lots of people.

    I do agree it's not distributed completely fairly, but I think part of the problem is people see it as reward / spending money when I think for most it goes towards expenses, and without it a fair few would be pressured into getting jobs.

    I feel the same about income assessed bursaries. I get them and my friends dont, I end up with more than them week to week and because I'm quite good with budgeting, though their parents save them money and buy them things like cars which I would have to save up for. Swings and roundabouts. I think those who lose out most are those who are just over the earning threshold so get nothing but whose parents cant afford stuff.

    It's a bit of a grey area. I think it's naive to assume that giving it to low income families is not fair because it just gets spent on rewards, because there's often more financial problems behind it. I know if mum is short for something I'll lend her the money and I wont get it back - we've had lots of arguments about that. And when you're short you can't exactly tell the finance office you want a hardship grant / loan because you've just given 1/2 your money to your mum. But that's not to say that those who get nothing don't have it tough either, and it's a bit harsh that they're seen as 'haves'. On the other hand, a person I know whose family income just clears the threshold where you get no income assessed loan gets £50 a week from her family whilst she's at uni... and they've got two cars, horses to keep, etc.

    So I think it's unfair to the extent that people might lose out and some people might gain, i.e. someone earning £18k might get an extra £2000 and someone whose family earn £19k might get nothing, even though in affordability terms there's probably no real difference. (£83 a month different in salary... that's like a sky subscription isn't it?). However, in the broader scheme, the money is more likely to go to someone who it will help significantly by having it income assessed.

    And at the end of the day being cynical, there is a drive to get people from low income areas into university - so it can be seen as a bit of a bribe. (But if you consider also that many people who don't go to university from lower income areas could be genius', but because of other problems they'll never get to go - it's tapping into an unused 'resource' of intelligence).

    On the whole, a good thing, but person to person not always fair. There is a lot of bribery about, if I was still doing maths I'd be getting an extra £2000 a year 'scholarship' even though it's just a bribe because there aren't enough maths graduates.

    Very good post and nice one with your mum for you lending her money :thumb:

    No doubt it does help people which is of course great and it does enable them to continue further education which otherwise they wouldn't be able to do so.

    Your right about the bribery,especially when you hear the radio adverts,how bad are they!

    It's a scheme they will never get right for both grants and EMA but at least it does help some people who actually need it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think a lot of people would be happier if places were slightly more upfront.

    If it's an academic bonus, call it that and offer it to everyone, if it's low income support, call it that, and restrict it to people based on need.

    Likewise with EMA, people might be able to just about go along with the regular weekly element, where it comes more unstuck is the bonuses, which are also only avaliable to those on low income.

    To the OP, I don't know what course you are looking at, but with those kind of grades it's worth looking at commercial sponsorship/scholarship. I get sponsored by a company who recruit Engineering graduates and that money is purely based on my brilliance.:D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Of course low income families should have some help with fees etc, that is offered by the university, this acedemic grant is an extra, but still only available to people in those situations.
    and i am applying for modern languages :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There is nothing wrong with offering a bursary according to both academic merit and financial need. It's perfectly acceptable and it is perfectly fair. Someone who is rich doesn't need the money so it should go to someoen who does need it. Someone who isn't achieving the required academic level shouldn't be getting a bursary to study.

    Birmingham is a very popular university and needs to distribute its money more carefully. Liverpool is a less popular university and needs to provide incentives to attract high calibre students.

    All universities do it. I had a reduced offer from Durham (below their usual offers for law) because I came from a deprived school in one of the most deprived cities in the country. They wanted me for my box-ticking as much as my academic ability. C'est la vie.
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