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  • Writer's pictureThe Gaudie

SAAS to Introduce Year-Round Payments to Aid Students in Summer

Borrow Limit to Increase by £2400


By Kirsten Koss

Go Simple Tax PC: open verse

Scottish-domiciled students will now have the option to spread their student finance payments over the summer months.


In recent changes announced by the Scottish government, all SAAS-funded students will, from the next academic year, be able to opt to spread their support over the full year. In addition, students will now be able to borrow a further £2400 per year. 


From September, undergraduate students will be entitled to a bursary and loan package totalling £11,400. 


Speaking on the new package of support for home students, the minister for Higher and Further Education Graeme Dey said:

“The summer months can be a difficult period for learners when their payments stop – these changes will ensure that learners can access the vital funds they need the whole year round.

“This is another example of the actions being taken by the Scottish Government to support students through the cost-of-living crisis. Scotland already has the lowest student debt levels in the UK, which is thanks to our commitment to free tuition and our enhanced student support offering.


“We are already seeing a record number of students from Scotland’s most deprived areas applying to study at university.


The changes made to the student support package will help to further break down barriers and ensure that access to our world-class institutions is not denied to anyone, whatever their background.”

The changes come after a successful pilot of a year-round support package for care experienced students, which started in September 2022, lasting two years. In addition, care-experienced students will receive additional funding for housing costs over the summer, with a Summer Accommodation Grant announced as part of further plans to support care-experienced students from September 2024. 


The payment of £1330 will support care-experienced students to keep up with rent payments over the summer. 


Despite this, a recent report on the Scottish Budget from the Institute of Fiscal studies, said that student finance in Scotland had “become less generous over time, with total support for the poorest students cut by 16% (£1,600 per year) in real terms between 2013–14 and 2022–23. A £900 cash increase this academic year in the amount students can borrow was the first real-terms increase in at least a decade”

The report also referred to dwindling funding for Scottish universities, noting the 3.6% cuts to funding for the 2024-2025 academic year. 


Despite this, the Institute for Fiscal Studies did agree that the plans “deliver on the Scottish Government’s commitment to provide a total package of support ‘the equivalent of the Living Wage’.”

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