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Student Poverty – Guest blog post

Blog post written by Michael  – student Work Experience Volunteer.

Cost-of-living. It has been an issue present in almost everyone’s lives. However, a group in the population that often gets overlooked are students. 

We all know the impact that the cost-of-living crisis has had on the majority of the UK’s population. This has had a noticeable impact on poorer families with lower income, larger families or households with young children. However, it can be easy to forget its impact on students and the younger population. 

Poverty for students is steadily rising. Statistics have shown that 1 in 4 students go without necessities, rising to 3 in 10 for students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. This is only getting worse due to the cost-of-living crisis. 

As the cost of living continues to be a major problem for the citizens of the UK, students are being progressively pressured financially and mentally. Such pressure will almost certainly affect students’ mental health and performance in public exams; such as GCSE’s, A Levels and higher education. Findings have shown that financial pressure has caused over half (54%) of students’ academic performances to be negatively affected and 18% considered dropping out. 

The extra time needed to be spent on working due to financial issues may cause students to get less sleep (which is already a developing problem in adolescents), have less time for social, relaxation or extra-curricular activities, as well as less time for homework or revision outside of school. 

Poverty in students is rising. Students are being forced to prioritise working over their studies. This heavily impacts their ability to do well in their studies, maintain good mental health and deal with everyday problems. 

These problems are only increased if as a student you are also a carer, parent needing childcare, have learning disabilities, or come from a disadvantaged background. 

What can you do to get help? 

  • There is help available from the government in the form of loans and grants. Keep in mind that these are short-term solutions but can help a lot if you need immediate help. These can also be dependent on your circumstances, so check if you are eligible beforehand.  
  • Support is available from universities and schools if needed. 
  • Charities or organisations may be able to give advice or financial aid. 
  • Other websites or organisations (such as Student Minds or The Student Room) can provide mental health support or a place to talk with others who have similar problems. 

For further information, go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/cost-of-living-student-finance-support or https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/cost-of-living-support-for-students/  

For those who are not students yet want to help, the best thing to do is be empathetic and keep an open mind when talking with such young people. 

If you know students who may need help, share this advice. 

If you need further advice on this issue, or advice on another problem, please feel free to contact us at Citizens Advice North Herts or your local Citizens Advice.    

You can find out more about CANH and keep up to date with our latest news at www.northhertscab.org.uk or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. Citizens Advice North Herts has offices in Letchworth and Royston, as well as a community hub in Melbourn. The Letchworth office is at 49 Station Road.  

You can call our free Herts wide advice line on 0800 144 88 48. The opening hours are 10am to 9pm Monday to Wednesday, 10am to 8pm Thursday and Friday, and 10am to 4pm on Saturday. If you would like to contact Citizens Advice North Hertfordshire, please leave a message on 01462 689801 and we will contact you within three working days. 

Citizens Advice North Hertfordshire is an independent, local charity reliant on raising our own funds to carry out our work to improve the lives of residents in North Hertfordshire and parts of South Cambridgeshire. 

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Free Advice Line:

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The number above is for the Hertfordshire Citizens Advice Line.   Opening hours are 10 am to 9 pm Monday to Wednesday, 10 am to 8 pm Thursday and Friday, and 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday.

If you would like to contact Citizens Advice North Hertfordshire directly please call us on 01462 689801 and leave a message.

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Use the number above to call the Citizens Advice North Hertfordshire. You will reach an answerphone – please leave a message and we aim to respond within 3 working days. 

If you would like advice over the phone you can call the National Citizens Adviceline on 0800 144 88 48