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Ask your MP to #CutTheCosts, not maintenance grants

Thursday 20 August 2015 NUS News

Join thousands of other students on Friday 18 September to persuade your MP to #CutTheCosts and reverse the government’s plans to scrap maintenance grants.

The current government plans to scrap maintenance grants for full-time Higher Education students in England and replace them with a loans-based system – a move which will end non-repayable state support offered to hundreds of thousands of students from lower income households every year and saddle poorer students with yet more debt, should they aspire to study.  

We must now face the reality that if the government gets its way and maintenance grants are replaced with loans, the impact will be detrimental to hundreds of thousands of the poorest students studying in England for years to come, and may place pressure on the governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to follow suit.

What are maintenance grants and what are the proposed changes?

  • Maintenance grants are given to students from lower income households to help with their living costs.
  • The maximum grant is £3,387 per year for students whose household income is less than £25k.
  • NUS understands that currently, approximately 500,000 students rely on maintenance grants
  • The government proposals would stop all grants to new students from September 2016, forcing poorer students to take on further debt to fund their studies.

What can I do?

Meet your MP

By meeting your MPs across the UK we can press them on their stance, and assess and build the level of opposition to scrapping the grants among MPs. The more students who meet with their MPs, the stronger our case. 

How can I set up a meeting with my MP?

  1. Write to your MP to request a meeting on 18 September using our online form. If you can't make 18 September, you can personalise the email to request a meeting on a date you can make.
  2. Use this briefing for a step by step guide to securing and having a successful meeting with your MP.
  3. Read these FAQs for answers to some of the arguments MPs may use to justify the changes.

Other things to do

  1. Download the campaign pack for a summary of everything you can do and the resources available.
  2. Tweet your story using #CutTheCosts.
  3. Build your campaign locally by asking organisations to sign this statement of support.
  4. Get your friends and family to sign this petition to stop the axing of maintenance grants.
  5. Add a #CutTheCosts Twibbon to your Twitter profile picture.

Share your stories

If you’re a current student or a graduate who has received maintenance grants we would love to hear your stories about how the grant have supported you in your studies. You can share your story using our online form.

We cannot allow George Osborne to write off the most vulnerable, let down the future talent of this country and price students out of higher education – which is why saving maintenance grants that support the poorest students is our utmost priority.

If you have any questions about the campaign, please email