Student allowance rates and loan living costs maximum will be inflation-adjusted from the start of April next year 2018. Photo / Mark Mitchell

More than 130,000 students will have $50 extra in their pockets next year, as the Government moves to make tertiary education more affordable.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today that the policy to increase to student loans and allowances is now in place.

“Allowance payments for single students aged under 24 and living away from home, for example, will rise from $177.03 to $227.03. The maximum amount that students can borrow will rise from $178.81 to $228.81.”

No change is being made to eligibility rules for student allowances or loans, he said.

“Improving affordability and access to tertiary education and training will improve opportunities both for our young people and for adult learners who have previously been deterred from taking on tertiary study and training because of cost,” Hipkins said.

In addition, student allowance rates and loan living costs maximum will be inflation-adjusted from the start of April next year.

The Accommodation Benefit is also scheduled to rise by $20 a week next year to a maximum of $60 a week for students.

Hipkins said the Government is also on track to deliver the first year of fees-free education and training from January 1 next year.

“Final decisions are being worked through, and students can rest assured that the first year of fees-free study will kick in next year and they should plan accordingly.”

The Government wants to eventually have three years of free tertiary education for New Zealanders by 2024.

Source: NZ Herald

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