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How much can students expect to owe

Rita and Trevor's son Desmond is planning to go to university in the year top-up fees will be introduced. Rita is a teacher at the top of the main pay scale, earning pound;28,005 in 2005-6. Trevor does not work.

Under the present system:

Desmond's parents would have to pay pound;760 of the flat-rate pound;1,100 fee up front each year. He would also qualify for a full loan for living costs of pound;3,905 in years one and two, and pound;3,390 in year three. His total debt on graduation would be pound;11,200 in addition to the pound;2,280 fees paid by his parents. Repayments would begin when his income reached pound;10,000. If Desmond becomes a civil servant, with a starting salary of pound;18,000, rising to pound;30,000 after 10 years, he repays:

* pound;60 per month in year 1;

* pound;98 per month by year 5, when his salary is pound;23,000;

* pound;135 per month by year 9 when salary is pound;28,000.

The loan would be repaid in 10 years Under the proposed system: If Desmond goes to university in 2006, his university could charge tuition fees of up to pound;3,000. He would still receive pound;340 per year towards fees and could defer the rest of the fees cost (pound;2,280) rather than having to rely on his parents. But added to his loan for living costs (still pound;11,200) that would leave Desmond with a total debt on graduation of pound;13,480. Assuming the same career progression, he would repay:

* pound;22.50 per month in year 1;

* pound;60 per month in year 5;

* pound;97.50 per month by year 9.

After 10 years, Desmond will still owe pound;5,875.

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