Single mother-of-three Dee Wadham had her benefit cut from Pounds 150 to 10p a week when she trained as a design technology teacher at Plymouth College of St Marks and St John.
She took out a Pounds 1,300 student loan when the Department of Social Security said her benefits would be cut even without a student grant. Her weekly income over the 33-week term is Pounds 178. For 21 weeks she gets family allowance alone.
"I'm doing what I'm supposed to - training so that I can support myself and my children." she said.
She appealed to education minister Eric Forth who said that the Government's policy was to deduct the cash on the assumption that students would have taken out a loan.