The real cost of student loans

21st February 2003 at 00:00
AS always there has been much rhetoric about degree students' fees and loans. I would, however, like to point out one particular discrepancy.

The figure of pound;400,000 has been given as the amount that a graduate will earn over their non-graduate colleague during their working lifetime.

Let us assume that this is so and that they pay income tax at the lower rate through their life.

This means that they will pay about pound;90,000 extra income tax over their working lifetime of 40 years. Even allowing for inflation this more than covers the cost of their higher education. So not only they but the Government benefits from their higher earnings.

Yet, the Government wants them to pay pound;3,000 - pound;9,000 in fees? Does this make sense?

Paul Hopkins

Lecturer in education

The Open University

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