Over £21 million will be invested in improving the financial support available to university and college students, the First Minister has announced.
As part of a package of measures:
The bursary for care-experienced students in further and higher education will increase this year from £6,625 to £8,100, bringing the support available in line with the Scottish living wage.
Also, the Care Experienced Further Education Bursary will rise from £4,185 to £8,100.
£16 million will be invested next year increasing college bursaries and university grants for students from the lowest income families, while expanding access to them.
The student loan repayment threshold will be raised to £25,000 from April 2021, while this year the maximum repayment period will be lowered from 35 to 30 years.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP said:
“We are determined to widen access to university. To help do that, the Student Support Review we set up recommended an increase in support of £16 million in the first instance.
“We will go further. By 2021, funding for student support will increase by more than £20 million a year.
“We will increase the amount graduates can earn before they begin to repay student loans. Our commitment was to raise the threshold to £22,000. We will go further and increase it to £25,000 instead.
“This package reaffirms our commitment that access to university should be based on the ability to learn not the ability to pay.”
The Programme for Government 2017-18 had previously committed to raising the repayment threshold for student loans to £22,000 by the end of the Parliament.