Jersey students still waiting on government grants despite term already starting

ITV Channel's Otis Holmes has the story...

Hundreds of university students from Jersey are still waiting for their student grants from the island's government despite already being weeks into their first term.

Of the 1,525 students that have applied for financial help this academic year, 642 are still waiting on a decision.

Any student that is a resident and wants to go into higher education can apply for a grant from Jersey's government which is made up of two elements:

  • Tuition fees - up to £9,250 annually

  • Maintenance grant - up to £7,718 annually

The maintenance loan helps students with essentials like rent, bills and food whilst they study.

For Thomas George, a third-year student at the University of Winchester, this delay on his student grant is affecting both himself and his family:

He says: "My family have got a mortgage, they have got food to pay for, we have got pets and stuff to pay for. It's all the expenses that are adding up and it's not just me, it's my family and I presume other families as well who are struggling to pay for this."

For Tao Dingle at the University of Leeds, the student grant is a lifeline whilst he studies:

"I'm just about managing, I think I'd put it that way. I think it should be the status quo for Jersey politics to keep it because it's such a lifeline for people to get off the island, to have that experience and to have the money to do it."

Jersey's Education Minister told ITV News more staff are being brought in to ensure student finance applications are processed quickly. Credit: ITV Channel

Deputy Inna Gardiner is Jersey's Minister for Children and Education:

"Students have until 31 December to submit their initial application for this academic year, which means applications continue to come in daily. To help speed up the process, more staff have been trained to support student finance at peak times."

Jersey's government says that 565 students are at various stages of the grant application process.

Those remaining students are being contacted with a reminder of any outstanding documents so that their application can be completed.