The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills has reduced the amount of support available to students after getting its sums wrong. It initially expected two-thirds of students to be eligible for some form of grant however it has been left with a £200m hole in its budget after more than expected qualified.
Students with family incomes under £60,000 were originally eligible for some form of grant, however this has been reduced to £50,020. Although one-third of students were expected to qualify for the full grant, the final figure was around 40% putting a strain on the department's finances.
Universities secretary John Denham was forced to admit that the government had underestimated the numbers of students eligible for financial support. Students from families with incomes lower than £25,000 will still receive the full grant and existing students will not have grants decreased.
Around 35,000 to 40,000 students from middle-income homes will be affected in a drive to save half the shortfall, however the remaining money will have to be found by savings within the department.