England’s Tuition Increase Has Led to a Drop in Applications

The pending increase in tuition rates at universities in England has resulted in a sharp drop in the number of applicants, although there has not been a noticeable decline in the number of students from low-income backgrounds, according to a new report. The report is from the Independent Commission on Fees, which was established this year to assess the impact of the increase, which will result in a near tripling of tuition at most universities in England to £9,000, or more than $14,000.

According to the report, applicant numbers in England have declined by nearly 9 percent for the coming academic year compared with 2010, before the plans to raise tuition were announced. The decline is not reflected in other parts of Britain where university tuition is not rising. After taking account of demographic explanations, the report says there are  “approximately 15,000 ‘missing’ young applicants” who have apparently been deterred from applying to university because of the increased cost.

The government’s Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills released a statement emphasizing that students do not have to pay the new rates up front but are instead given student loans that they will not need to begin repaying until their annual income exceeds £21,000, or nearly $33,000, a year.

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