SCU students Ben Marin-Guzman, Tracy Hifo and Stephanie Wilkinson, who are struggling to make ends meet.
SCU students Ben Marin-Guzman, Tracy Hifo and Stephanie Wilkinson, who are struggling to make ends meet.

Students are learning how to survive on less

By PATRIZIA REIMER

POOR, suffering students are getting poorer, and Stephanie Wilkinson says the way things are going many won't have any life at all.

"I could sit at home and do nothing, but you still have to have a life," said the 21-year-old Southern Cross University tourism management and law student.

"In my first year I could live off a lot less money. Everything's gone up since then, but my income hasn't."

The fourth-year student works one day a week at Crazy Clark's just to get by, despite getting help from her parents and Centrelink payments.

"I know a lot of students where it's a real issue. They have to work three jobs," she said.

"To be at such a base level of poorness for the five years of a degree is a long time."

An Australian ViceChancellors Committee (AVCC) report into stu- dent finances for 2006 found they were worse off than in 2000.

The AVCC will use these findings to lobby the Federal Government into implementing nine key measures to improve students' financial welfare.

SCU Professor of Education Martin Hayden has researched student finances and believes North Coast students are going to do it tough.

"Given that there are many indicators to suggest the North Coast is not a wealthy part of Australia, I would expect that students in this region are at least as badly off as elsewhere," he said.



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