Should students be blocked from student loan schemes if their A-level grades are low?
Are A-level results a fair assessment for student loan approval? Source: Shutterstock

Imagine working hard for your A-levels and aspiring to go to the university of your dreams, only to find your student loan has been rejected on the basis of low grades.

According to a reported leaked case from the UK Prime Minister’s review of post-18 education, there’s a chance that young learners may not be granted a loan and barred from going to university for not getting above three Ds at A-level.

If such a dramatic plan ever goes ahead, there are three key areas that must be addressed.

The adverse effect on student loan companies

If student loan companies started basing their acceptance rate on high A-level grades and blocking out low scoress, surely they would end up with a considerably lower income.

Fewer students applying for loans would mean fewer investments and in some cases, could sink companies that heavily rely on hopeful university applicants.

And with so many student loans companies out there, what happens if only a handful decide to adhere to these rules? Those who do accept three Ds will outperform those who deny low achievers, reinforcing a clear imbalance of profit.

The growing acceptance rate of A-level applicants 

As the UCAS End of Cycle Report 2018 underlines, “Applicants with A-level points equivalent to DDD have an acceptance rate of over 80 percent for the first time since 2013. Therefore, acceptance rates among applicants achieving lower A-level grades have continued to grow.”

So, if there’s a rise in students earning lower qualifications but still being granted entry into university, there will be a growing demand for student loans companies to accept their applications.

With statistics like these readily available, it will also be tricky to stop D-grade students from obtaining a loan.

The elitist angle of this proposal

Those who are reading this article may label the idea of a low A-level student loan ban to be elitist and unfair.

For instance, what about students who attended a disadvantaged school? Are they to be alienated for their low grades and huge academic aspirations?

What about students who desperately need a fresh start at a university of their choice – is it fair to restrict them from access to higher education?

There’s also a possibility that the A-level system will be scrutinised for its assessment style. Just because an applicant has secured low grades doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll fail at university or that they’ll lack the practical skills needed to succeed.

After all, shouldn’t students be valued for their overall performance rather than just their exam results?

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