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The Impact of Poverty on Students’ Education

Poverty can have a huge impact on a student’s cognitive, social, mental, and physical achievements. Poor students on top of receiving a bad education, often deal with health and lifestyle problems that interfere with their ability to study.

It often forces students to work multiple jobs to pay for tuition, to take student loan debt or only studying part-time since full time is more expensive. All of these mentioned above can obstruct a student’s future and achievements.

What is Poverty?

Poverty is a complicated issue and its effects can leave real and damaging consequences. It is defined as a lack of sufficient resources to meet basic human needs. However, in today’s society, access to education, healthcare, and transportation can also be included.

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How Does Poverty Affect Education and Students?


University students on top of trying to put themselves through school, are also constantly trying to budget and save money. A recent report from The Home Center on college students’ basic needs found that 36 percent out of 43,000 university students reported being food insecure. Additionally, in the year before that, the same number started being unstable when it came to housing.

Often supermarkets offer deals and discounts for students, for example, Makro special offers include grocery products at a discount, available to browse on Kimbino’s website. They offer special discounts with 10 percent to 50 percent off, which are accessible solely for students, after a student status verification is completed.

According to the same survey mentioned above, the number of community college students was much higher, with 12 percent having been homeless in the past year. Rising expenses, limited financial assistance, and insufficient academic opportunities programs have made obtaining a college diploma increasingly difficult.

Having little access to food and being hungry are two of the most prominent characteristics of poverty, resulting in a lot of consequences at school. Checking out any special discounts that supermarkets offer can definitely assist financial struggling students better in contrast to paying full price.

As conducted in a report from Pew Research Center states that over the last 20 years the number of undergraduates in U.S universities has drastically increased, with people of colour and low-income households accounting for a large percentage of it. They have limited resources to assist them in their academic pursuits since such students are typically enrolled in less prestigious schools.

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Poverty and Education Statistics in the United Kingdom


Despite the fact that the United Kingdom has one of the wealthiest economies, there are still 4.3 million people including children and young adults who are living and growing up in poverty. This has a lot of influence on many students’ educational experiences and outcomes in the United Kingdom.

According to a National Education Union (NEU) survey, more than three-quarters of their participants said that around 78 per cent of their students show wariness and 75 per cent experience poor concentration as a result of poverty.

When it comes to the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), a student from a low-income family is usually 18 months behind and three times more likely to be expelled from school. Those students frequently fail to follow up with their friends, which could put them at a disadvantage for the rest of their lives.

A large number of kids from low-income families are denied admission, making them miss classes for a lengthy amount of time which then leaves them with little to no opportunities to obtain educational assistance.

Brief statistics

  • Child poverty in the United Kingdom affects more than 4 million children.
  • Since March 2020, a fifth of UK schools established a local food bank with 25 per cent of the teachers personally supplying food for students.
  • Young people who have experienced financial difficulties growing up have a higher probability of being unemployed or earning lower profits.
  • In 2018, more than 137,700 children missed school due to poverty and the inability to afford menstruation supplies.
  • During the lockdown, it was reported that some families turned to schools and universities for help with basic school supplies such as books, pens, paper and more.

What Can Schools Do to Address Student Poverty?

Making a change to address and eliminate poverty should take place in the larger community as well as in schools. Schools leave a significantly big impact on these situations. These kinds of situations are beyond a student’s control

. In addition to that, students confront a variety of obstacles that could negatively impact their academic performance at school as well as their brain development.

Schools should be able to address poverty to their students by offering adequate academic possibilities, discreetly offering students school supplies and more. It is critical to know how to support, empower, and encourage students, especially when working in schools with children that come from low-income households.

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