THE amount of money paid to Scottish students in grants dropped by £24 million last year, new figures show.

A report by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland said the 19% decline – from £127m to £103m – was partly because bursaries for travel costs had been scrapped.

Instead, students requiring travel support are able to access increased loans – with the impact mainly focused on "middle-income households".

The total amount paid in tuition fees, bursaries, grants and loans for 2011/12 was £570m. The number of students supported increased 0.6% from 133,175 in 2010/11 to 133,990 in 2011/12.