School leavers planning to attend university need to be made aware of the financial help that is available to them.
This is according to Dr Tessa Stone, chief executive of BrightsideUNIAID, who noted that getting information across to students is one of the biggest difficulties that education bodies face.
"The question is how can we make sure that they know what help is available? That that is clear and that there are mechanisms in place [with] the right information, advice and guidance to help people," she said.
It would be wonderful of higher education could be free, but this is just not realistic, Dr Stone explained.
She added that it is important that school leavers which course to attend wisely.
Her comments come as Lord Browne's review into higher education recommends that universities be allowed to remove tuition fee caps and charge students higher fees.