Plenty of students talk about and are confused by the costs of going to University, are student loans like any other debts? How much will going to Uni cost over three or four years and so on.
The biggest upfront costs of moving to University, either internationally or in your home country is not covered by tuition fee loans.
The Funding gap.
After the actual tuition fees, the biggest costs of going to university are actually the essentials: accommodation, food, course material and travel. These costs are not covered by the student loan.
Covering these costs are usually done via a maintenance loan, these loans are means tested in the UK. Meaning that the more a students parents earn, the less loan amount is available to that student.
Parents that make under £25,000 in total receive the most support from the maintenance loan.
The latest National Student Money Survey found that even the parents who earn the least still end up effectively supporting their students on top of the maintenance loans, on average £141.00 per month. Unless you are extremely frugal and good at budgeting, the maintenance loan, especially in London can be extremely challenging to live on.
Costs of accommodation vs maintenance loan
The cost of living including rent for student halls or private student accommodation, must be paid up front, unlike tuition fees, which are paid after graduation. Also students will need accommodation for only part of the year, but many private landlords will deal in 12 month contracts, leaving students paying for two or more months rent that they don’t need. Landlords hate having properties with no income!
- Accommodation costs vary greatly by location.
- The average cost of room in London per week is £222
- The average cost of room nationally per week is £148.
Students will on average spend £770 per month on living. The maintenance loan will usually cover around £600 of that – the balance is often paid for by parents or students working a part time job at their University.
The effects of stretched finances on students
The National Student Money Survey stated that even though 65% of students save up to go to university, many do use on part-time jobs more than parents for support.
- 61% of students said that student finance does not stretch far enough
- 78% worry about making ends meet
- 27% say that their grades suffer due to money worries.
Cutting down the cost of Uni
There are someways students and parents can cut back on the expenses, over the course of the three or four years these savings could result in a substantial amount of money still in your pocket!
Study outside of London
It is far cheaper to eat, drink and rent in the northern English, Scottish and Welsh cities. Cardiff, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, Birmingham all have fantastic Universities which are well worth considering.
Studying from home
Studying from home at your local University, or the open University can cut down on costs considerably. However, it does certainly detract from the fun of moving to a new City and living with friends at University!
If you do move away to University consider purchasing your bedding, kitchenware and other student essentials from www.mystudentessentials.co.uk they deliver straight to your home or halls and offer great value for money because the items are sold as large bundles.