help! student finance, how are we going to fund DD at university

(23 Posts)
mummaemma Fri 27-Dec-13 21:35:28

I understand tuition fees, no worries there.
But looking at our household income my daughter is entitled to a maintenance loan of £4,836 per year. Just worked out accommodation fees for halls and its 4,480 per year. But what about food and other living costs? Yes we have a good salary, £46,000 per year but we also have a very large mortgage and 3 other children to care for. What will/do you do for your child to help?

OddBoots Fri 27-Dec-13 21:38:14

Mine are 14 and 10 so we are saving what we can now to help but there's a good chance they will need to take a gap year and/or get work while at university in order to afford it.

I have one at home at a local uni. He has a part time job, so I pay for his 10-weekly transport card and that's all. DS2 will leave in September to go to a uni about an hour from here. He'll take the full loan (4k is max non means tested in Scotland, I think) and that will pay most of his accommodation. We'll then give him money to live on £50 PW probably, and he can get a term time job there to supplement it, or work more hours in his part time job here in the holidays.

That's all you can do really. Unfortunately they don't take the size of your mortgage into account when applying for student loans. They will take into account any other children at uni when applying though.

Indith Fri 27-Dec-13 21:46:23

continuation of what you spend feeding and clothing her at the moment and she works of at all possible during holidays or during term time too if time allows.

EvilTwins Fri 27-Dec-13 21:47:12

What are her grades looking like? Lots of universities do bursaries/fee reductions/free cash for students getting high grades. It's worth looking at if grades are ABB & above.

WestmorlandPigInBlanket Fri 27-Dec-13 21:47:46

she gets a job?

JeanSeberg Fri 27-Dec-13 21:49:37

No answers here, I have 18 year old twins at uni and they make no allowance for more than 1 at uni.

Sparkle9 Fri 27-Dec-13 21:52:13

My student loan only covered accommodation and my parents couldn't afford to give me very much at all so I had a part-time job of about 16 hours per week. And I used up my overdraft.

Not sure why you have to fund her beyond tuition fees? V easy to work part time whilst studying, also means she will likely spend less money on ridiculously cheap booze as she will have more respect for her money if earning it herself.

I would say let her expect to have to get a job then help out by buying a grocery shop and odd bits of treating her like that when you visit.

JeanSeberg Fri 27-Dec-13 22:04:45

Easier said than done.

Fairylea Fri 27-Dec-13 22:06:40

Most students work whilst studying and use this to pay for food / housing costs. I managed to work about 25-30 hours a week at a bar in the evenings alongside studying. The work experience is also really good to have for their cvs now too as employers are becoming much more fussy when it comes to taking on graduates with no work experience.

IrisWildthyme Fri 27-Dec-13 22:32:18

Sorry to be harsh but you will have had several years warning that your DD was approaching University age and it's been clear for a while that there is less help available so this really shouldn't be coming as a shock for you, or your daughter - have you not been saving for this? We started saving for Uni when our DC were born and our household income is lower than yours.

When the official confirmation of the Student Loan amount comes through it will include an expected parental contribution that you are supposed to give your DD - this will be somewhere around £1,000 a year but will depend on exact circumstances. You can just leave it at that and get your DD to fend for herself for finding actual living costs, or if you can then try to at least double what the official contribution figure is for a more realistic amount.

Logically, given that many families DO survive on lower incomes than yours, it must be possible to get by on less for a few years while your contributions are needed for University. Everyone allows their standard of living to expand to fill the income available but it doesn't take very much discipline to pretend that your income is lower (we pretended that a payrise a few years ago never happened) and put some money aside.

It depends on the University but is it possible to get cheaper accommodation than the £4,480 you quote? That sounds like a standard nice-room-with-own-washing-facilities price (depending on city) - but there may well be a cheaper option if she has a room without running water and shared facilities in the corridor, or even if she shares a room (not that bad - can be great)

Most mortgage companies would let you change the terms of your loan temporarily - could you convert the loan to be notionally for a 10-year-longer-than-it-currently-is term, in order to reduce the payments, and convert it back to a shorter term again once the last DC has graduated?

Milliways Fri 27-Dec-13 22:54:48

My DS has 2 tutoring jobs that cover his weekly food and socialising costs, it can be done. He also works at his old job in the holidays when home . He has just finished his first term as "cost neutral" (his words).

Xdh and I give dd £400 a month between us to top up her loans. Our choice She also works in the holidays. She's struggled to get a termtime job that fits round her practicals and her beloved sport.

MillyMollyMama Sat 28-Dec-13 01:07:32

My DD1 had a shared room and shared bathroom between 6 and it was £4,400 for the year and that was 3 years ago! It was an old unmodernised hall of residence. I cannot believe there is much cheaper around now. That was the cheapest option then! Just do not go near London as DD2 has whacking fees at her hall of residence with a £3600 shortfall just on rent. Jobs can be an option but I can assure you that not one of my DD1s friends have worked for money. Too busy getting internships (unpaid). A few of the London students are working including my DD who does casual shop work.

I think parents have to manage and pay up. There was an expected parental contribution before the loans were introduced so there is no real change here - you have to pay. University was only ever free to the few! You will just have to choose somewhere cheap to live.

NigellasDealer Sat 28-Dec-13 01:23:15

she could get a term time job and holiday jobs?
you could continue to give her what she costs you now?
she could attend a local university ?
she could not go to university.

unitarian Sat 28-Dec-13 02:21:08

DD's in year 4 in London in a shared flat. She began her course when tuition fees were lower and so the fees stay at the lower level throughout her course but that's irrelevant because you're talking about maintenance costs. Her university has greatly increased the living cost bursary amounts available to students now being charged the higher fees and altered the parental income threshold considerably. I assume other universities have done the same.

She has worked all the summers so far to top up her loan and our weekly expenditure drops quite a bit when she's not here so we can divert money to her. She and her flatmates are very skilled at shopping and cooking wisely. Our income is far lower than yours.

mummaemma Sat 28-Dec-13 09:17:21

Thanks everyone,

1) she currently has a job weekends and holidays so decided she could continue that in the holidays and maybe get a job at university too during the week.

2) yes I know I should have been saving for this year's ago, had no idea about costs involved.

3) The uni she wants to go to (offer received) is 2 hour drive away, not the nearest but they didn't do the course she wanted at the nearest

4) I will look into cheap accommodation, yes the price quoted was for standard room with ensuite, standard room would save £400 a year

5) we can't extend the term of our mortgage loan, we have already extended as much as they will allow, (another 20 years!)

BIWI Sat 28-Dec-13 11:36:48

You have my every sympathy. It was a real shock to discover that the loan wouldn't even cover the cost of accommodation, in our situation. Thankfully we have been helped out by my dad.

And it's all very well to say that you should have known, but how many people really do know how much accommodation can cost? It varies enormously even at the same university!

I would definitely explore the accommodation options though, as you should be able to find it cheaper than that. Older accommodation without the en suite (which most universities have) will be considerably cheaper.

I agree with a PP though - you will already be paying for her to some degree at the moment, so you should be able to give her a little money to top up her funds. (Your electricity bill will go down, as will your food bills!)

sashh Mon 30-Dec-13 10:16:51

she gets a job.

she lives at home and commutes (my friend's son has to do this, my friend has long term health problems and is on benefits so her income actually dropped when her son went to uni)

she takes a few years out and works and saves.

she doesn't go in to halls but shares a house/flat.

a combination of the above

Mary1972 Wed 01-Jan-14 08:34:56

When I went 30 y ears ago we got very minimal grant and your parents were expected to make up the difference to the full grant which they did. Not everyone's parents did in those days and today that is the same. So perversely if you are not very well off actually your child can have more money than someone with richer parents as you are more likely to obtain an extra state payment as grant. It is a weird new system.

Anyway our children (3 have graduated) I paid £100 a week to but I had been paying school fees so it was not such a bit difference and I paid their fees (so no student loans). They were very lucky. One of them lived at home for the last 1.5 years as could commute - long car journey (hour door to doo) but it worked fine for him and was his preference. That saves costs too. I will hope to do the same for the others. The £100 a week was in addition to my paying their halls of residence fees. Even with that they still got jobs. One worked in a bar (this was Bristol University). Worked in Antigua in the summer (holiday centre job - very nice job if you can get it!). Worked in a riding stables shop etc etc. I think it is good for them to have jobs IF they can get them. Postman too - local shortage of staff in one office as no one wants to work there as there are very tough conditions, 5am starts etc.

ChristmasSocks Wed 01-Jan-14 08:48:25

It is a particularly galling system. Friends DS struggles on the minimum loan plus the little his parents can top him up, but other students from low income families have more money than the can find time to spend. Full grants and loans plus bursaries make well over £10 k. And in several cases, theses kids live with their mum (parents separated) and Dad gives them a healthy allowance / pays for their car etc on top.

It has created a two teir system, and I'm dreading it (and saving.)

meditrina Wed 01-Jan-14 08:52:02

I don't think people know how much accommodation can cost in preferred location, but parental contribution to maintenance grant has been around since 1970s (at least), and amount of grant has been falling from about that time (minimum grant for all being abolished in 1980s). Loans for maintenance long preceded tuition fees.

The student can take on a higher student loan. Or personal finance of some other form. Or can seek part time work (not so easy in many sectors, but things like bar work and babysitting are still around).

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