how do i afford university for dc? I have nothign spare? can they support themselves?

(36 Posts)

that's it really.
if we get help for being low earners , that is to cover their living expenses? do they work?

it can't be that only those that can afford it have children who go to university?

JakeBullet Sun 13-Jul-14 08:21:35

Most working class students have to work their way through Uni to oay extra bills etc.
if you are in a low income then they will be eligible for student loans etc to oay for accommodation, tuition fees etc. Nearly all students will also have part time work as well.
My niece worked for an Apple store all the way through her degree.

MrsBungle Sun 13-Jul-14 08:24:54

I worked the entire way through my degree. My mum could never have afforded to pay my rent and living expenses.

BellaOfTheBalls Sun 13-Jul-14 08:27:17

When I went to university, my mum was a single parent and self-employed. Now obviously this was 10 years ago and things have changed since then but it is possible. I was on a full loan (approx £4k a year), paid no tuition fees due to income bracket (I know this isn't always the case now), and worked 8-16 hours a week term time to support myself. In the holidays I worked full time and took a waitressing job in the evenings. My mum contributed as and when she could. £200 here to help towards my rent, £50 there for food.

I had a big overdraft and credit card, but these were on very low interest rates and I paid them off couple of years after I graduated. Plus I wasn't exactly living the poor student lifestyle; new clothes at least once a month, out 3 times a week etc.

Do some research, look at rent prices around where your DC wants to go, check out what you would get in terms of loan/support etc.

Dyrne Sun 13-Jul-14 08:28:07

I worked 15-20 hour a week during university. Between that and my loan, I managed to pay rent, bills, food, beer, and do a relatively expensive hobby. Didn't get a grant but I imagine I would have been able to cut my hours back?

Don't be put off by the high tuition fees - you don't have to pay them back till you're earning 25K and it's taken as a percentage of your salary much like NI, tax and pension. I went when fees were still £3K a year but I'll be paying off the loan most of my working life - I just budget accordingly for the £100 or so less a month I get - just like when I started my pension.

Most universities have hardship grants or similar you can apply for and they're desperate to give them away - if you time it right, they have a surplus and they give it away to anybody - I know a couple of people who paid for a university trip to Belize partially through hardship grants!

University is still affordable as long as you budget carefully, and are prepared to live in a shared house that may not be the best, but at least is cheap!

Redhead11 Sun 13-Jul-14 08:29:03

My DD works 20 hours per week and is about to take a course that will give her a second income on the weekends. I think it is crazy that if she had decided to do a crappy college course instead of going to uni, I would have got monetary help from the government. Because she is going to uni, i get almost nothing. If they really want people from poorer homes to go to uni, they should be providing more help and support. there, soap box rant over with for the morning!

Timeforabiscuit Sun 13-Jul-14 08:29:07

A combination of student loans, bank loans and part time work help to cover the fees and living costs.

What I would say is try and make sure that your kids are financially savvy before they go, show them how to draw up a budget, monitor what they are spending, how to make cheap meals etc

Both me and now DH were in exactly the same financial position at uni (we didn't have any) but DH had never dealt with a lump sum of money and had no idea how to spread it - so quickly spent it on all the things he'd never had before.

thanks for the marvellous responses.
i hear stories from people who, pay their dc's rent, send them regular money, etc etc. it makes me really worried,

so basically, if they want it, they have to work for it, and we can contribute what we can, that is a relief.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sun 13-Jul-14 08:36:01

I worked part time at Mothercare and lived at home and went to the local uni.

melissa83 Sun 13-Jul-14 08:36:40

I know of no one in rl who had their rent etc paid. They just worked for it so dont worry.

merlehaggard Sun 13-Jul-14 08:38:18

Others will come on who are in exactly your situation in a minute no doubt but I think the middle income earners (like ourselves) are the worst off. There should be no such thing as "can't afford" university. They are get £9000 pa fees loan that only becomes payable when earning, regardless of parents income. They then get either a maintenance grant or a loan, which the middle earners+ are expected to top up. Everyone is entitled to a minimum of £3.5k regardless of income-but it is a loan. Low earners DC's will not need to pay it back. Low earners DC's will get it in a grant. This will probably pay rent and not much more and will probably will need to work too. Also low earners DC's are able to apply for scholarships etc that others often can't.

See Martin Lewis's website. It is very good.

www.moneysavingexpert.com/students/student-loans-tuition-fees-changes

unrealhousewife Sun 13-Jul-14 08:41:31

You would get a grant of between 5 an 7000 depending on your income. There are a lot of charities that might help and unihomeswap is a way to do an exchange with another student to save on accommodation.

littlesupersparks Sun 13-Jul-14 08:42:32

My parents were/are quite well off but when I went to uni I just had the student loan - it was means tested and I got less because my parents had money but they never topped it up! I lived off that and part time jobs. Yes, I had friends whose parents paid rent, phone bills and a big grocery shop once a term but they were clueless with money.
Part of uni is learning to budget/live frugally I think. Deffo talk to them about budgets etc. I had a part time job in sixth form and saved a lot of that. Some of my friends from school worked full time for a year before going to uni to save xx

unrealhousewife Sun 13-Jul-14 08:44:21

They can always study abroad where it's free, I think in Sweden it's free for British students. They teach in English.

so if by some chance we earn as her parents, less than £25,000 which we do, they get help, if we earn up to £40,000 they still get help,

melissa83 Sun 13-Jul-14 08:47:44

Merle - Low earners children have to pay back the tuition fees and 3.5k but get to keep an extra 3.5k. Who cares though you dont pay it back until your loaded andon 21k a year.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 13-Jul-14 08:48:48

As of today OP, (assuming your DC don't have a job at the moment) all their food, clothes, entertainment, travel etc is paid by you. Is the problem that this is money from child benefit and WTC which will be gone when they turn 18?

Just trying to clarify, because sometimes people say they don't have any free money to support their DC at university (assuming maintenance loan/grant goes on rent) when they've been happily supporting them at home on the same budget - but obviously if that money came from benefits which will now disappear then you really don't have it to spare.

But yes, read the Martin Lewis link and it will all become clear. Children of genuinely broke parents often find it easier in practice than those with slightly richer ones - this is a deliberate aim of the system for understandable reasons.

melissa83 Sun 13-Jul-14 08:54:26

A few years ago when I went I got 1k of the loan and 1k grant per term and then worked. I had enough money for everything as thats like a whole 6k I got and my wages. I know a lot of my friends work full time around degrees like teaching if you just do night, evening or unsociable hours shifts.

merlehaggard Sun 13-Jul-14 08:56:02

melissa83 so will the maintenance grant very low earners DCs will get £7000 but pay back only £3.5 as a loan and v high earners DCs will get £3.5k loan and their parents will have to pay the extra? My daughter is at uni but we are middle earners and top up £4.5k approx loan with £70 pw.

PiratePanda Sun 13-Jul-14 08:56:51

If your family income is less than £25K your DC should be eligible for a decent maintenance grant. There are also lots of bursaries for students from low income families as well as hardship grants. And IME (I'm a lecturer) most students also work PT (summer, term-time or both) and live in shared housing to keep costs low. It's actually worse for parents who earn just over £40K whose DC are not eligible for any maintenance but they still can't afford to cover their uni costs.

My suggestion would be to choose a university in a city with cheaper rents and lots of PT work (e.g. Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham) or - seriously - if your DCs are predicted A*AA Oxbridge. College rents are really cheap in comparison with most universities, and there is loads of bursary money sloshing around. It's probably cheaper to go to Oxford or Cambridge as a low income student than virtually anywhere else in the country.

melissa83 Sun 13-Jul-14 09:00:36

Yeah thats it so I owe something like 9k fees and 10.5k living loan for the 3 years but you dont pay it back until your on a very high wage. It used to be 17k but now its 21k so if you if you are on that kind of wage you will hardly notice it going out.

Redhead11 Sun 13-Jul-14 09:05:51

I forgot to say that because we are in Scotland, the fees are paid for us. DD gets a bursary and takes out the maximum student loan. Between that and her wages, she has basically supported herself over the last year. I have helped out with shopping and extra cash where possible. XH doesn't contribute a penny and lives abroad, so chasing him for it is beyond my means.

well i struggle currently to support her sad as I said, nothign spare, she works, I do pay for her gym and swimming but she pays for everythign else. top of that - DS who has been retaking ad infinitum may well go to university at the same time, so it will be like having twins.

noddyholder Sun 13-Jul-14 09:11:34

If you earn under a certain amount there is extra help and it is possible to manage with good budgeting and maybe a pt job if the course allows. I notice most of ds mates just work in the holidays when home. Banks give interest free overdraft and also a friend of my ds who is staying with us ATM gets vouchers from local authority for the canteen and he eats a really good meal there daily. My ds was terrible with money last year and has been working out how to shop cheaper and I have introduced him to the delights of aldi

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 13-Jul-14 09:46:52

That does sound tough slarty, but take heart, read the Martin Lewis link and listen carefully to Pirate's advice about researching and picking universities with decent public transport (or walkability), lower rents and a chance of part time employment - that's still going to leave them lots of choice. Make the DCs avoid anywhere with no jobs, high rents and geography that means you need a car. They should be fine using the funds available to them without you needing to top up anything more than the occasional tenner.

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