How much financial support do you give your DCs at uni?

(113 Posts)
Tigerblue Tue 04-Oct-16 14:28:59

Just thinking ahead here, but just wondered how much financial support others give their children at uni? We have a friend who pays for DD's accommodation but not sure we could ever stretch that far. We've saved a bit here and there, but I'm now thinking we seriously need to start saving more as DD will be going in two years time.

janinlondon Tue 04-Oct-16 14:43:01

There's an excellent summary here of what the govt expects parents to contribute......

kath6144 Tue 04-Oct-16 19:22:37

Have a look at the table below, Op, it gives the amount of loan they get for different household incomes.

The difference in the loan they get and max loan (8k ish) is generally what parents are expected to contribute.

www.ucas.com/connect/blogs/changes-maintenance-grants-and-loans

stonecircle Tue 04-Oct-16 20:05:17

We pay ds's rent and he lives off his (minimum) loan, but we are at a point in our lives where we can afford to be generous. And I feel that is generous.

BennyTheBall Tue 04-Oct-16 20:08:57

We pay the rent (£500 per month) and he lives off the maintenance loan - he only qualified for the minimum.

We also pay phone and paid his bus for the year (£250). We will also pay for his field trips. He's doing geography so these seem to be prolific and wedgy.

It's an expensive business! I am glad we didn't have them closer together.

kath6144 Tue 04-Oct-16 20:51:30

Op - you say but not sure we could ever stretch that far. - but the problem is, if you earn enough that your DC only gets minimum loan, or close to minimum, you will have no choice but to help, or make them work through 6th form and at uni (if they can get a transferrable job and their uni course allows time for a job).

We are in same position as previous posters, DS gets minimum loan, it doesnt even cover the accomodation cost. We are topping the loan up for halls fees (approx 1400 for the year) and then give him a monthly maintenance allowance. Effectively same as PP are doing, but a slightly different way.

DS had a retail job for past 18mths, managed to save a lot, did overtime etc, but not enough to live on without our contribution. He keen to get another job, but his course is a science, so pretty busy with labs etc and if we couldnt help (eg v high mortgage, lots other kids), he would struggle to earn enough to match our contributions. Fortunately we are also at stage of life where we can help (and only 1 other DC at home.)

I am sure you are not alone in not realising how much you may need to contribute. My colleague's eldest goes in 3yrs, both she and her DH have professional jobs, but having heard me mention the contribution needed by us, she is now panicking!! I obviously dont know her financial circumstances, but from knowing hers & her DH's occupations, I am guessing their joint salaries will mean they will need to contribute significantly.

kath6144 Tue 04-Oct-16 20:54:51

And when I say 1400 for the year - thats the amount of our top-up for halls, not total halls fees!

Myredrose Tue 04-Oct-16 20:56:26

We pay the rent- 7k per annum, dd gets the maintainence loan to live off.

buckingfrolicks Tue 04-Oct-16 20:58:27

Accommodation and 500 a month living expenses. twins. Fucking ruinously expensive. But we saved and are financially fine so well aware, as are the DCs, how fortunate they are. We tell them we expect it all back in kind when we're old and penniless. grin

raspberryrippleicecream Tue 04-Oct-16 21:05:08

DS1 has just gone, his accommodation is comparatively cheap this year, just over £4k self catering, shared bathroom. We have made his loan up to £8k this year, but in reslity are hoping he won't use it all this year, as accommodation will be more expensive next year. DS will also gather in 4k worth of scholarship and bursaries, most of which is because of his A level grades, some of it is income based. All unis are different, but these are worth bearing in mind!

furlinedsheepskinjacket Tue 04-Oct-16 21:28:24

both my dcs go to local unis so i don't contribute

travel costs are paid by part time jobs

dd qualified for max loan in first year and grant for attending local uni so borrowed that and has saved it

TheFairyCaravan Tue 04-Oct-16 21:32:22

We pay his phone, his bus pass, insurance and buy his food every week.

If he need books I usually buy them, or if he needs nursing equipment we buy it if we can.

We're meant to pay £1700 a year according to the NHS bursary people. It probably works out more than that.

Our son, also, has a part time job which he got 3 weeks after starting uni last year.

PUGaLUGS Tue 04-Oct-16 22:00:41

DS in his second year now.

First year his maintainance loan came to us (comes in three lots) we used this for accommodation but we had to top it up every time as we received the minimum. We gave him £60 a week to live off plus when we moved him into his accommodation we stocked him up with loo roll, toiletries, dishwasher/laundry tablets and non perishables. I also stocked his freezer with home cooked stuff three times - when he first moved in, after the Xmas holiday and after Easter.

This year he moved into his house share beg of July, we paid rent for July, Aug and Sept on top of giving him £60 a week. His maintainance loan has gone to him this time and he received it around the 12th Sept, we topped it up by £100 so he has enough for four months rent. As and when his bills come in I put his share in his account.

zizza Tue 04-Oct-16 22:18:09

We pay accommodation which (with 2 at uni, one doing a 5 year course), is a struggle but we're fortunate that is just about doable. And accommodation costs gave gone down as they've moved out of new-ish halls and into cheaper houses, particularly this year. They only qualify for the minimum loan but they manage fine on that (we also pay their phone contacts but they're only £8 a month, and I sometimes buy food when they go back) but they don't have expensive tastes. One's a vet student so earning extra money herself is pretty unfeasible, the other gets paid work occasionally when he wants more money!

To give you ideas of accommodation costs - in their 1st years we were paying £450 ish a month each but there were cheaper options available, 2nd years they had private rentals at about £350 and this year were just under that. Roll on graduations!! We'll feel rich

Squirrills Wed 05-Oct-16 09:35:07

janinlondon's link is a good summary.
I have two at uni and we make up their loans roughly to bring them up to the level of the maximum loan available which is £8200 each a year.
This covers everything but they don't have hugely expensive tastes, no big phone contracts for example.They both have part time jobs at home which they can do in holidays but not at uni.

Don't forget also that your living expenses go down at home. I thought there was a big difference when one went but now that DH are on our own the reduction is very noticeable in everything from food, entertainment, laundry, electricity and so on.

zizza Wed 05-Oct-16 13:47:24

Good point about home expenses going down. We definitely notice it with 2 of them away.

And your thinking's along the same as ours, in that we kind of were giving them the amount they would've had if they'd have the full grant/loan

dottygamekeeper Wed 05-Oct-16 14:32:15

My two have just gone off to uni - we are paying their accommodation costs (approx £6k each in halls, this year, single rooms en suite, I am hoping this will reduce next year), and they will use their maintenance loan for everything else, although I pay their phone contracts, only about £8pm each, and did stock them up with a shop when they went.

I am already noticing a huge difference in the food bills at home and over time I am sure I will see a difference in electricity, water, petrol etc.

bigTillyMint Wed 05-Oct-16 14:38:48

This seems so confusing to meblush

So, does the loan (even if it is minimum) plus parental top-up have to cover tuition fees, rent and living expenses?

How much do most people feel students need per year for rent and living expenses outside of London?

almondpudding Wed 05-Oct-16 14:44:11

There is a separate loan for tuition fees.

DS gets 9k for tuition fees a year.

He then gets about 10k in maintenance loan, scholarship and bursary combined.

We don't contribute anything but we buy him various things like clothes, kitchen stuff etc.

ImperialBlether Wed 05-Oct-16 14:45:46

No, tuition fees are separate. The loan is meant to cover all living expenses but in reality usually doesn't even pay the rent.

Having said that, some of my students (I worked in a very poor area) would get full grant and live at home - a couple of them invested their student loan (for living) and paid it off at the end of the three years, keeping the interest.

BackforGood Wed 05-Oct-16 14:55:16

The loan for tuition fees is separate - you never see that.

The loan for living off is based on parents income. Many universities offer burseries for top grades, or being in a national squad at sport, but clearly that is only for few.
Accommodation is getting more and more expensive. In a lot of places it is now private - it's a lot posher than we were ever used to (so they can use it for conferences etc when the students aren't there) but it costs a lot more per week. It's getting harder and harder to find affordable accommodation. I've notices a really big hike looking round this last 6 months with dd, than looking round in 2013 with ds.

ds was fortunate in that his accommodation was amongst the cheapest in the country - £82pw in self catered halls in fist yr, then £80 pw incl al bills in a shared house in 2nd yr. His loan covered this and left him about £60, so obvs we have to give him money for food, etc. (We give him £35 pw). He is responsible for everything (phone, travel outside of us taking and fetching him at beginning and end of term, social life etc.). He's only just (now in his 3rd yr) got a job there, but has always worked a lot of hours in all his holidays which helps pay off his debts subsidise his extravagant living.

What might hit you hard if you have nothing saved is the fact you need to provide a deposit for his accommodation before he moves in, and so forth. It's not the weekly / monthly costs as much - after all, your food bill does go down when a hungry teenager leaves home smile

Peaceandl0ve Wed 05-Oct-16 15:18:28

DD is in england but from Wales so gets £3900 per year tuition fee loan, £5100 tuition fee grant. 5 year couse so just as well.

She gets £1200 in bursaries/grant and £6485 maintenance loan. We top her to the tune of £60 per week. But the course she is on means working to supplement her funds would be a mistake.

bigTillyMint Wed 05-Oct-16 15:21:51

Right, thanks everyone - I get it now!

So would you think students need something like £10-12K a year (however it's made up) to cover rent and living expenses?

Just wondering because DD is hoping to go to uni next year.

BackforGood Wed 05-Oct-16 15:29:16

No, they don't need that much.
ds's loan is about £3700 and we give him about £1300 = £5000

However, it will depends on the accommodation. Most places dd has looked at, the accomm. would cost around £5K, so then 'living' on top of that.

He has then earned probably best part of £2K over the Summer on top of that.

Squirrills Wed 05-Oct-16 15:46:19

bigTillyMint Rent and living costs can still vary a lot outside of London but I think the amount of the maximum possible loan is a fair starting point, ie £8200 a year. So if your income is so high that your DC gets the minimum loan £3500 you are supposed to top up by £4800.

Students from the very poorest families get the maximum of £8200 (from this year).
If your income is higher than the minimum you are expected to make it up but not actually told to.

To quote from the Martyn Lewis link above
"official calculations show that parents are meant to make up the difference, yet they are never told the amount. This causes conflict between students and their parents. It also leaves some students in a dire position. While parents are supposed to contribute, many can’t or don’t, or they see the amount as loose. This leaves some students risking debt or dropping out of university due to cash flow issues.
“It’s about time we had transparency on this. The student loan offer letter should say something akin to ‘Students – your loan for living is £x,xxx a year. This is less than the full loan and we expect your parents to make up at least the £x,xxx difference."

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