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Paying for dc at university - really panicking!

(75 Posts)
slowlysloth Wed 13-Jun-18 12:59:22

How much would it be reasonable to imagine dd could earn from a part time job when she goes to Uni in Oct?
I am looking at our family budget and trying to work out what to do. DS1 is already at uni and dd is going in Oct. Both get minimum maintenance loans only , which in neither case quite covers the rent. DS is at uni which doesn't allow students to work in term time so we have been supporting him for the last 2 years. However this has meant both myself and dh taking on lots of extra work on top of full time jobs and we are both exhausted and my mental health has really suffered. I'm not sure this sustainable longer term. Although obviously next year we will have 2 dc at uni to pay for. we also have younger children and the stress of all this is really making me unwell.
DD is planning to get a part time job when she goes to Uni, but I am still unsure how much we will need to contribute. Her loan will leave her about £1000 short of her annual rent to start with.

Anyone with dc at uni who work part time - if they get minimum loan how much extra do you contribute? How much do your dc reasonably manage to work and keep up with their studies?

(and yes, for many various reasons we have not been able to save as much as we should have for these years ahead, and yes that was stupid - so telling me I should have planned ahead and saved wont help!)

Stephisaur Wed 13-Jun-18 13:05:27

I got minimum maintenance loan (although my parents were able to pay my rent so that was my general living money) when I was at Uni.

I worked while I was in my second year, for minimum wage. I worked 3-4 8h shifts a week around my studies and I mostly managed ok. I was earning around £150-£200 a week I would say, but the hours were killer. I would have lectures in the morning, then get changed and drive the 40 minutes to work for my 8 hour shift. Then, I would get home around midnight.

The loans are income assessed. Are you sure DC aren't eligible for a maintenance grant on top of the loan? DH qualified for one and it didn't have to be paid back.

HorsesDogsNails Wed 13-Jun-18 13:08:18

DS1 is at Uni on the minimum maintenance loan. We pay his rent and he has the loan to live on. He also works at McDonalds whenever he's home to top up his 'living' fund, he prefers to works 4/5 shifts a week during holidays to doing 2 shifts a week all year round...

He's coping well at the moment!


StruggsToFunc Wed 13-Jun-18 13:08:55

I would suggest that DS needs to get a vacation job. I also went to a university which didn't allow term time jobs but because it was prestigious I had no trouble finding temping work over the vacations, especially in the summer.

emsiewill Wed 13-Jun-18 13:11:14

I have one dd at uni - going into her second year in September. She gets minimum maintenance loan as well. Last year her accommodation cost about £300 more than her loan, so we had to cover that.

The "formula" for parental contribution, which is never explained (see many rants by Moneysaving Expert Martin Lewis) is that parents are meant to cover the difference between the minimum and maximum loan values, which for the last year was roughly £3,000. Divided by the number of weeks in the uni year, which is around 42, that gives an amount of £70ish per week that parents are meant to find - so about £280ish per month.

We've been giving dd £60 per week for the last year - I think I used the above formula and then deducted the extra we would have to find to cover accommodation. I figure that is enough to live on - food, clothes, basics (all bills covered as she was in halls).

Dd has a part time job working in a cinema, from which she earns about £200 per month. I see that as money she then has for extras - nights out, holidays, anything that is above and beyond the basics. She seems to cope well with her studies as well as working, but does really do the minimum amount of shifts (12 hours per week I think) - she could do more if she wanted, but this is what works for her.

It works for us. Dd1 was also in uni for a short amount of time, and we did the same for her (she also worked at the cinema but did more hours than dd2 does, which she now regrets as she feels she missed out on social stuff) - she dropped out, so we've never had 2 of them to find the money for at the same time, for which I am very grateful. Even though we are above the minimum household income to get any help, we don't have loads of spare cash & paying out over £500 per month to the two of them would have been difficult.

BareGrylls Wed 13-Jun-18 13:13:56

Have you given your income details? Only those whose parents income is over £62k get minimum loan. If you are on a low income they can get up to £8700 in living expenses loan.

beepsheep Wed 13-Jun-18 13:14:31

Which universities don't allow students to work part-time?

DelurkingAJ Wed 13-Jun-18 13:18:29

Cambridge didn’t allow working in term when I was there. 8 week terms and Saturday lectures (I had labs three days plus a week, 10 hours of lecture, 4 hours of supervisions and a half day of work for each of those).

There were LOTS of hardship funds available and my rent was term time only.

StruggsToFunc Wed 13-Jun-18 13:24:57

Which universities don't allow students to work part-time?

Standard at Oxford and Cambridge - as Delurking says the terms are short and very intense.

slowlysloth Wed 13-Jun-18 13:27:36

thanks for all the replies
sorry, I should have said ds1 does have a paid internship for this summer, and so our contribution will decrease a bit for him next year, however it isn't massively well paid and is only for 8 weeks. and yes, he is at Cambridge, which actually in terms of accommodation costs is one of the cheapest unis! To be fair to him he does work (study) incredibly hard, and yes he also has lectures on a Saturday!
and yes, with mine and dh incomes our household income is over the amount for any additional loan. sadly however we also have lots of debt (for long complicated reasons) and other dc and so we are really stretched in terms if actual disposable income.

slowlysloth Wed 13-Jun-18 13:29:03

also re the hardship funds, again on paper our household income would probably be above the threshold for those. DS did get a small (£50 a term) scholarship for this year for doing well in end of year exams last year though.

slowlysloth Wed 13-Jun-18 13:34:05

emsie yes, I have looked at that website and calculator. I suppose that is the problem! There is no way we could manage to find £500+ a month at the moment!!

genehuntswife Wed 13-Jun-18 13:34:44

Unfortunately Bear grylls the maintanance loan goes down in increments from 26 k of family income.

fruitcider Wed 13-Jun-18 13:38:38

I was a student nurse and did 12 hour Sunday shifts at £17 an hour as band 3 HCA- one a fortnight on placement gave me £408 a month before tax.

slowlysloth Wed 13-Jun-18 13:45:22

wow fruit that was good. Sadly dd has no qualifications and no experience so is unlikely to get anything that well paid.

slowlysloth Wed 13-Jun-18 13:50:03

I've even started looking at rental properties and thinking of selling the house. This would at least let us pay off some debt even though monthly rent would probably me as much if not more than current mortgage. But that is such a drastic way forwards.
DD2 is likely to want to go to Uni in 2 years as well, so this is likely ot be a long term problem for us.sigh.

CountingToThree Wed 13-Jun-18 13:57:25

It's worth your DD looking into what qualifications she can get which would help her earn more than minimum wage, and maybe relevant skills for the future.

I did a touch typing course and decent IT skills and did lots of admin temping jobs through uni with reasonable pay levels. This meant only office hours so kept evenings & weekends free for -drinking & partying- studying. Gave me lots of office experience for future jobs and experience in working in lots of different type of offices & industries.

Also gives the option of temping near home through the holidays.

CountingToThree Wed 13-Jun-18 13:59:43

Even in 2000 I was earning about £200 a month for about 10hours a week

StruggsToFunc Wed 13-Jun-18 13:59:46

Do get DS to go and see the bursar before the end of term on Friday. Lots of colleges have very generous funds and you might be surprised at how much he could access, especially if he's going into his final year.

DelurkingAJ Wed 13-Jun-18 14:01:30

And DS’ college may have some really random funds ‘for children of the clergy’ and the like which aren’t means tested.

thesandwich Wed 13-Jun-18 14:08:27

Could your dc do on line tutoring in their subjects? Well paid. And good for cvs.
Sounds like you could do with a complete finance review- could you remortgage?

Dumbledoresgirl Wed 13-Jun-18 14:11:08

Why can't you explain to your dc that they need to work in the holidays to help pay for their costs? We make up the difference between loan and rent, and then pay £50 a week on top for food, other expenses. It isn't a lot, but it is all we can afford and our children are fortunately not big spenders. We have various funds for various expenditures, but the university fund is always our top priority, and when we manage to save a bit, that is where the money goes. My children contribute nothing, which is fine, but i have always thought that a decent holiday job in the summer would probably net the vast majority of that £50 a week we are paying term time. I can understand them not wanting to have a paid job during term time, but i really can't see what is preventing them finding work in the summer.

BareGrylls Wed 13-Jun-18 14:16:43

Shorter terms mean longer holidays. Perhaps more scope for work during the long holidays? I have two at university and they get £6k in loan because of our income so we top it up to the maximum. Neither have worked at uni due to nature of course but both have found casual work at home that they can pick up over the summer and sometimes at Easter. Some of their friends had jobs with national stores (Tesco, subway etc) which were transferred to the uni town.

I would have thought hardship funds are intended for poorer families?

mygrandchildrenrock Wed 13-Jun-18 14:22:09

One of my sons is at the end of his second year. He gets the minimum maintenance loan which exactly covers his rent. We pay his meal card, which is £100 per month (very subsidised halls), his phone (£10 a month) send him back with toiletries etc. for the term and give him money for books as and when. We buy all his clothes and he manages without a job, his uni doesn't allow students to have part time work during term times.

fruitcider Wed 13-Jun-18 14:31:51

OP nhs band 2 is £15.50 an hour on a Sunday and will be going up shortly, she would have to complete an induction but otherwise there's usually no experience required x

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