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To get increasingly annoyed at the mention of 'Uni funds' on here?

(131 Posts)
WincyWillis Wed 03-Oct-12 15:03:22

Am I?

Not a thread about a thread as such but I've seen it mentioned several times on here recently, in an "Everybody must start a uni fund for their child or they're a terrible parent" way. Firstly, not everyone's children want to or have the ability to got Uni. Secondly, many people don't have any spare money at the end of each month and can barely cover bills, let alone save towards a Uni fund. Also, it's perfectly possible for a child to fund his/herself through Uni, as my friend's 3 teenage children are currently doing. There is no need for Mummy and Daddy to have a Uni fund.

And the phrase makes my teeth itch!

SCOTCHandWRY Thu 04-Oct-12 18:03:05

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Thu 04-Oct-12 17:20:11

Like you, we assumed the living cost loan would be available to all students, and didn't find out until we actually applied for it after DS1 had his Uni place... and I know other parents who were caught out the same way.

DS1 course is 6 years even though it's an English Uni, DS2's is 5 years (Scottish uni)... that's a long time to be paying out.

Obviously it will improve a bit next year as Scottish minimum loan increases... but still there is a big funding gap to plug.

SCOTCHandWRY Thu 04-Oct-12 17:47:18

adeucalione Thu 04-Oct-12 16:38:40
ScotchandWry -

*Actually you need a household income of over £62.5k before you are only entitled to the minimum loan (of £3575 pa*).

blush you are right about the £62.5k (well, £61k here in Scotland), don't know why I fixated on 35K, I think that might be where the loan starts to get reduced here (Scotland).

I am greatly vexed over the whole thing as I currently have 2 DS at Uni (on 5 year and 6year long courses!), and each can get only £940 per year (Scottish as I said up-thread). £940 each... Halls are roughly £4.5k per son.

We are giving them a bare minimum, frugal amount to live on... that still adds up to £6000per DS, per year, a scary amount especially with DS3 due to start in a couple of years... we will be funding 3 for 2 years shock

DontmindifIdo Thu 04-Oct-12 17:43:43

ICBINEG - as I said, might not be the same situation by the time DS goes, plus at £4k per year for hall fees, then needing money to actually live on for 3 years (just how little do you think you could live on?) it's a lot to find for most parents at short notice, or a lot of debt for a young person to take on. Remember, this is on top of the £9k a year debt from fees alone... (and the argument that you could live at home with parents only works for people who's parents have had the foresight to live in commuting distance of a university that will actually take you.)

halloweeneyqueeney Thu 04-Oct-12 17:40:50

"It's just such a first-world, middle-class phrase. I would imagine that those that have a Uni Fund will also be putting huge pressure on their children to attend Uni, which I think is unfair"

rubbish most people say the "uni fund" will go towards driving lessons/first car/first flat etc if not used for uni

its a good thing to do if you can, what's the problem OP? is it because you CAN'T at the moment (neither can I but I don't get annoyed at it, its in the long term plan) or what?

Or possibly from the Latin - my memory is failing me. blush

"Omnibus - from the Greek, meaning to or for, by, with, or from everybody - which I think is very appropriate, actually" - Flanders and Swan.

I agree with Don'tMind

I am doubtful that the system is going suddenly get more generous in funding students I suspect it might get less so. My oldest child in 9 and I started saving relatively small amounts several years ago. If they don't go on to higher education then it may help them to get a start in life in another way or it may go to fund DH & I being able to retire a year or two earlier.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Thu 04-Oct-12 17:36:52

The alternative to the "University fund" is the student working throughout university to make up the shortfall. The bottom line is that most students can't borrow the whole amount needed for living expenses at unviersity and so have to naje the shortfall somehow.

My view is that those who have to work just to eat and live are disadvantaged, so what parent would not pay if they were able to. I

I wish we could send less and fund them properly.

complexnumber Thu 04-Oct-12 17:35:05

What happened to 'invitation', quotation' and 'advertisement'? If people offer me a quote, I say, "No, I'd prefer to have a quotation." Younger people don't even know that they are short versions of the correct words. <returns to Pedants' Corner>

Do you still get on an omnibus?

Fishwife1949 Thu 04-Oct-12 17:26:45

I think most dont want there kids to be in debt and the laon only covers the course you might need to pay for housing and some cousres need alot of equipment

porcamiseria Thu 04-Oct-12 17:20:52


BUT, I really want my kids to go Uni

an earn shit loads of money afterwards

I am not a huge fan of the word 'uni' - but I damn well wish that we had started a savings plan for the boys when they were little. I foolishly assumed that the land wouldn't be means tested, and we only found out a year ago that our dses would only get the minimum maintenance loan, so we would have to find £48K+ to cover their university maintenance. Oh, and as ds1 has just started at university, we had a year to sort this out.

The rules here in Scotland change next year, and they will get a minimum loan of £4.5K per year - this doesn't make things really any easier - it just means that there will no longer be a point where there is nothing in the account to give the dses. Oh, and ds2 has broken it to us that degrees in Scotland are mostly 4 years long - so that is an extra £4.5K we will have to find for him, and for ds3 if he goes to a Scottish university, as he is currently planning. Then a second bombshell - the course that ds2wants to do is actually 5 years long - meaning an extra £13.5K in total that we will have to find over the next 6 years.

ICBINEG Thu 04-Oct-12 17:20:05

erm sorry perhaps I misunderstood, I thought a uni fund was intended to pay tuition fees when the time came...

if so then by all means save the money but don't actually pay the fees...coz that would be a big financial mistake....

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 04-Oct-12 17:09:52

Saving early means that the wonders of compound interest work for you. I know interest rates are in the toilet right now but who knows what will happen?Uni funds (agree it's a crappy phrase) are like condoms. I'd rather have one and not need it than need one and not have it.

DontmindifIdo Thu 04-Oct-12 17:03:48

Fishwife - agree - if you start when they are babies, the percentage of your monthly income you have to set aside is far less and therefore less painful to find than if you start when they are 13. I see no reason to tell DS i've got a uni fund before he's at an age to start thinking about it.

Fishwife1949 Thu 04-Oct-12 16:43:05

WincyWillis but thats mad how can you know at 1 or 2 years old which is when most start saveing if they will go to uni or not

I started a savings account for my child from birth for uni but now at 13 i cann see its not going that route so it might be for wedding or car or deposit on flat(chance will be a fine thing) but there was no way for me to tell at 1 years old and if i hadnt saved and he turned out to be a savont then i would be fucked

adeucalione Thu 04-Oct-12 16:38:40

ScotchandWry -

Actually you need a household income of over £62.5k before you are only entitled to the minimum loan (of £3575 pa).

Anyone with a household income of £35k would be entitled to £6216 in maintenance loans and grants.

The maximum entitlement (household income less than £25k) is £7125.

The average cost of halls of residence is £4035 whilst the average cost of a room in a student flatshare is £345pm.

DontmindifIdo Thu 04-Oct-12 16:30:08

OldCatLady - at the moment, that is the situation, however, DS is preschool. Since I went to university, fees have come in at £1k pa which we were assured at the time they would only rise with inflation, and maintenance grants have gone. The loans have changed from flat amounts anyone can borrow, that had to be paid back regardless of what you earned (only the speed you paid it back varied), now fees have gone up to £9k, loans will depend on what your parents earn and how much you pay back will depend on what you earn. That has all happened in less than 20 years.

It will be over 15 years before DS goes to uni (if he goes)- I really can't make financial decisions now on the assumption this most recent change is the final one. If your DC are going to uni next year, then the advise not to pay upfront might be a good one, but if your DCs are going any later than that, it doesn't follow that the system will be the same.

I am fairly certain one way or another way, it will be more expensive when DS goes to uni. It might be the case he can borrow all the money needed for fees and living costs, it might be the case that those loans can be paid back in a flexible way that doesn't put a massive strain on his ability to save for a home of his own/live comfortably on his wage though his 20/30s. However it might not. If we start to save now, then if we are pleasently surprised by the system when he gets to 18/19, then I'll buy a shed load of designer handbags and shoes with the money... I just have a horrible feeling I'm going to continue to tote round ugly cheap old handbags in my 50s and there's going to be a lot of young adults who will be limited in their uni choices by the size of the fund the parents have or don't have for them.

wordfactory Thu 04-Oct-12 16:18:13

My view on course fees is that the cash is better off in my pocket for the three year duration (and perhaps a few years thereafter if DC go travelling or continue in education).

Paying up front when you don't need to, seems silly, whilst there are no downsides to repayment in the future.

However, loans for course fees won't put a roof over your DC's heads. Or clothe and feed them. This cash has to come from somewhere.

SCOTCHandWRY Thu 04-Oct-12 16:12:50

Thu 04-Oct-12 13:23:27
jeffing hell...

thanks for the money saving expert links guys!

I just spent an increasingly alarming 10 minutes learning that paying your kids uni fees up front is a TERRIBLE financial idea....

I'm not sure what you mean by this? If you mean course fee loans (typically £9000pa), that's not what most people on here are talking about... it's Maintinence loans, as these are means tested.

All students can get coarse fee loans (though in the future, who knows what will happen?).
House hold income above a certain limit (around £35k), means minimum loan only, and it won't even cover the cost of halls... parents are expected to contribute the rest of the living costs - it;s not a case of wanting to pay instead of borrowing the money, parents are HAVING to pay!

OldCatLady Thu 04-Oct-12 15:00:17

By the way I'm not saying 'you must not save for their future' I'm just saying you don't need to if you don't want to/can't afford it

OldCatLady Thu 04-Oct-12 14:59:24

What a load of crap!!

My parents earned over the threshold so I got the absolute minimum loans, but they will always cover your FULL tuition fees, and get up to a certain amount for housing which depends where you are, and the uni will help you find housing within your budget. I had absolutely no help from my parents, and had to get a part time job to pay for food, expenses etc. And you know what, it really pisses me off that your parents are 'expected' to help if they earn over a certain amount when number of dependants, mortgage, bills, debt etc is not taken into account. But if you're poor enough you get money GIVEN to you (not a loan) by the government which means you don't even need to get a job.

ReallyTired Thu 04-Oct-12 14:23:02

If my children don't want to go to uni then maybe they will want a desposit for a house or a car. We put by £50 per month for each of our two children. I hope it will pay for the parental contribution. It won't be a fortune at 18, but I hope it helps them.

Whats wrong with a bit of forward financial planning?

LesleyPumpshaft Thu 04-Oct-12 14:17:27

Single parents should be saving maintenance towards a Uni Fund

Hmm, because all single parents actually get maintenance don't they. hmm

maddening Thu 04-Oct-12 13:52:00

Of course we should though but in reality we SHOULD be doing lots of things that aren't always possible - money saved for retirement, money saved for ill health/periods of unemployment, getting fit etc where life gets in the way.

It is hard to gauge what education and health system we will have in 20 years and I doubt there will be any state pension etc

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