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Anyone discouraged kids from university in light of tuition fee rises?

(382 Posts)
Officedepot Fri 04-Jan-13 09:14:46

In light of uni fees now being £9k per year (so £27k for three year degree) plus living costs students starting uni now would be coming out with debt over £40k

Anyone actively discouraged kids from going to uni on this basis?

I can understand if they are going to a top uni to study medicine or law etc, but AIBU to suggest if they are going to a rubbish uni to do a pointless degree it should be discouraged.

I have lots of friends who did degrees at second rate unis in random subjects and are still earning a tiny amount in their early 30s.......

MerryMarigold Fri 04-Jan-13 09:20:01

I come from a family where we all have degrees, but am seriously considering not encouraging ds1 in this direction. I would never discourage him if he really wanted it but it does seem a colossal waste of money. He seems more mechanically minded and the amount plumbers or builders earn, I may encourage him a little more in that direction. It would be great to have a plumber in the family! He's only 7 mind you! But yes, I have totally rethought my attitude towards uni and agree with you.

MammaTJ Fri 04-Jan-13 09:20:45

No, not at all. I am encouraging my DD1 to work hard to get there. Even with taking in to account the replayment plan, she will still earn more in her chosen career than she could ever hope to without the degree.

The replayments are not at all unreasonable either.

HollyBerryBush Fri 04-Jan-13 09:21:47

Not come to that bridge yet - but I have made it clear that I won't be funding anything "tinpot" such as landscape gardening or golf course management! (Which wouldnt apply anyway)

Whatdoiknowanyway Fri 04-Jan-13 09:24:26

Mine are both at uni, one in final year on lower fees, one in first paying £9,000.

The youngest has been amazed at the number of people she has met who do not attend lectures, seminars etc. Many of them have the rationale that 'first year doesn't count towards the final degree' so it doesn't matter but some are on their second attempt at first year and don't even have a loan but are paying the full £9k themselves.

This is a Russell Group university with high entry criteria and mainstream courses.

She doesn't understand as she genuinely wants to learn and is loving her course. But why would anyone pay all that money and then fritter the time away?

mentallyscrewed Fri 04-Jan-13 09:25:15

No, never. They don't start repaying til they are earning over a certain limit and then the percentage they pay back is barely noticeable.

So if they never get a job that pays over that threshold then they will never be liable to pay it.

I wouldn't let it put them off doing it now, they may decide in a few years that they wished they had done it when they could.

catgirl1976geesealaying Fri 04-Jan-13 09:25:43

No, not at all (although DS is a long way off yet)

No way would that put me off

If they don't earn a decent wage the don't repay it. Simple. Those 30 year olds on small wages you speak about don't have to repay.

Uni is a great experience. I don't mind what course he does (although I'd like him to do something vocational and the secret pushy-mummy thinks medicine might be nice) but the social side etc is also of great value to me.

Whatdoiknowanyway Fri 04-Jan-13 09:27:15

Oh, also.
Fees are high yes. I went to uni when it was all fully funded and I got a full grant as well. Lucky me.
BUT, income tax lowest rate was 30%. That was for everyone whether they went to university or not.

MerryMarigold Fri 04-Jan-13 09:27:30

I know someone with a PhD in mechanical engineering. He had a very good job. He swapped jobs in his 40's and retrained. He is now a plumber, self employed and earns a lot more! He loves it.

cozietoesie Fri 04-Jan-13 09:27:45

Our extended family are generally allowing all the youngsters to decide what they want to do without hindrance - and privately acknowledging to each other on moonless nights that we all may have to help out some family members who will likely find themselves in difficulty as a result.

It's a great concern but there's no option. I would hate to see one of our youngsters stopped from doing what they want if there's any chance of the extended family being able to afford it in some way. (Individual family members might not be able to which is why I mention the rest.)

Although, like Marigold, I would dearly love to have a qualified plumber in the family!

Trills Fri 04-Jan-13 09:27:46

You only pay back this "debt" at a rate of 9% of what you earn over £21k.

Nobody will ever chase you for it. There will never be baliffs at the door.

Lifeisontheup Fri 04-Jan-13 09:29:51

I didn't get a degree(dropped out after my first term) and all through my career certain jobs have always been for graduates only. Am now doing an OU degree to enable me to progress so I would always encourage mine to go to uni.
The loan is only repayable when earning a certain amount and is written off if not paid back within 25 years. Also it doesn't count on your credit rating.

cozietoesie Fri 04-Jan-13 09:30:55

Trouble is that loans can't cover the whole costs.

catgirl1976geesealaying Fri 04-Jan-13 09:32:00

Nothing has ever covered the whole cost

So there is no change there

mentallyscrewed Fri 04-Jan-13 09:32:24,6678490&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

Sorry dont know how to link properly from my phone

SugarplumMary Fri 04-Jan-13 09:32:44

Parents in our area have been doing this for a while - can't say they are always wrong as the DC I've seen this done to have done well in their careers.

The area also has many adults who study degrees later in life as their careers started to demand degrees to progress – done with a mixture of few years out, OU or part time at nearest Universities.

malinois Fri 04-Jan-13 09:32:45

@merry: Engineering (in all it's forms) is a highly-respected academic subject, offered by all the top universities. It also leads to extremely well paying careers.

@holly: you should see what self-employed landscape gardeners make! It's a perfectly respectable agricultural college course - although it's usually a diploma not a degree. There's nothing wrong with vocational courses, and I suspect the average landscape gardener or golf course manager makes a hell of a lot more than the average Eng Lit graduate.

I would never discourage DS from going to university, however I will be giving quite, ahem, forceful guidance on A-level/IB subject choice, and degree choice.

LeggyBlondeNE Fri 04-Jan-13 09:33:33

As others have said, if it doesn't lead to a well paying job they won't pay back the fees (though if they run up credit cards and overdrafts on top of loans then those will need paying back! I was bloody careful at uni to be frugal and work in the holidays to make sure I graduated with just my loans!)

Which of course is great for people doing low paying degree-requiring jobs too, like archaeology, who under the new scheme will pay less than under the old scheme despite the higher headline fees.

If a young person is suited to academic study and will make the most of the social and academic advantages to university then the fees should be irrelevant - an investment for the future at most.

If they're not academic and/or have a strong drive towards a career which can be accessed via another route (like plumbing, architecture - which can be done on-the-job, even accountancy) then there's no point going to uni.

Chopchopbusybusy Fri 04-Jan-13 09:33:55

DD is applying at the moment. I have always made it clear to her that not all universities or degrees are equal. She's made some good choices which I'm very happy with.
I'm not happy about the whole system though. I believe many potential students will be frightened off by the fees. I also think it's unfair that my DD will only be able to apply for the minimum maintenance loan because of her parents income. It is a loan after all, not a grant. Why the assumption that we will make up the shortfall? Her sister will potentially follow so we will have two students to fund for two years.

SugarplumMary Fri 04-Jan-13 09:34:16

The word debt - seems to be enough to put many parents off in this area though its not an area big on education anyway.

I'm not sure how many look at the finer points of this type of 'debt'.

Trills Fri 04-Jan-13 09:34:56

I think there is a lot of scaremongering about "thousands of pounds of debt" (not on this thread but in general).

A friend's little sister was saying she felt worried about the amount of debt that she is getting into, before I reminded her that in her first jobs she will be better off in those early years after university than those of us who paid lower fees, because our repayments started at £15k.

Earn £15k - I pay nothing, she pays nothing
Earn £20k - I pay £450 (9% of 5k), she pays nothing
Earn £25k - I pay £900 (9% of 10k), she pays £360 (9% of 4k)
Earn £30k - I pay £1350 (9% of 15k), she pays £810 (9% of 9k)

Looking at those numbers it's clear why I haven't paid my student loan off yet...

Students with higher loans will pay for longer, and pay more in total, but they will pay less per month/year because the threshold is higher, so it will be less of a burden on them in the early post-university years when you think you are rich and then discover that your salary doesn't really go very far.

Dawndonna Fri 04-Jan-13 09:35:12

Two of mine will be going. However, I there is not one mp that went to uni who had to pay fees. I am anti fees. 30% tax; yes, we had a decent health service, a better funded education service etc. Can't have it all ways, unfortunately people can't see that paying a bit more each month enables all in the long term.

Greythorne Fri 04-Jan-13 09:36:06

If my child is academically minded, applies the self and has a desire to go to uni, I will encourage them to go, whatever the cost.

If they are undecided about their future, using uni as a stopgap, or going to uni to do a course which I consider pointless (media studies or leisure management), I will try to deter them.

Dawndonna Fri 04-Jan-13 09:38:15

9% of 30k is just under 3,000. not 1350.

mrsjay Fri 04-Jan-13 09:38:22

She doesn't understand as she genuinely wants to learn and is loving her course. But why would anyone pay all that money and then fritter the time away?

Imo they are the ones who are expected to go to uni and have the experience of university life, I live in a country with free uni fees places are like hens teeth and a few young people I know throw away free education by not going and then chucking it all in <rolls eyes>

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