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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.......

Trills Fri 04-Jan-13 09:39:38

Dawndona - you don't pay 9% of what you earn, you pay 9% of what you earn over the threshold (just like tax).

beamme Fri 04-Jan-13 09:39:59

I wouldn't discourage but I wold make sure they had a career path in mind. At the end of the day it's their choice. I might encourage a university closer to home to keep costs down, but only if they offered a suitable course.

catgirl1976geesealaying Fri 04-Jan-13 09:40:13

But why would you deter them?

If they get a degree in Media Studies that will still give them a degree qualification

If they never do anything with it so what?

But think of the life experience going to Uni has given them.

Officedepot Fri 04-Jan-13 09:40:23

Yes but £21k not large salary especially in London. Would expect all graduates to earn over21k

Trills Fri 04-Jan-13 09:41:28

The question is not "do all graduates earn over 21k?" - it's "are you more likely to earn over 21k (and how much over) if you have that degree vs if you didn't?"

Chopchopbusybusy Fri 04-Jan-13 09:42:19

I don't understand why people don't see this as debt. It is debt that many will repay in full. DDs course is 4 years. Fees plus minimum maintenance grant will total £50k. With the degree she is taking she will earn good money and so I fully expect her to pay it back in full.

InMySpareTime Fri 04-Jan-13 09:43:56

I take issue with scaremongers adding "living expenses" to student debt figures.
Whether at university or not, the same "living expenses" are incurred, I took a bar job during term time, and worked 3 jobs each holiday to fund my university course, and paid off my student loans within 10 years.
Media scaremongering has done most damage to students from lower income families, who are led to believe they need 9k a year to study. The message about grants for low income students is clearly less newsworthy.

amillionyears Fri 04-Jan-13 09:45:17

All mine have been fortunate to miss the largest fees.

But, please do take account that successive Governements can and may change the repayment rules at any time, as far as I know.

They may initially get a life experience, but they could also be getting another life experience in paying back that debt for the rest of their lives. As may any partner they are with too.

Chopchopbusybusy Fri 04-Jan-13 09:48:25

Inmysparetime, the minimum maintenance grant does not even cover the cost of halls. I will be encouraging my DD to work part time, however she will not be able to cover all her costs. She will have to take a maintenance loan and her father and I will also have to make a considerable contribution.

amillionyears Fri 04-Jan-13 09:48:28

Havent looked at grants lately.
What sums are they nowadays?

Also, if you live at home, your living expenses are not on the whole going to be the same as living away.
Some students now choose to study at a local Uni. But that option is not available to many, who want a specific course.

Muminwestlondon Fri 04-Jan-13 09:49:10

What I didn't realise until recently is that even the amount of loan my DD can get is restricted because DH and I are on relatively high earnings (though with little disposable income). I certainly have encouraged DD to think about courses in London, so that she can live at home at least for part of the time. It is a shame as I think living away from home is part of the experience. We would really struggle to fund day to day subsistence costs and I doubt she would be able to fund it herself via a part time job. Incidentally she is looking at Vet Med which is a very long course and not very well paid.

catgirl1976geesealaying Fri 04-Jan-13 09:50:43

they could also be getting another life experience in paying back that debt for the rest of their lives.

Only if they get a job paying a reasonable amount of money. And at an affordable rate.

Worth IMO

kakapo Fri 04-Jan-13 09:51:36

Good point amillionyears. I'm from NZ, and the repayment rules have changed at least 3 times with successive governments, since I started my bachelors (10 years ago).

Greythorne Fri 04-Jan-13 09:51:42


Because Media Studies is well known as a course which does not lead to good job prospects. If they want to study something abstruse and intellectual like Icelandic Literature (or similar) that is unlikely to lead to a well-paid job, so be it. But a non academic course which is renowned for not leading to a job? No way.

Trills Fri 04-Jan-13 09:52:21

I strongly feel that the loans should not be means-tested on your parents' income, and that they should be enough to pay your fees and feed/clothe/house yourself.

InMySpareTime Fri 04-Jan-13 09:54:23

Muminwestlondon could you take a term time boarder, and your DD board near her University, effectively an exchange student arrangement. That way you get income to help with DDs living-out costs, and she gets to live away.

catgirl1976geesealaying Fri 04-Jan-13 09:54:58

They can get a grant of up to just over £3,300 which covers most of the cost of halls

Then a loan of up to £5,500

Factor in a part time job at say £100 per week term time and say £200 a week over the Summer holidays and they've got around £13k tax free before they touch an overdraft, credit card or parental contribution

It's doable (although with some degrees I appreciate working as well is not practical)

Lara2 Fri 04-Jan-13 09:55:53

I had along chat with DS1 (now 20) when he had to make the uni decision. He decided that with his interests (music) that going to uni wasn't worth it especially as on average a graduate only earns about 100k more over their lifetime than someone without a degree. For me that's about 4 years working and a large debt. he decided to do an apprenticeship (which sadly turned out to be a joke and not worth the paper it's written on) and is now looking for work. I asked him the other day if, in the light of the job situation, he'd consider going to uni now. He said definitely not - it would only delay the inevitable hunt for work and he knows loads of graduates who, 2-3 years on, are still working in places like KFC or waiting tables. I'm prepared to help him out if he changes his mind, but it's his choice. We're a family of people with degrees and I've struggled with this a bit - but at the end of the day, as long as he ends up supporting himself (and a future family?) and is happy with his life and choices, then that's what counts. Not if I think he 'should' have a degree for the sake of it.
I was really lucky with my degree - I graduated in 1984, fees paid, grant, travel paid to and from Poly every term, housing benefit in the summer, signing on in the summer. I don't feel guilty about this - I've paid it all back in my taxes many times over. I think that the system then meant that truly anybody could go to uni - now it's a very different story.

Twattybollocks Fri 04-Jan-13 09:56:03

I'm not at this stage yet, but I will be encouraging UNi once they are know what they actually want to do with their lives and have a clear idea of what degree will help them to get there. That may or may not be at 18!

catgirl1976geesealaying Fri 04-Jan-13 09:56:47

I agree the loans should not be means tested

And I think the media have been appalling for scare-mongering for good headlines which sadly will result in young people not going based on a panicy headline instead of a calm appraisal of all the facts

TrazzleMISTLEtoes Fri 04-Jan-13 09:57:18

Why don't people see it as debt?

I don't, because I see a debt as something that I actively have to pay back, rather than something that comes out of my salary before I actually see it. And also, because my student loan stops and starts with changes to my salary (while I was on mat leave/ going back part-time...)

It's the best value loan I would ever get and I don't understand why some people actively try to pay it off early. You would do (have done before the credit crunch, at least) better to put your money in a good savings account and make it work for you.

kakapo Fri 04-Jan-13 09:57:36

Trills, or anyone who knows, is there an age limit on the testing of your parents' income for loans?

LadyClariceCannockMonty Fri 04-Jan-13 09:57:48

Since when is landscape gardening a 'tinpot' degree? shock

And OP, what's a 'rubbish uni' and how exactly do you define 'a pointless degree'? I don't believe in elitism about which uni you went to, and I believe that whatever 'random subjects' people might want to study, the uni experience is valuable in itself in terms of both education and life.

The people you know who you don't think did worthwhile degrees may be in poorly paid jobs now for other reasons.

I agree with Trills that loans shouldn't be means-tested on parents' income (income doesn't matter if parents are unwilling to fund their children and I don't think they should be obligated to anyway).

Chopchopbusybusy Fri 04-Jan-13 09:58:50

Catgirl. My DD will be able to get a maintenance loan of £3575. No grant. We will have to make up the difference. £3575 won't even cover the cost of halls. As I said we will encourage her to work part time but I seriously doubt that she'll be able to work enough hours to make £100 per week. More like £50 (if she's lucky)

BreconBeBuggered Fri 04-Jan-13 09:59:01

You can subtract a good £4,000 from that total if the student has parents able to make contributions, catgirl. And not all students go home to cities bursting with temporary jobs.

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