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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.......

catgirl1976geesealaying Fri 04-Jan-13 10:00:48

kakapo it's your household income

So if you live with your parents when you apply it goes ont their income

If you live with a partner it's theirs and if you live on your own it's yours

It used to be you had to prove some sort of official separation from your parents if you were 17 / 18 and claiming financial independence from them (eg being brought up in care or having lived on your own and supported yourself fincanically). I don't know if it's the same now

InMySpareTime Fri 04-Jan-13 10:00:49

Comparing living at home with studying away at University is not a fair comparison, it would be fairer to compare with them moving out either way.
I don't know current grant levels, but my DB covers his rent comfortably with his grant.

Trills Fri 04-Jan-13 10:01:24

You are an independent student if you meet one
of the following conditions:
• You have care of a person under the age of 18
on the first day of the academic year for which
you are applying for support.
• You are 25 or over on the first day of the
academic year for which you are applying for
• You have been married or formed a civil
partnership before the start of the academic
year for which you are applying for support,
even if that marriage or civil partnership is not
still subsisting. Student Finance England or your
local authority will need to see your marriage
certificate or civil partnership schedule. (See
Note 1 on page 3 for the dates on which
academic years can start.)
• You have no living parents.
• You have supported yourself for at least three
years before the start of the academic year of
your course.

from here

Chopchopbusybusy Fri 04-Jan-13 10:02:49

I believe loans are means tested when the student is under 21.
In my opinion money which has to be repaid is debt. I used to have a season ticket loan which was deducted from my salary before it was paid to me. Is that not debt then? Very odd way to look at it.

pinkdelight Fri 04-Jan-13 10:04:30

I bet it won't be long until the whole uni fees/debt scandal is swept away by much more affordable, more tailored online courses anyway. I read a great article about how the higher education sector will have to go through the same seismic changes as the music industry. There will still be the Oxbridges/Yales and medical schools, but generally most courses can be done online at way less cost, and can fit around home/work life much more happily. It's given me great hope for when my two reach the age 18. Something definitely needs to happen.

catgirl1976geesealaying Fri 04-Jan-13 10:04:49

I know Brecon but it's not a new thing that parental contribution is factored in

That didn't come in with the new fees, it's been around for a while

When I went I didn't qualify for a grant, the loan was small and fees had to be paid up front

So in theory my parents had to pay up front fees and contribute to my living costs

Which is a worse situation than now in terms of parents in the "Middle" having to contribute

Trills Fri 04-Jan-13 10:06:10

It is debt but it is a special kind of debt, and thinking about it using the same thought processes that you would use for a bank loan or credit card debt is not very constructive because it does not behave in the same way as that kind of debt.

Vagaceratops Fri 04-Jan-13 10:06:24

I started a degree myself this year. I know that with it I will earn much more than I would without it.

DS1 is in yr7, and he already talks about going to university. I may try and dissuade him from a degree that he may not find employment from, like film studies for example, but I will not discourage him from University.

Lara2 Fri 04-Jan-13 10:07:33

Twatty - I went to Poly having absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. It was expected that I went and I did an English degree - nice and generic. I was on the dole for a year after I graduated, applying for jobs I didn't want with still no idea what I wanted to do! I eventually did a PGCE after volunteering in schools for a while ( my mum's suggestion - bless her - she knew me well!) and found something I love doing and still do. I suppose my long-winded point is that I went and did the generic degree because I had no idea, no clear path to get me anywhere, because I had no idea where I was going! It was something to do (unemployment was awful at the time - I went to the North East in the middle of the miners' strike) until I made some sort of decision. I think huge numbers of students go for the same reason - they quite like the course, it delays the unemployment problem, and delays the problem of making that decision about the direction of your life.

FredFredGeorge Fri 04-Jan-13 10:08:22

amillionyears A government could also introduce a graduate tax on all the existing graduates from before the time of tuition fees, were you warning of that risk before?

For me I hope DD can make an educated decision on the cost and benefits of going to university, if she can't - she shouldn't be going anyway.

Jins Fri 04-Jan-13 10:08:52

We're in the application process at the moment. I have encouraged DS to be realistic about his choices and to check the employment rates from his course but I've not discouraged him. Why would I? This could lead to the career of his dreams.

If it doesn't then we'll rethink. I don't discourage ambition

outtolunchagain Fri 04-Jan-13 10:09:09

The reason that for most people it won't be repaid is because of the interest that accrues over time and the fact that if you haven't paid off the loan (including interest)in 30 years under the current rules,it will be written off .

By the time you take into account the fact that your level of payment remains the same regardless of the balance ,then you haven't a hope of paying it off but if you go to university at 18 and start work at 21 and work solidly with no breaks then the balance will be written off when you are 51.The downside is that people in middle income professional jobs will pay an enormous amount over the original amount borrowed because the interest rate is appallingly high.

Gov estimates are that less than one third will pay off the loan

curryeater Fri 04-Jan-13 10:11:06

I am interested in the question but I don't know how to access information about material outcomes for people with degrees relative to those without.

I mean on the face of it you could think "£27k? for what?" and discourage your kids to go, but then find that without paying that money you effectively doom your kids to a call centre, or nothing. When I started work not everyone had degrees. Now all young people seem to before they get anywhere near a job. I wonder what happens to those without. Some of them presumably develop a career in other ways, with or without some other kind of formal training, but you don't hear much about it. The emphasis all seems to be on "universities" and "degrees", a catch-all name for very different institutions running very different kinds of courses with not much necessarily in common but being very expensive.

mine are not even in reception yet! so who knows what it will be like when they get near the age of deciding. I hope there will be a bit more clarity then, rather than the sense that every young person is automatically being pushed into "university" (whatever the cost) except those who have "failed" (I know it is not like that, I just mean the proliferation of "university" places, and students who would once have not been thought super-academic who take them up, makes it seem like that)

Of course the blatant marketisation of university degrees with the student as "consumer" and the "student experience" being part of the "selling process" may mean by then the whole thing is completely academically discredited. In whcih case maybe learning and study will be taking place elsewhere... like where?

whistlestopcafe Fri 04-Jan-13 10:13:08

There is a snobbery against less academic degrees from ex poly's. However nearly all my friends have degrees in Business Studies from Middlesex University/University of Hertfordshire etc and are very successful. There is less prejudice from employers than on Mumsnet.

curryeater Fri 04-Jan-13 10:15:59

I suppose what I am saying is that, being at my most doomy and cynical, it may not seem by older paradigms that degrees are worth all that money, but it may be the case that in the current situation you have to see it as a sort of "young person entering the work force" tax that has to be paid however unfair and punitive it is, or the alternative is to be excluded. this is why I would be very interested to see hard facts about what happens to people with degrees as opposed to those without - over the past 10 years and as the future unfolds - not just a table showing earnings, but their opportunities to develop areas of interest, improve skills and learnings throughout life, and have a satisfying career.

amillionyears Fri 04-Jan-13 10:16:05

FredFredGeorge. I dont understand what you are saying.
If you are asking have I talked about all this before with some sort of warning, no I dont think so.
Dont think I have ever talked about a graduate tax. Dont think I actually know what one is.

Hesterton Fri 04-Jan-13 10:17:52

One of the biggest changes since I left school (1979) is that jobs which were not degree level entry then now are. Nurse training for example - it paid £3000 then which was enough for the student nurse to live fairly frugally while you trained in a system of two weeks in the school of nursing, eight weeks on a ward. You did general medicine and surgery in your first and third years, and specialisms in your middle year. It is now a degree course which you need to fund yourself.

You could enter big financial companies from A Levels and if you were good, you had the chance of being promoted. There were openings in retail management etc for those working their way up from 'Saturday girl'. There were lots of roles such as unauthorised clerk in stockbroking which could be filled by a young person from school (usually a man I have to say) and that person was often given a chance to prove themself and take a pathway upwards through the firm if they were sharp and smart.

Now I doubt any of them would even consider you at the lowest level without a good degree as a starting point, whether or not it is directly related to the job. Does it really make for better employees? I think it is just a sign of changing culture in a rapidly changing job market.

All mine did degrees and all are working in areas where they wouldn't have had a chance to get in without the degree although only one of them has a degree the conten of which is vital for the work he does (doctor). The other two are in jobs which 30 years ago you could have entered at their level without a degree.

mrsjay Fri 04-Jan-13 10:18:39

MY dd is doing her degree at the university of the highland and islands college and she has already got her foot in the door 1 of her lecturers employs students , yet some of her 'friends' mocked her because it wasn't a proper university, whistle university snobbery baffles me

catgirl1976geesealaying Fri 04-Jan-13 10:19:25

I agree with that Hesterton

Our company wants degrees for receptionists on £15k a year confused

amillionyears Fri 04-Jan-13 10:21:13

I did an online course,
Nearly bored me rigid.
The only contact with the outside world with it was the person marking it somewhere else in Britain.
Absolutely nothing like a persons Uni experience.
Cant see many young people sticking with a degree done like that. Though I suppose nowadays, there would be unknown people on the internet to be able to give limited support.

cricketballs Fri 04-Jan-13 10:30:07

I am astonished reading the amount of posters that seem to be dictating their adult children's life choices - it is their life, their decision!

Whilst I appreciate parents giving advice to their offspring, the final decision on what courses, what uni, if to go to uni has to be down to them

Chopchopbusybusy Fri 04-Jan-13 10:32:18

Trills, you could argue that mortgages are also 'special' debts. I do agree that many may not repay the full amount or even a significant amount. Those are the people that shouldn't be going to university. We're picking up the tab for them pissing three or four years of their lives up the wall. Not fair and like most of the con dem policies - poorly thought out.

SolomanDaisy Fri 04-Jan-13 10:32:55

It's ridiculous to encourage a young person with the capability to appreciate and learn from a degree not to go to university. If you're really that concerned about the debt, help them look into degrees in other countries. It's not just about the earning potential, it's about learning and having access to a broader range of opportunities. Of course that means needing to understand the quality and benefits of the courses they're considering.

Chopchopbusybusy Fri 04-Jan-13 10:34:43

Cricketballs, whilst the government are telling me that I have to contribute a significant amount of money, I'll be offering my input into their choices.

MadonnaKebab Fri 04-Jan-13 10:40:29

It depends what the alternatives are
Where I live, school leavers can get $100k p/a jobs with free accommodation meals and bills, provided they will work hard for long hours on the mines
If such jobs are still available by the time the DCs are leaving school I won't be arguing if they want to do it for a few years (then buy a flat/house mortgage free) especially if they will do some University part time /online at the same time
If opportunities are less good then University will be pushed hard

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