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To be worried about uni costs.

(20 Posts)
sugar4eva Thu 30-Jan-14 12:51:55

Our ds is due to go to uni in a couple of years and I thought that everyone was entitled to a student seems that it is linked to parental income though? Does this mean that my ds nay get no loan at all? We have good salary but a massive chunk of it goes on our mortgage so we have limited disposable income . I saw a chart saying if parents earn £50 k plus a student gets no loan but if our disposable income is not high does this get taken into account. If it doesn't then there is no way we can support both dc s thro uni.
Does anyone know of reliable source of info were I could check this out please?

wyldchyld Thu 30-Jan-14 12:57:46

Hi sugar

I'm a current uni student. Regardless of what you earn, your DS is entitled to the loan for his fees (up to I think £9k per year which is the maximum per year a uni can charge). He will also get the minimum living loan (£3.5k approx.) which, if he's lucky, will cover most of his rent if he chooses cheap halls (depending on where he goes).

What he won't get is any grants or extra top up payments.

I was in this position and took a gap year to work so I had a safety net to live off should I require extra money, and have a part time job. It's harder but doable.

Creamycoolerwithcream Thu 30-Jan-14 12:58:27

I think your DS can get a loan for fees and the minimum maintenance loan which is about £3600 per year if they study outside London and do not live at home. I used student finance calculator on

BreconBeBuggered Thu 30-Jan-14 13:01:07

No, there's a minimum loan level. The point at which that kicks in will probably have changed by the time your DC apply, but I think at the moment it's around the £3600 mark. It's hard to work out exactly, but you'll find yourselves spending less every month on food and utilities, so you can make a fair contribution without it making too much of an impact on your disposable income. Which, unfortunately isn't taken account in the calculations. (I privately rage every now and then over mortgage and commuting costs.)

DarlingGrace Thu 30-Jan-14 13:06:29

If your child declares a family break down and that you wont support her, she will get higher funding.

DragonMamma Thu 30-Jan-14 13:07:21

They don't work out your income based on disposable income, they asses based on your gross pay minus any pension contributions and a set deduction for any other dependant children.

catsrus Thu 30-Jan-14 13:09:18

Hall fees - which do not include food - tend to be around £5 - £6 K so the minimum loan will not cover it. I have one dc in the midlands and one in the North so these are not even London prices.

It is linked to parental income - there is a minimum loan towards maintenance that every child is entitled to - here in Scotland, it is £4,500 per annum - but in our experience it costs nearer £8,500 per year for them to enjoy their little luxuries - eating and living indoors (depending on where they are studying - one is studying in Scotland, where the costs seem to be less, and the other is in England, and it is more expensive.

This is the site for student finance in England and this is the site for the Scottish Academic Awards service - you should be able to find the information you need there.

As far as I am aware, it is calculated on gross parental income, not disposable income - that is certainly the case here in Scotland.

Dh has devised a savings plan whereby we can set aside the money we need to give the boys, so each year's money is saved up before the academic year starts. They get their loans from the SAAS, and then he transfers over money from the savings each month.

Don't forget, your children could look for work once they are at university, to supplement their income from you and their loan.

On the English website, I have just been through the finance calculator, giving income of £50K, £100K and £150K (and assuming a full time course, living away from home and outside London), and for the last two, you get a maximum maintenance loan of £3610, and if your income is £50K, you get a maintenance loan of £4843 - so basically, you are not going to have to fund all of your dc's maintenance costs, but you are going to have to fund some. You will need to run this calculator with your actual household income and the correct details of the courses your dc are considering, to get a better idea of what costs you will be facing.

The tuition loan (for the fees) is NOT index linked - you don't have to worry about that one.

Hope this helps.

greenfolder Thu 30-Jan-14 13:11:37

your son will be able to borrow the fees. Plus around 2/3rds of the maximum loan needed for living expenses. My dd gets enough to pay for her halls. I give her £35 a week to live on. anything else she needs to earn.
i wouldnt worry about it.

ValenciaOrange Thu 30-Jan-14 13:12:36

Bear in mind though that although your DS will get his tuition loan paid direct to the university, his maintenance loan is unlikely to cover his uni halls fee so you will need to allow for additional funds from either yourself or a part time job. My son gets the minimum maintenance loan, its around £3600. His hall fees are 5300. We have paid his hall fees each year and he then uses his loan for day to day living expenses.
Its also worth knowing that most unis seem to ask for a hall rent deposit immediately after A-level results day. In our case it was £550 , and had to be paid within 48 hours. My son's friend was renting in private halls and he had to pay £2000 upfront.

JohnCusacksWife Thu 30-Jan-14 14:08:25

God, these figures are scary! My DDs are only 9 & 7 but we're saving now for their uni costs to try and avoid them having to have any loans at all. If they aren't able to / don't want to go to uni at least they'll have a nest egg!

MaidOfStars Thu 30-Jan-14 15:08:05

If it doesn't then there is no way we can support both dc s thro uni

That's fair enough. As much as you might like to, you are under no obligation to do so. Indeed, there could be arguments against extended support.

I worked 20-30 hours per week pretty much the whole way through two degrees.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 30-Jan-14 15:20:52

I worked 24 hours per week most of my degree. It was relevant work to my degree so made me VERY employable. A really important consideration at the moment. I also worked in a call centre for some of the time. Not relevant but very flexible hours. Essentially, I could take the evening and weekend shifts when the parents had to be home.

A lot depends on what your DC wants to do. An Arts degree, you could fit a full time job in and still pass <controversial>

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Thu 30-Jan-14 15:34:41

Depends where you go to university. At Oxford and Cambridge you aren't allowed to work in term time but the flip side is that colleges offer quite a LOT of bursaries and hardship funds and because you can normally live in for 2-3 years you aren't having to pay rent on the room in the holidays.

I would also counsel parents against giving their children all the money for undergraduate fees/living upfront without them having to take out a loan. (This is in response to johncusack but also anyone else reading and thinking of the same). If you have saved all that money, you are much better off holding it back to see if they want to do postgraduate or professional study, which is more expensive and for which the loan terms aren't as good, or if you can help them onto the housing ladder. The student loan debt is a small amount out of monthly income once you are earning comparatively cheap asloans go and not something you get chased for if youare out of work. Postgrad loans aren't nearly as easy to manage and saving for a deposit is extremely onerous nowadays. Of course, if once they have finished the course it works out that paying off the student loan is the best usr for that money then you have that option without tieing your hands too soon.

mumeeee Thu 30-Jan-14 15:47:55

Every student gets a loan and parents don't have to have their income assessed. Tuition loans aren't assessed at all but maintenance loans can be. DD3 is at uni and she gets the minimum loan as we didn't get our income assessed. We could have done and she would have got slightly more. But as it wasn't much more we decided against it as it wasn't worth the hassle of sending in all the details and proof of our income.

wordfactory Thu 30-Jan-14 17:08:08

Loans for fees are available and unconnected to parental income.

Loans for living expenses are not. The minimum is £3600 I believe, but student accommodation is often quite a bit more than this. I think the average is £4500. Plus students need money to live on (Bristol have, or used to have, some good tips on how much students will need).

Unfortunately many students are finding themselves having to attend their nearest university and living at home because their parents can't/won't top up their loans.

maparole Thu 30-Jan-14 17:28:54

Consider going abroad, eg

Tuition fees less than 2000e per year; estimated living expenses (total for everything they may need) approx 850e per month, and loans still available.

Chunderella Thu 30-Jan-14 17:43:19


The minimum loan isn't likely to be enough for them to live on, and unfortunately it is now much harder to find part time work that fits around studying than it used to be. It isn't just a question of having the time, it's also having the opportunity. You can't assume they'll be able to find anything. And there's the worry that the loans will be sold off to some private company and the rules about repayment changed. I hope this won't happen to existing loans but it's certainly been mooted and I suspect we'll see a move towards a more commercial system at some point, whether it includes existing loans or not. You don't mention the age of your younger DC, but I certainly expect this to have happened by the time my DD (1) is old enough to go. I think people are increasingly going to consider abroad or living with family while they study.

ProfPlumSpeaking Thu 30-Jan-14 17:50:13

YANBU Also, remember that for some eg medical students, getting a part time job is almost impossible as they have full on 9-5 lectures, plus essays etc and minimal holidays.

The fees are not the problem (anyone can get the loan for those) but yes, as parents you are expected to top up the maintenance loan (of about £3,500) which is not enough for a room and food let alone books or travel or societies etc). Reckon on about £5,500 pa needed from you in order for your DC to be able to live not far above the poverty line.

It is v unfair on the students: all should be able to borrow enough to live on, or else parents should be under a legal obligation to top up. The current system means that controlling parents can prevent their DC from accessing university education.

Earning a lot in their gap year (if they can live free at home and save their minimum wage) is one option. Again, only for those with parents willing to play ball.

prh47bridge Thu 30-Jan-14 18:02:32

all should be able to borrow enough to live on, or else parents should be under a legal obligation to top up

When I went to university (nearly 40 years ago) only students from the poorest families got a full grant. There was no legal obligation on parents to top up. Some parents refused to do so. Many students took part time and/or holiday jobs to fill the gap. I doubt that the government will ever provide full funding for students from high income families.

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