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To be a bit worried about paying for DC university costs!

(162 Posts)
rollonthesummer Fri 17-Feb-17 19:19:52

How do people manage it-how does it all work?!

In my day-I had siblings at university the same time as me-and we qualified for one grant between us! That paid for the accommodation and my parents gave me £125 a month to live on-I never needed a loan.

What happens now? Do they/you apply for one set of money (£9000 a year?) for the tuition fees and a separate loan for living? Is the amount you can borrow based on what your parents earn? If so-what is the current cut off??

Those with children at university now-what are you paying out on a monthly basis???blush

JessieMillz25 Fri 17-Feb-17 19:38:44

When I was at uni between 2009-2012 I got my tuition paid outright by a loan, then a maintanance grant which is paid termly (can't for the life of me remember how much) and then a bursery of about £200 a month. It was enough to get by on (I budgeted £60 a week), have nights out every week and occasional new outfits and trips to visit friends :-). My parents didn't give me any money but then again we were a low income family. My boyfriend's parents pay all of their children's rent/bills and sends £50 a week for food ect.

greenmidgetgems Fri 17-Feb-17 19:43:28

My niece went to uni last September, she had her own money saved and applied for student loans. There are not grants anymore as far as I know?

There are other options - my niece left her course and has applied to a large national company for an apprenticeship. She gets paid, The company funds her degree and she gets guaranteed job at the end of it.

lurkymclurkerson Fri 17-Feb-17 19:45:03

They apply for a tuition fee loan from Student Finance, which covers the cost of the fees and is paid directly to the University. They can also apply for a maintenance loan, which is means tested - there's a calculator to get a rough idea on www.gov.uk/student-finance-calculator

Because it's means tested there is an expectation that households earning above a certain amount will contribute to their children's living costs while they are studying - I was only entitled to the bare minimum student loan, so my parents helped with rent and I also got a part-time job (which ended up being about 30 hours a week by my final year - I did a low-contact subject). There are no grants anymore, just loans.

Make sure they apply with plenty of time as it can take up to 6 weeks to be approved, longer at peak times (after results day, etc). You can apply once you're holding a conditional offer (or even before), you don't have to wait for it to be confirmed. If anything changes you just fill in a change of circumstance form.

Crumbs1 Fri 17-Feb-17 20:00:14

There is no doubt it's expensive.They get tuition fee loan and cost of living loan but this isn't enough for accommodation and food unless in cheap,area and very frugal. If they have low contact hours they can do part time work to supplement but this isn't possible on vocational courses or some of the courses with higher contact time. We have two at uni at the moment.
One is fresher in catered hall. She is given £100 per week on top of this. We also pay travel costs, mobile phone and contact lens costs, storage during holidays costs, costs that she'll have associated with language degree like year abroad and holiday travel in country of languages. She runs out of money quite regularly.
Our other is in third year of a combined BSc/Masters in one of most expensive cities. They live in shared house that loan doesn't cover costs of. We supplement with an additional £250 per week on top of this. Plus the phone, contact lenses and travel costs. We also pay for this ones car as it's now essential for placements in industry. We've had to pay deposits that are rarely given back, insurance, laptops, etc etc. This list goes on.
Let's just hope they choose us a nice care home!

Crumbs1 Fri 17-Feb-17 20:01:45

Forgot - there are means tested bursarys for some lower income families, bursarys at non Russell group high academic achievers and support for those with disabilities.

rollonthesummer Fri 17-Feb-17 20:28:45

Wow-you pay £100 a week for one child and £250 a week for the other does quick sum you pay about £1400 a MONTH between them? That is my entire salary blush.

I'm a bit stunned that your child is living in a shared house that you pay £1000 a month for! That's not counting the part of her loan going my towards her rent? How much is the total monthly rent with others living there?!

AndNowItsSeven Fri 17-Feb-17 20:31:48

Students are entitled to a loan of up to circa 8k for living costs. If they have less loan you need to ( morally at least) make up the shortfall.

lalalalyra Fri 17-Feb-17 20:36:02

We supplement with an additional £250 per week on top of this. Plus the phone, contact lenses and travel costs. We also pay for this ones car as it's now essential for placements in industry.

£250 a week plus phone, contacts, travel costs and car? That's more than an average wage surely?

rollonthesummer Fri 17-Feb-17 20:38:39

Lala-I'm glad it wasn't just me that was stunned at giving £250 a week PLUS phone etc!

ArriettyClock1 Fri 17-Feb-17 20:41:01

We pay £500 per month rent, plus phone, bus pass, trips and miscellaneous extras.

Ds uses his maintenance loan (minimum) for food.

MsJamieFraser Fri 17-Feb-17 20:51:38

We are saving £500pm now and have been for 5-6 year, they will also have their trustfund and bonds.

Hopefully If they choose to attend uni they will be be able to pay the fees.

Crumbs1 Fri 17-Feb-17 21:13:36

It's cheaper than school fees! We know they are well funded but most of ours have done vocational degrees so couldn't work. Our youngest tells us she is worse off than many of her friends- and I tend to believe her.
Her house for next year is £750 including bills per month. Four of them are sharing so it's £3, 000 for a four double bedroomed house with all bills and Internet. My husband set up phone contracts and contacts when they were still at school and it feels a bit mean to cancel them. We saw some of our eldest's friends really struggling financially through medical school - they were living in literally a cellar and hungry. I used to have them home regularly to feed them up and send them back with food parcels.
We've always agreed to pay off loan in full as long as they get a 2:1 or above but don't want them fully funded and still taking out a loan.

We pay for everything when they are home too - so Easter weekend we are going away (Rome) with another family. Four of ours are joining us and two of theirs. Both sets of the oldies are paying for the children. Expectation is they'll club together and pay for one very nice meal between them. Time enough for them to start paying. It's so hard for youngsters nowadays with no grants, expensive accommodation and then trying to get on housing ladder.

rollonthesummer Fri 17-Feb-17 21:25:29

It's cheaper than school fees!

Fair enough-that is where we differ!

Ummerryeah Fri 17-Feb-17 21:40:23

Eldest started this September. Only entitled to bare minimum loan.

£9k for tuition straight to Uni and £3kish for living.

In catered halls costing £6k per year so needed £3k just for accommodation.

Started year with £5k in bank we put in £30 per week. Currently they are spending £30-£35 per week so looking at earning £1-2k over Easter / Summer to cover next year's accommodation.

When come home we pay everything and pay mobile phone contract.

I'm shocked at how expensive it is to go to uni and think it should be set loan not means tested and then graduate tax after.

It seems wrong on one hand middle parents are struggling while those below get more in loan, but then on the other hand those on poorer households have more debt throughout their adult life.

Level playing field of all same loan and same repayment terms. If someone doesn't want to use/take the loan they don't have to.

rollonthesummer Fri 17-Feb-17 21:47:11

Started year with £5k in bank we put in £30 per week.

Sorry to sound stupid! Do you mean that you gave them £5000 in September and then £30 more on top of that each week?

Was that separate to the £3000 top up you gave them for the accommodation? So 5000+3000 plus £30 weekly?

Ummerryeah Fri 17-Feb-17 21:53:36

Sorry that wasn't clear, from savings, part time job etc they had £5k in their account to pay the £3k top up on accommodation plus living.

We didn't know how much realistically they'd spend a week and we give £30 and most of the time is all they are spending so hoping to finish the year with £1-2k so will need another £1-2k for £3k next year.

Scary thing is its 5 year course we're all thinking about £3k needed for year 3 (and of course any increases in costs).

SwedishEdith Fri 17-Feb-17 21:54:08

Most people I know are paying about £40-£50 per week per child. Considering the amount I'm saving on food bills, it's probably really £20-25 really. Don't be scared by some of these posts - I don't know anyone paying out amounts like that.

BackforGood Fri 17-Feb-17 21:55:08

My ds is in his 3rd year.

the £9k you don't really see / have anything to do with - you apply and then it goes directly to the university and it is more like a 'graduate tax' than a loan in that they only pay it back once they are earning a decent salary.

The 'maintenance loan' depends on parents income (although doesn't take into account if you have more than one child at university at once). For my ds, this just about covered his accommodation - halls in first year and rent + bills once in his shared house. For a lot of people, it is not enough to even pay the accommodation I'm afraid.
Accommodation costs to vary considerably across the country, but also more and more universities have 'privatised' the accommodation and there are some lovely blocks of accommodation being built, but you shell out a lot of money for it - rarely is there much choice once you've picked your university.
We then give ds £30 a week for all other costs. (Sept - June) He works in the holidays but has struggled to find work at university and has only got a job in his 3rd year.

This question is asked often, and it's a bit of a 'how long is a piece of string' question.

rollonthesummer Fri 17-Feb-17 21:55:52

Don't be scared by some of these posts - I don't know anyone paying out amounts like that.

That is so nice to read-thank you for posting! X

Bantanddec Fri 17-Feb-17 21:56:04

When I went to uni I got a student loan for both tuition fees and living costs, my parents didn't give me a penny they couldn't afford to.

Bantanddec Fri 17-Feb-17 21:58:26

When are they starting? September?

Doilooklikeatourist Fri 17-Feb-17 22:00:38

We have 2 at uni , both have a loan ( tuition fee and maintenance ) and a small grant their rent is covered by the loan

li give them £20 each a week grocery money , and the inlaws give them £100 a month pocket money

We usually have to pay a bit extra every now and then ( e.g. I pay the train fare when they come home , and do a top up shop when we go and visit )
It's expensive , but we manage

titchy Fri 17-Feb-17 22:01:24

If your child only qualifies for the minimum maintenance loan, a common thing to do seems to be for the minimum loan (£3,900) to cover bills, food, travel, socialising etc and parents pay rent. Might give a realistic indication of costs. But do check how much loan they can get - if your household income is lower you don't need to put in that much.

titchy Fri 17-Feb-17 22:02:10

Oh and burying your head in the sand might also help! That's our current strategy...

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