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How will you help dc if they have different tuition fees?

(25 Posts)
palomadove Sat 13-Nov-10 22:08:37

Dd1 hopes to go to uni next year, when tuition fees will be at the current rate (something like £3,300 per annum I believe).

But dd2 is in Year 10 now, and assuming she goes too, could have fees up to £9,000.

Assuming our income bracket stays the same, they'll get the basic loans and we'll need to help them out - but I'm puzzling over how to be fair to both girls within what we can afford.

Do we give them both the same amount of money, allowing for inflation, or give dd2 more because her tuition fees will be higher?

They'll both need to work in their holidays and take out loans - we couldn't afford to fund it all, but we don't want them to start adult life struggling either.

Anyone else in the same situation mulling this over?

bigchris Sat 13-Nov-10 22:10:07

Well they won't need to pay it back until they earn 21k so we'll just be helping with living costs if we can afford it

alypaly Sat 13-Nov-10 22:17:28

my DS2 looks a sif it might be biomedical science as an in road into medicine. that is 8 years at a possible £9000 a year plus maintenance grant plus accomodation. This government is taking us back to the middle ages where only the financially priveledged can get to uni. they wont get my vote.

scottishmummy Sat 13-Nov-10 22:27:22

perhaps your son consider an AHP career eg OT,Physio,pharmacy as post-grad route into medicine.they have clinical placements but be aware pg route into medicine is fiercely competitive

Milliways Sat 13-Nov-10 22:32:24

I have one at Uni now. She takes out fee loans etc but we pay her rent.

We also hope to pay DSs rent, but he is only in Yr11 now so will have the higher fees. He is quite laid back about it - wants to be a teacher so says won't be paying it back too fast on teacher wages

As long as it doesn't put him off going. If we had loads of money I would pay all their loans off, so Yes - DS would get more "help", but as it is we take each year at a time & do what we can.

onimolap Sat 13-Nov-10 22:36:45

I think you should aim to support your DCs in a way that puts them on as even a footing as possible when they graduate. So that would mean paying more to 2nd DCs tuition fees. But if 1st DC wants a London university (where living costs are higher) and 2nd goes elsewhere, you might want to adjust for that too.

You would explain it to both DCs (now, before either of them signs up) in terms that, although the amount you contribute might differ between them, your aim is fairness in terms of their final debt.

JGBMum Mon 15-Nov-10 16:14:08

Agree with onimolap, we are intending to gear the help so that we will hopefully contribute more to DS2s fees (he's in Y11) than DS1, then roughly the same for accomodation fee help.

DD1 is in Y5 and I dread to think what it will be like when she wants to go!

palomadove Mon 15-Nov-10 19:21:30

It's difficult, isn't it? My worry with telling dd2 upfront that we'll try to put her in the same position as dd1 when she graduates is that she won't be as careful as dd1 with money!

We see ominous signs already - dd1 has a pt job and has saved a good proportion of it, and shops for clothes and rations going out very carefully.

DD2 has an allowance to buy clothes, but blows it all on hoodies and nail varnish, then finds she doesn't have jeans or shoes that fit!

We intend that the allowance will stop post-GCSEs though (as it did for dd1) and she'll have to earn her own money for anything except essentials like school clothes.

cat64 Mon 15-Nov-10 19:37:30

Message withdrawn

optimisticmumma Mon 15-Nov-10 22:48:23

Agree with onimolap - we have 1 at the 'old rate' and potentially 2 at the 'new rate'. We would try to help so that they all came out on a similar footing financially. I don't have any problem with talking to my kids up front about it and have already. You can't even up 'life' in any case - as cat64 says one may do a much longer course and one may end up earning huge amounts. YOu have to do your best by them as you go...

dotnet Tue 16-Nov-10 11:23:07

I'm hoping that there'll have to be a backing down on this tuition fees thing. I really think it will happen, as the students aren't going to be trodden over as the govt had hoped. There was such a long period of calm that Cameron and Clegg had forgotten that actually, people DO have backbone and WILL fight extreme unfairness. Non-students will back them up as well.
If the worst came to the worst...I'd try to help my kids proportionately. Which would probably mean giving money to the younger one for a longer period than to the elder (though if this really were affecting me - if I had a child going to university after 2012 - I'd only be able to help marginally. It would be like paying a mortgage all over again wouldn't it? Just hell.)

thekidsmom Tue 16-Nov-10 16:14:54

Its hard to plan isnt it? We have DS there now, DD1 going next year and DD2 3 years after that...

Our plan is to pay back their loans as and when they become due.... we have an understanding that we will pay back what they owe so they dont have to. On top of that we currently pay DS's rent (as the loan doesnt cover it all).

It depends where the other two go on how much we have to pay towards their costs in each year. Plus DS's degree is 4 years, DD1's will be 3 and DD2 is looking at medicine - so 6 (aagh!)

but our plan is leave them all in the same position at the end of the day rather than to give them equal amounts up front. I dont want them to have to choose degrees on the basis of what's the cheapest to study and where's the cheapest to live....

palomadove Tue 16-Nov-10 21:08:18

Agree with you kidsmom.

In an ideal world, I wouldn't want dd2 to choose on basis of cost/practicality - although (as with dd1) I would draw the line at helping her if she insisted on going for (what I would consider to be) a substandard degree or something at an unsatisfactory institution.

There's no sign she will do, but I suspect a lot of students/families will be a lot more picky about where they go/what they do/how employable it'll make them because of the raised costs - which probably isn't a bad thing imho.

Dotnet - I wish I shared your optimism, but I do think we are looking at much higher fees in the future.

mumeeee Tue 16-Nov-10 21:40:06

When DD1 went to uni the fes were still only 1,200 so we were able to pay that and her rent. DD2's fes however are £3000 so she has a tution fee loan as well as a maintenace loan. We pay her rent as we did for DD12.

thekidsmom Thu 18-Nov-10 09:02:24

Absolutely, palomadove - for DD1's application this year I had a list of the places we would be prepared to pay for and she chose from there! Now just hoping one of THEM chooses HER....!

overthemill Fri 19-Nov-10 08:02:56

kidsmum am intrigued how you decided which unis you were prepared to pay for. What criteria did you use? Status, no of graduates employed, cost of accommodation, location? Do tell.
Our dd chose her own but now waiting for offers

thekidsmom Fri 19-Nov-10 10:58:10

Hi overthemill.

We restricted it to Russell Group or similar (given that universitites' status may have changed since the RG was formed in the mid 90s - so York, Exeter and Bath would be good on that criteria even though they are not RG)

They all had to have a research profile for DD's preferred subject which put them in the top quartile for her chosen subject and all had to have a department size which meant there was likely to be a variety of specilaist interests on offer for chosen modules.

Then we said 'We dont want our baby to live in London on her own!!!' so ruled out London unis. then DH said 'I dont want my baby living more than 2 hours away!' so that drew a line on the map.

At that point, when the possibles list was down to only a half dozen we added a few back!!

She wants to do a straight academic subject, English and is predicted really high grades so she is only interested in going somewhere that needs similar grades from all candidates so that effectively narrows it down to just our original list, too.

We did pretty much the same for DS two years ago and there was a similar list for him, even though he's doing physics... And the final choices for the two of them overlap by 3, with two different unis.

So now we're just waiting.....

sandripples Fri 19-Nov-10 13:25:42

I have one DD at uni now and DS will be at the higher fee rate. We'd like to get them both onto the same footing at some point but haven't worked out how far we'll be able to do this. We'll have to help out DS more than DD as she has benefited from lower fees but it all feels ghastly as we won't have a lot to play with when DH and I retire in 4 years time. Having had cancer this year I don't wish to work forever! And who knows what care costs we might have to find...

millyjay Fri 19-Nov-10 13:58:30

I have 4 DD's, 2 in Yr13, 1 in Y11 and 1 in Y9.

Y11 won't go to uni, but is also very unlikely to end up ever earning enough to be independent for a looooooooooooong time.

The 2 in Y13 both want a gap year (despite increase in fees). We have agreed a budget per month when they go, but that all depends on how the fees are funded. They are both really worried about it as we don't have much (any) spare income because we have 4 teenage DDs.

I can't even think about the one in Y9 and what we will do for her.

DH wants them all to abandon any thoughts of going at all so bit of disagreement there as well.

webwiz Fri 19-Nov-10 16:38:31

I think I'd be encouraging them to rethink a gap year Millyjay! I don't think anyone in DD2's year is contemplating a gap year even if they had originally wanted one.

mumeeee Fri 19-Nov-10 19:35:22

kidsmum. I can se your reasoning but wouldn't do that myself. We gave DD1 and 2 advice but then let them completly choose which unis to apply for.

overthemill Fri 19-Nov-10 21:39:06

thanks kidsmum, i'd not heard of the group before but our dd has applied to exeter, bristol, leeds, sheffield and has yet to decide between nottinham and another. Good luck, we're waiting with bated breath!

StayingZen Sat 20-Nov-10 09:32:08

Ask them what they think is fair? That's what we're planning to do at Christmas when DD1 is back home.

palomadove Sun 21-Nov-10 19:19:12

I've been thinking this over a bit more, and we have decided that we'll probably end up helping both with living costs in as equal a way as possible.

The we will wait until they have both finished uni, and know what their overall debts are, before we decide what additional help we will give them and how to divide that up, given that dd2 is likely to have the bigger debt.

That will be based on mine and dh's income at the time - we may be retired by then, but hope to have paid the mortgage off.

thekidsmom Mon 22-Nov-10 12:03:42

overthemill - there's a lot of overlap between our lists there! Good luck to your DD in the next few weeks.....

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