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How much will uni cost parents?

(72 Posts)
Kosmik Mon 21-Mar-11 19:58:11

What is the average contribution a parent is expected to pay towards H.E. student upkeep?

Rachiebabes11 Tue 22-Mar-11 07:55:07

From my uni days (which were only a few years ago!) I got a letter telling me my parents were expected to pay about £2,000 for one year. There was no way my parents could have afforded that so I lived off my student loan and wages from a part-time job I had. All of my friends did this too.

My parents helped me out by buying me food now and again, but apart from that I was on my own and I have to say, I'm better off for it. It's how I learned to budget!

silverfrog Tue 22-Mar-11 07:59:45

depends on situation I'd say.

dh is expected to (and very happy to, I might add!) pay tuition costs plus maintenance, all stated as part of divrce settlement.

maintenance is currently £400+ per month per child.

I know that is nowhere near average, just laying out there are different forms of "expectation"

Xenia Mon 18-Apr-11 17:50:39

Our divorce consent order says I pay the university costs (it has costs about £10k a year - I think I've spent about £90k so far. There are two more children to come and they will be on the £9lk a year fees I expect in due course if they get in. If you want fully to fund them then it is more than silverfrog's husband pays as they also have rent which will be at least £400 a month plus food and then someone has to house and feed them in holidays. At the other end of the scale many many parents don't pay a penny nor allow them to live at home in university holidays. There is no one way to do it.

Most people aren't divorced though so in England you are obliged to pay nothing and in Scotland you have an abligation to support your adult children.

itchycoopark Mon 18-Apr-11 17:54:51

I don't think you HAVE to pay anything. It's up to you what you can afford and think is reasonable. I think 300 pounds a month for general upkeep, exclusive of fees or rent, is enough for them to live on, and they can get a part time job if they wish.

vj32 Mon 18-Apr-11 20:09:50

You don't have to pay anything. However if you are on a high income the loans available to your child are reduced and they cannot get a grant. So either you help or they have to work more than their peers.

Bearcat Tue 19-Apr-11 20:22:24

We're not rich, did not do private education but are determined to get our boys through university debt free ( these are our private education years!)
DS1 graduated last year after doing MEng, had a QUEST scholarship for £2000, uni scholarship each year of £1000 ( for A level results and coming in top 10 for next 3 years) and worked for 8 weeks in summer holidays on QUEST for which he was paid. This was his spending money and bills paying money when he was in a shared house. We paid his rent and tuition fees
DS2 does not have a scholarship and we are paying his tuition fees, hall fees and giving him some spending money. Next year we'll pay rent tuition fees and give him the equivelent of student loan.
Glad we only have the 2 boys, not sure how much longer we could continue on this track.
Feel for the parents of DC starting university in 2012!

fattgitttfedupandwantstosleep Tue 19-Apr-11 20:24:02

an awful lot of money.

FrumpyintheFrost Wed 20-Apr-11 13:29:46

I found this finance calculator on the Southampton University website very helpful - link here

inkyfingers Fri 22-Apr-11 21:12:47

so annoyed that two students can start a course with same grades; one from poorer home and gets full bursary/grant etc and the other from home where no one is eligible for benefits. On graduation, one will face paying back £40,000 or whatever and the other enters (hopefully well-paid) graduate life with no debts at all.

Either parents should pay (£27,000 x how many DC they have) which of course hardly any will be able to make more than a dent in that, or all graduates pay back loans (if they get job over benchmark salary) and TBH of course they are aiming to earn high after studying for degree. No one aims for a low-paid job. don't see why a graduate in a good job should be debt-free because their PARENTS were low-income.

goinggetstough Sat 23-Apr-11 08:31:38

I can understand where Inkyfingers is coming from... I think (probably get flamed for this one) that everyone should have to take out a loan for their fees regardless of parental income because we all know that no one pays it back until they are earning X amount. I do though think that students from low income families should obviously get some extra assistance for living allowances to cover hall fees/food etc but not to cover socialising etc. My DCs have to get a job for that!

Archmum Sun 24-Apr-11 21:22:41

I agree with gooinggetstough - DH and I earn just over the limit for the maintenance grant so both DC will have maximum loans. Three of my friends are separated/divorced; all three have high earning ex's, one has a part-time job, the other two don't work, they all have decent child maintenance and have had their mortgages paid off and yet they they get every benefit going because child maintenance isn't taken into account.
Apparently, if they go to university, their DCs will get the tuition fees paid for them by the government along with a substantial grant. One mother said that the endowment policy taken out for each of her three DC's uni fees will be used instead as a deposit on their first home!
Can this possibly be true?

vj32 Mon 25-Apr-11 20:34:47

No-one gets a full grant to cover everything. People on benefits don't get uni for free - they have to take out tuition fee loans like everyone else. They will also have to take a loan out for their maintenance. They will however, get a maintenance grant. In 2012/13 it will be a maximum of £3250 a year. They will also get a small grant from the individual university, a maximum of £1,495 for 2011/12. I don't know anyone who can live off less than £5k per year, especially when they have to pay £9k a year tuition fees.

So inkyfingers etc, you are just wrong. Someone is probably trying to wind you up. They obviously succeeded. The entitlements for students is here:

goinggetstough Tue 26-Apr-11 07:25:11

vj32 Sorry but you are not quite correct for the 2012 fees onwards. Of course people have to take out loans etc even if their parents are on a low income but what Inkyfingers was commenting on was the fact that the actual fees will be lower (fee waivers) or there will be an increased grant (non repayable) as shown in the examples (taken from relevant university website) below:

Cambridge:Where a student's parental annual income is less than £25,000, he or she will receive a full Cambridge Bursary of £3,500 per annum.Enhanced support will provide fee waivers of £6,000 to students with low income backgrounds .

Bristol: The University’s proposed core Financial Support Package for 2012/13 entry for all courses is:
A tuition fee of £3,500 per annum for all students whose residual household income is £15,000 or below. These students will incur no more financial obligations than they would under the current financial arrangements.
A tuition fee of £4,500 per annum for all students whose residual household income is £20,000 or below.
A tuition fee of £6,000 per annum for all students whose residual household income is £25,000 or below.

Oxford Brooks:As part of the decision the university will immediately introduce a £3.5 million scheme to provide enhanced bursaries of up to £2,000 and additionally fee reductions of up to £2,500 for students from low income groups

Even with your example an extra £5000 a year is £15000 pounds less loan to repay after graduation and that is what Inkyfingers and I were highlighting. With the up to date proposals highlighted above the financial difference will be even more marked eg up to £9500 per year at Cambridge. These are obviously the maximums, but potentially that means that 2 students studying history one from a poor family will have £27000 less to pay back due to the above even though they will have the same earning potential on graduation.

Archmum Are you sure that your friends DC will get their tuition fees paid? I think they will have to take out a loan to cover them although as shown above they may be entitled to a fee waiver or an additional bursary.

It is true that no fees are required up front but those DCs that don't qualify for a maintenance grant get a minimum loan (£3200 approx -72% of max loan) which in most cases will not cover Halls (catered halls £4500 +). So the phrase above that "they have to work more than their peers" is a slight understatement. Those costs don't cover normal living expenses eg text books etc.

So basically I agree with fatgitt it could and will cost an awful lot of money!!!

vj32 Tue 26-Apr-11 16:48:55

All people will run up a huge debt at uni even under the new system - but if you are on benefits you will not get uni for free which was what inkfingers was suggesting.

What many people are missing from this debate is that many people (especially women) will never have to repay their loans in full. It is theoretical debt - it isn't taken into account when you take out a mortgage, and in the new terms you will only start paying it back after you earn £21k. I assume they will keep the current terms which say after 25 years it is cancelled. So for many people, the difference between £25k and £35k is irrelevant as they will never fully pay it back anyway.

There is also the fact that for some courses, £9k a year is good value, and for some it is not. If you do a science or engineering course, with 20 or more hours taught per week, plus lab time, it works out as good value. Compare that to an arts graduate with 5 or 6 taught hours a week and you can see why they might be annoyed. Plus of course the likely earnings of the science/engineering graduate are much higher. On the other hand, if you are on an arts course you have the time to work a lot of hours in term time as well as holidays to support yourself. If you are on science/engineering course then you have little or no time to work in term time to get an extra income. So not only is the playing field not equal between different economic/social groups and students at different unis but between people on different courses as well.

It is unfair, and the student loans system since it was introduced has always hit people in the middle hardest - there is always a cut of point at which people 'just' miss out on financial help. It is especially unfair when all the politicians were of a generation to get uni totally for free, and in many cases with huge grants. I really don't know what a better solution would be though.

Sorry about the rant- I clearly don't have enough to do at the moment!!

funnyperson Tue 26-Apr-11 20:35:16

I'm feeling quite low and grumpy at the moment at the thought of my two DC starting their lives off in debt.
Perhaps its just me but I feel a bit as if this whole fees thing crept up on me while I wasnt looking and I have to confess to not factoring it into the family budget or financial planning when DC were born, or even before they were born, or when making mortgage decisions and education decisions and divorce financial decisions.
Whereas I had figured that in about 5 years or so time I might be debt free finally and settle down to enjoy a contented autumn I am now riddled with concern and guilt for not having enough money to finance the two DC through uni and therefore them having to be in significant debt.
As to the whole 'do what you enjoy most' at uni ethos which I foolishly promoted it seems like the most idiotic of ideas atm. I think I am going to be faced with two debt ridden unemployed young people in about three years time and I am dreading it and feeling that I have planned this rather badly..
Sorry for the slight tangent but staying indoors while said young people revise in the glorious sunshine seems such a waste of life and all so that more debt can be incurred. AAAArrrrggghhhh.
But surely the govt could have brought all this in a bit more gradually to enable families to plan properly.

goinggetstough Wed 27-Apr-11 10:07:37

It just gets worse... I thought we contributed by paying taxes. Wrong again!

HalleluiaScot Wed 27-Apr-11 22:06:55

My DS is at university in London and we give him an allowance of £50 a week (£30 more than when he was at school). We don't pay for anything else.

PorcelinaOfTheVastOceans Wed 27-Apr-11 22:14:17

wow, i was at uni two years ago, my parents are high earners but said it was my choice to go to university, so i had to fund it myself. i have considerable debts now, which granted i don't have to pay off until i'm earning above the threshold, but no savings to speak of. i lived on my loan, and worked full time hours on nights to pay rent/bills/uni equipment.

all these people giving their DC's allowances, you're all bloody amazing! grin

adamschic Wed 27-Apr-11 22:18:57

If mine goes then we will qualify for most help. I'm hoping maintenance grants and bursaries will cover living expenses and loans will be taken out for fees. We might get subsidised fees so that could be 6x3 £18K debt on a 3 yr degree which isn't that much more than the current system. I'm not on the lowest income bracket.

Jellykat Wed 27-Apr-11 23:13:58

My DS1 is currently at uni in Bristol, finishing this year..

He will leave owing just over £18k, i was in receipt of full benefits during each annual assessment.

The actual grant portion, that students' of parents on Benefits receive, is very small.(The tuition fees that are paid are a Loan!)

Plus i hate to add, interest on maintenance loans and tuition fee loans are incurred from the day they start the course, and increase monthly!

Presumably students whose parents have to foot a large portion of the bill, will not have additional Interest costs..

So all those saying that students of Benefit receiving parents have it easy, are mistaken.

goinggetstough Thu 28-Apr-11 07:05:52

Jellykat I don't think anyone said students of benefit receiving parents were getting it easy, rather that it was unfair that there will be two students graduating with the same job prospects yet one will have substantially less debt than the other. Fully support the idea that students from poorer families should get extra support for living expenses but not for fees.

Jellykat Thu 28-Apr-11 19:29:34

Why shouldn't they be able to get loans for fees ???

goinggetstough Thu 28-Apr-11 19:51:09

Of course they should get loans but not lower fees as per Bristol's proposal for 2012.

Jellykat Thu 28-Apr-11 20:41:33

Not at my DS2s college in Bristol..

He already had to find an extra £1300 last Summer holiday (he worked his butt off to save that, and pay his rent) as his fees had already risen to £4600 for 2010/2011, and his college is set to increase them further next academic year, regardless of household income.

But to be fair to what you're saying, his certification was accredited by Bath Spa uni in the first 2 years, and this current academic year, by university of Sussex (long story) so they set the Tuition fee amounts.

Thing is, even if they poorer students get reduced tuition fees, they'll still end up owing more then the much wealthier ones.. the lower earning households who don't qualify for benefits, should be considered too. That's the problem surely?

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