The financial ins and outs of University...

(20 Posts)
Pollyanna9 Tue 28-Mar-17 19:46:11


I never went to Uni but DS (currently 17 and in his first year of further education - had a false start at sixth form prior to that and switched institutions) thinks he wants to go - possibly to Manchester but it will depend on what courses are on offer where - it's not a typical subject like English Lit or Geography.

I have NO idea about the amounts they get loan-wise, how much that covers (does that just cover their rent or their rent and their food), what are typical travel costs within a big city?

I know one of DDs friends older sisters is at Uni and she works a LOT to give herself enough money so I'm thinking that DS will need to get a job to support himself.

I just want to set the finances out for him so he understands that he will likely have (?) to work if he wants to go.

He won an outstanding cert in one of his courses the other day run by a local company that does the line of work he wants to get into. I said jump on that, find the contact details of the guy who came in to do the judging and ask him if he's got any internships for the summer or the Easter holidays OR you need to get a job. He has all day Tuesday off college plus a further half day so really there's nothing stopping him from doing some work.

Be grateful if anyone can split down the costs for me so I understand them???

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TapOut Tue 28-Mar-17 20:01:00

Try reading up on it on the UCAS website.

I've been suprised at how little my DC need. They get long holidays so have plenty of time to earn extra money

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Tue 28-Mar-17 20:08:54

We have seen ds1 through university, ds2 graduates this year (hthougnhe may go on to do a Masters), and ds3 is switching courses and university, and will be going back into second year (but as we are in Scotland, this means three more years).

There are differences, because we are in Scotland, but ds1 went to Reading, so we do have some idea of th costs involved outside Scotland. He got a loan for his tuition fees (most do), and a loan from the funding body in Scotland towards his maintenance.

We found that the amount given was not enough to cover his costs - accommodation, food, books etc, so we had to top it up. The same has applied to the other boys in Scotland. Up here the minimum amount given towards maintenance is in the region of £4,500, and we have topped that up to a total of around £8,500.

We were lucky to be able to afford to do this - it meant that none of the boys have had to get part time jobs during term time, and have been able to concentrate on work, but I suspect many students do get jobs to top up their mainenance.

AtiaoftheJulii Tue 28-Mar-17 20:09:24 might be a good place to start.

My dc at uni get about £3800 a year which is the basic loan. We pay their rent - currently about 5K for one and £4700 for the other - and nothing else and they live off their loans. They don't need to pay for travel, they can walk or cycle.

(We can pay their rents because I worked part-time for a small wage, then retrained, and got a full time job last year - so we'd been used to living on one wage and now about two thirds of my salary goes on their rent!)

AtiaoftheJulii Tue 28-Mar-17 20:13:56

So far neither of my dc have had jobs during term time. Dd1 worked last summer and will have to again this year; dd2 got some extra money from her uni (some offer 'scholarships' - money if you get good A level grades) and probably won't (has travelling plans - languages degree).

Pollyanna9 Tue 28-Mar-17 20:16:13

Sadly there's absolutely no way I could pay £300 a month or more for rent for even one of the children so he would in fact need to have a job in order to top that up.

I've no idea if his dad will contribute - probably not.

I'll look at the two links, thanks.

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senua Tue 28-Mar-17 22:52:03

I just want to set the finances out for him so he understands that he will likely have (?) to work if he wants to go.

It's him that will be doing the degree. It's him that will be applying for loans. This is his problem.

By all means, read up so that you are an informed sounding-board but, really, he is the one who should be thinking about this and working out budgets. It's part of the growing-up process.


AtiaoftheJulii Wed 29-Mar-17 06:49:01

I started thinking about student finances long before my kids did! There's not really all that much to think about tbh - how much loan is available, what rents are like, and how much could we afford to pay. Dh and I talked about it a bit, and then told the kids what we would and wouldn't pay for, so they could plan for that.

There are loads of threads here OP talking about student financial support, where you will see that some people pay nothing, and some pay for everything including fees. Most people are somewhere in between, lots of students work during term time, even more work during the holidays.

OddBoots Wed 29-Mar-17 06:59:22

Pollyanna9, if you are on a low income then he will get a larger loan to cover living expenses - the loan is variable with the expectation (but not the legal requirement) that parents will top it up to the level of the largest loan given to students with a household income under £25,000 (Studying outside London and not living with parents the maximum loan is £8,430 in 2017/18).

thesandwich Wed 29-Mar-17 08:49:30

Depending on the course or family income there are sometimes bursaries available from some universities too- or even sponsorship from some companies.
Some cities are much more expensive and some offer little work opportunities.get him involved in working all this out. Also have a look at booking some open days some, not all, will pay for transport if you are on a low income.
Good luck. There are loads of experts on courses and unis on mn so ask away. Unis also have student finance talks on open days.

PinkCrystal Wed 29-Mar-17 09:00:30

My DC both have jobs as they wanted more than the basics to live on. We can't afford to give loads. The deposits for accomodation were £350 books £100 along with some other costs of getting started. My 2 get a bursary too which helps.

Many work and I think it is a good thing as long as they don't do too many hours.

Pollyanna9 Wed 29-Mar-17 12:39:51

Thanks one and all.

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bojorojo Wed 29-Mar-17 15:01:58

Working in term time can very much depend on the course. Some are full on. Working in the holidays is also an option. I think you need to work it out together but he does need to research courses. There may be limited options in his subject so that is a starting point. You cannot just choose a city. What is his subject?

Pollyanna9 Wed 29-Mar-17 15:13:40

Absolutely re him doing it. Firstly I'm making sure I understand the costs just because I feel I need to have some proper idea. Secondly I am trying to encourage an incredibly shy boy to get a job (he's 18 in the summer) NOW so that if he does feel he wants spending money or exra living funds and if that means he'd need to do some work, that he will have already have had some experience in working. I think going to Uni and if he did need to work, never having worked before at all and starting a degree course, could be asking too much. I think it would be sensible for him to do some work starting quite soon just so hes got familiarity with that concept and experience and it would just be a matter of finding another job. It looks like he would get about £650 a month living expenses based on my current salary. I could probably give him £100 on top of that.

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justanotheryoungmother Wed 29-Mar-17 15:36:55

I didn't go to uni for two reasons: 1) I got pregnant and prior to that, my student finance was calculated and it turned out it nowhere near covered my rent. It was 2.5k short of rent (I do NOT come from a high income family, Mum couldn't help due to tight funds) and on top of that I had to find money to buy food etc... in some cases it does cover, but in mine it definitely did not...sad

Pollyanna9 Wed 29-Mar-17 18:35:11

So did you not just go then justanother?

About 1.5 yrs ago I was working with a load of post graduates who titled themselves (without a Harvard business degree!!) 'Management Consultants'. The company they worked for only accepted applications from the 'best UK universities'. Twats. I HATE the elitist bullshit - it's SO sad it's alive and kicking.

I've had a decent 'career' except it's not really been a career where I've strived to get her or get there by a certain age. I've just done jobs I've enjoyed. Possibly that and a lack of a degree means I'm struggling to earn what I need to live now today.... my stupidity and lack of foresight I guess. I've never been movitated by money on it's own, but now as a single parent, I see how very important it is. At the moment I work just to pay my bills and it's only the XH child maintenance that tops that up (which infuriates me greatly).

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alreadytaken Thu 30-Mar-17 07:01:14

many students have some paid work in the holidays, fewer work in term time and if they do its usually very limited hours. He will also want to holiday with better off friends.

Working now will not only mean he can do more later it may help his university application. Admission staff often say they can spot those who have had paid work by their extra maturity, while a relevant job shows interest in the subject, something all universities look for.

His priority must be getting good grades now but he should at least get holiday work.

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Thu 30-Mar-17 07:08:47

Has he considered taking a gap year and working? My ds was due to go to uni last September but had a last minute wobble and deferred for a year. He got a job and is earning £1500 a month. He's saving £1k of that each month and will work through until the end of August. That money will then mean he doesn't need to take put the maintenance loan in his first 2 years. We will pay his rent. And he has grown up so much since starting work, it's been really good for him.

mummytime Thu 30-Mar-17 07:34:05

I went to a talk at my DDs college recently about University and student finance they recommended money saving expert, as a good place to find out more. I think the loan amount for living costs has increased, and Manchester isn't the most expensive place to live. There is also extra financial support from a lot of Unis - so when he is looking around it is worth his while asking and seeing if he would qualify. (We're not badly off but at a recent UCAS fair we're told by Scottish Unis that even we would qualify for some support, because we're British and their degrees are 4 years).

Do look at the UCAS site which has a section for parents and guides you to a lot of useful information.

Pollyanna9 Thu 30-Mar-17 11:52:24

Thanks all, I will look as suggested.

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