Can someone explain University Funding to me ?

(14 Posts)
HebeJeebee Tue 21-May-19 10:02:00

So we’re a family of non University types ( college/apprenticeships are our background) DS1 is currently in Lower Sixth and looking at Universities soon ( going to Open Days etc)
I’ve looked at the blurb but would like some real life info grin
How do you find the Living Accomodation? Do we have to find a deposit etc or is there a Student Loan to cover that?
Does the rent normally inc all bills
Do most students try and find a job to fund living costs or is it the norm for parents to support ?
We live in Wales and have a household income of £50-60k with three other kids if that affects anything

OP’s posts: |
anyoldvic Tue 21-May-19 10:16:53

Most universities offer first years a room in halls of residence, and they'll invite students to apply for one when they accept the offer of a place on a course. After that they move into private rented house-shares.

Hall fees cover all bills and at least and are often charged in chunks to coincide with the arrival of maintenance loan payments (in England this is 3 installments) but it'll depend on the uni. It's different in Scotland.

Lots of students have part-time jobs to supplement their income because the maintenance loan won't be enough to live on - your household income means he won't qualify for much more than the minimum amount of loan. Most live on a combination of parents' contributions and a job.

Xenia Tue 21-May-19 12:08:32

I believe Wales may give more generous loans than England which isn't very fair as we are one country and pay the same income tax but there you go....

On the questions:

"How do you find the Living Accomodation?"
The above is easy. Once you have your preferred offer in the Spring of the year you are going there is then a deadline for applying on line for what is usually in the first year university owned halls of residence. My sons who are in year 2 now chose in year 1 halls with breakfast and dinner provided. Some people prefer to cook their own meals and pick self catering places. We avoided anywhere you might have to share a room.

At Bristol the deadline for accommomdation applications is set out on line. You may not get your first choice (although my sons both did) and the deadline is after the date when everyone will have had their offers for places (subject to A levels).So you apply on line around April ish time, may May? My children have never applied for their seocnd choice university accommodation just the first.

Then in August you get your A level results and if they are high enough you get your place confirmed and told your accommodation.

" Do we have to find a deposit etc or is there a Student Loan to cover that?"
In the first year you usually go into halls of residence and there is no deposit for those. I believe if you apply for hte loan in time the money comes in time to pay the university and that you pay each term or twice a year.

By about December of year 1 however in many places they wll be looking for a year 2 house so you might need some kind of deposit for that - from memiory one of my sons paid abotu £130 in the Dec for starting the rented house from 1 July 2018 or something like that. You have to rent those year 2 houses over the summer even though you won't be there.

Some universities are different and some you are in halls/college accommmodation all 3 years.

"Does the rent normally inc all bills" - halls of residence which are a nice way to go from home to university life rather than some random rented house - include all bills although my son did insure his mobile and laptop separately for £6 a month as they were brand new. in year 2 which my 2 are now in they pay about £46 a month for bills each i (no council tax, but gas, electric, wifi is in that sum).

"Do most students try and find a job to fund living costs or is it the norm for parents to support ? "

It is very hard to generalise. I am very unusual. I pay the £9250 fees, halls of residence or house rent plus a weekly allowance. So ignore me. Lots of parents pay the rent and let the student live off the maintenance loan which I think goes from £4k for the well off to about £7k for the worse off - Wales may be different. Others the child finds the cheapest halls or house they can and hope to live on the difference between the maintenance loan and the rent perhaps taking a job too but it is very hard to generalise.

What is important is to check the maximum maintenance loan as that is basically what the state thinks parents should make it up to. (outside London not living at home £8944 for example - in some places that may be enough for your rent and your food etc.

If you just get the minimum maintenance loan of about £4k and your parents do not make it up to the full one then you have to try to find a job. ../
pause to check wales - yes as i thought - The Welsh pay the same taxes as England but their children get a better deal. It is not fair at all.

There we are:
"Maintenance Grant
All eligible students can claim a minimum £1,000 grant to assist with the living costs of going to university. This is regardless of household income, nor does this have to be paid back.

Students from lower income households will be eligible to receive higher grants. The maximum amount available (for students from households with an income of £18,370 or less) will be £10,124 for Welsh students studying in London and £8,100 for those studying in the rest of the UK.

These higher grants will be means-tested in order to assess how much students should receive, so they have the appropriate support. Again, this does not have to be paid back. "

BubblesBuddy Tue 21-May-19 12:55:09

You should go to an Open Day and attend the sessions for parents. He can do what he needs to do and you learn about funding. If you can, look at some accommodation together at each university having first looked at what is available on line, what he wants (catered, self catered, location etc) and what you can afford.

I think with an income of £60,000 ish you should contribute. Most parents do. Whether he can even get a job is a moot point let alone whether he should in first year. Most students need to adjust to university life and produce work in the way the university wants. This can be a challenge and working at the same time might be difficult. Many students will spend hours each week in labs or self study. Non contact time isn’t free time. Working in the holidays can be a better strategy but it depends on circumstances.

ShanghaiDiva Tue 21-May-19 13:22:54

My son is in his first year at Warwick - accommodation in halls includes all utilities and there is no deposit. He is moving to a shared house for year 2 and we needed to pay one month's rent as a deposit - note that you will probably need to pay for private accommodation for the whole year, not just term time.
For the first year in halls, you may want to pay for the holiday period to avoid taking everything home at the end of term. We paid for 39 weeks for ds, although he is only at university for 30 of the 39 weeks.
Ds does not have a job in term time and we pay for accommodation and a monthly allowance. we started at about 500 per month, but now give him about 350.

EdWinchester Tue 21-May-19 13:27:19

My son is a 3rd year. Finishes this week but we’ve had to pay accommodation until mid August 🙄

I think we paid a deposit every year. Never got any back though!

We’ve paid his rent, phone, bus pass, trips and he’s used the maintenance loan on top of that.

ProfessorLayton1 Tue 21-May-19 13:30:20

Dd applying for student finance from Wales. You don't get the same amount of loan as students from the rest of the UK. Welsh government gives an one off grant of 1000 pounds when they start the university but the rest of the loan amount/ conditions are the same..


ProfessorLayton1 Tue 21-May-19 13:30:56

Sorry... it should read that you get the same amount of loan

BrieAndChilli Tue 21-May-19 13:41:33

pause to check wales - yes as i thought - The Welsh pay the same taxes as England but their children get a better deal. It is not fair at all.

England get free school dinners for 3 years during infants, i have to pay £60 a month x 3 children
Wales has much lower average wages meaning less able to afford to send children to uni

and there are things we get that england doesnt such as free prescriptions, higher loans etc

unless you live near cardiff there isnt really the sorts of jobs you get in london, cardiff, liverpool etc.

pumpkinpie01 Tue 21-May-19 14:00:54

My son is just finishing uni and my daughter will be starting this sep. In both cases first years accommodation was in halls and a deposit of £300, in my DS case I did not get it back it was taken off his termly payments. In my DD case I will get it back when she leaves. When DS moved from halls to a shared house there was a charge of £1070 this was 3 months of half rent (June, July & Aug) and then a deposit on top.The 2nd house, so his 3rd year was slightly cheaper at £945.

Xenia Tue 21-May-19 14:33:47

Sadly mine never got the 3 years of free school dinners in England. Never mind. It would be much better if all parts of the Uk had exactly the same rules and the same taxes.

HebeJeebee Tue 21-May-19 16:04:49

Thanks for all the info everyone - makes an apprenticeship seem much more straightforward !!
He’s still wavering between the two but I think the thought of ‘ University Life’ is what’s half the attraction ! although one of the apprenticeships he looked at includes accommodation etc so that’s a close second too
Don’t want to get into a Welsh vs English row .. location was just for info grin

OP’s posts: |
titchy Tue 21-May-19 16:59:45

It would be much better if all parts of the Uk had exactly the same rules and the same taxes.

Not sure the Scots and welsh who voted for devolution would agree! Tbh it's a bit rude of us English to say we shouldn't have it.

Hefzi Tue 21-May-19 17:05:51

Perhaps we could have a vote on English devolution too grin?

OP, I think a number of students - indeed, the majority - work during term time at a majority of British universities now: on your salary, your son won't be entitled to a full loan, and if you aren't able to top it up, he will need to work, either in term or full-time over the holidays (or both). At my previous institution, the majority of students worked, even those on full loans, as it still wasn't enough to cover rent, food and some fun.

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