Are all of you saving for children's university maintenance grant contributions?

(154 Posts)
worldsworststepfordwife Mon 12-Aug-19 07:50:45

I’m not too late to the party am I? I have sort of heard Martin Lewis say on telly it’s not the course fees you need to be concerned about it’s the expected maintenance contribution that should concern you, but I’ve never really looked at what he’s talking about until I was talking to my 14yo on Sat luckily she’s my only Uni capable one as I discovered that if she was going to university this September the minimum we should give her is £450 a month.

Is that not a shit load of money??!! Also it nowhere near covers all her maintenance she would still rack up extra debt with maintenance loans then I read that there’s a general agreement that the minimum contribution plus maximum grant combined isn’t enough to live on, that there’s a shortfall of £170/month so a lot of parents contribute more!!

I gather as well that this whole situation is deliberately not publicised

But anyway I’ve got 4 years to save £20k lucky me

How are you all tackling this?

OP’s posts: |
LizziesTwin Mon 12-Aug-19 07:56:40

DS started uni last year, self catered and he had £400 a month to live on. This was calculated after rent. He had way more than he needed and is going to have less next year.

HandsOffMyRights Mon 12-Aug-19 07:57:13

I genuinely don't know how we will afford it as I have twins (13.5)

We've been saving into the child trust funds and have ramped it up but the figures quoted for uni are so high.

HandsOffMyRights Mon 12-Aug-19 07:59:28

Did anybody's DC go to their home university? This appears a main option for us in terms of paying for 2 at the same time, but part of going to uni is surely about living away.

Comefromaway Mon 12-Aug-19 08:06:00

Dd isn’t at university she’s at dance college. Her fees are paid (no loan) but it’s a different system so we have to pay £130 per week accommodation & we give her £35 per week to live on.

Dd will go to uni hopefully in 3 years time and I know that the loans alone won’t cover accommodation costs. We are looking st moving house but are having to factor in his future maintenance into affordability/outgoings.

Hoghgyni Mon 12-Aug-19 08:17:10

DD goes next year. She will get the minimum maintenance loan of around £5k. We will pay her rent, travel, books & food. She knows that halls costing around £180 per week will be out of the question and she may need to (shock, horror) share a bathroom!

Comefromaway Mon 12-Aug-19 08:20:24

That’s one problem we have. Ds has autism and sharing bathrooms will be a big problem for him.


LoafofSellotape Mon 12-Aug-19 08:27:06

It's the rents, the halls are so expensive, we'll be paying £130 a week. I wish we'd saved earlier tbh.

LoafofSellotape Mon 12-Aug-19 08:30:06

DD goes next year. She will get the minimum maintenance loan of around £5k. We will pay her rent, travel, books & food

So minimum loan is just over £4k iirc, on a 42 week year that's nearly £100 a week. I think you're being really generous, that's a lot of spends if she doesn't need to buy food or travel!

ShanghaiDiva Mon 12-Aug-19 08:30:15

I think the situation is publicised and it is also the parent's (and potential student's) responsibility to research the costs well in advance of applying; the days of no fee and a full grant are long gone.
Am not sure who has agreed that the minimum contribution and maximum loan are not enough to live on? - it will vary from student to student and location to location.
Ds is at Warwick and accommodation ranged from 80 per week to 180 per week - we paid 145 for a room with a private bathroom. Warwick is all self catering and therefore cheaper if you child knows how to cook and avoids expensive ready meals and pre-packaged food. Encouraging your child to get a job is another option. Ds worked in the Easter holidays and also for 8 weeks over the summer.

Frouby Mon 12-Aug-19 08:31:33

Dd (15) is looking at staying at home, luckily she can get to a decent uni from here. I was a bit sad she will miss out but she says she would rather stay at home and be comfortable than be skint sharing kitchens and bathrooms in halls. May consider a shared house in the second year possibly.

Decorhate Mon 12-Aug-19 08:38:02

HandsOffMyRights It seems to me that going away for uni is only a “thing” in some countries. Many students worldwide have a perfectly good uni experience whilst still living at home or going to their closest uni so they can go home at weekends.

In fact in some places (eg Dublin) those living away from home find it harder because so many of their classmates are from there & already have established friendships.

LoafofSellotape Mon 12-Aug-19 08:40:50

My neices and nephews stayed at home for uni,didn't miss out on anything.

HandsOffMyRights Mon 12-Aug-19 08:43:38

Decor you've reminded me that many moons ago my brother went to his home uni and came back at weekends. He had a blast.

Luckily, we live in a big city with several unis, so this could be a good option for us.

SansaSnark Mon 12-Aug-19 08:46:01

Many students do work part time or in the holidays too, during uni, so I don't think you should necessarily feel like you have to cover 100% of any possible expense - if you can match the full loan/grant then I think that is a good start!

frizzattack Mon 12-Aug-19 08:49:02

DD had her maintenance loan to live off (around 4.5k) and we paid her rent. We said we would only pay for the absolute cheapest halls and if she wanted anything better she would have to top it up out of her student loan. But she opted for the cheapest halls (about £80 a week I think they were).

I found this worked well as it meant we didn’t have to worry about any other extra hand-outs over the year. She had her rent paid and that was it. She learnt to manage her loan and budget for books, trips, food, nights out etc. Obviously if she was in desperate need of some cash we would sub her but for the most part our system worked really well

chocolatesaltyballs22 Mon 12-Aug-19 08:49:36

Following as my daughter will go in 2 years....have been saving but don't 100% know what to expect in terms of expenses.

Pipandmum Mon 12-Aug-19 08:52:37

Definitely expect child to work during Christmas and long summer! Not all the money needs to go to funding the rest of the year. When I was at uni my parents paid rent and basics (not in this country there were no loans to cover living expenses) so I worked one evening and Saturdays to pay for extras during term time and full time in summer.

LoafofSellotape Mon 12-Aug-19 08:52:38

Ds's halls will be anything form £116-£130 per week, praying it's the lower end!

We've told him that as the second year will be even more expensive he will need to contribute.

ClerkMaxwell Mon 12-Aug-19 08:54:51

I've 3 DC and have been saving for the last 10 years just in case. We live within commuting distance of 7 unis and my two DSs have stayed at home and commuted. It's quite common in our area. Both are sociable boys and participate in uni clubs and nights out but not as much if they'd lived away. They are both very independent, hold down term time and holiday jobs and do a bit of travelling in the holidays so I don't think you miss that much. They've saved me a fortune and have managed so far (DS2 has 2 years to go) without having to take any maintenance loans. The local unis my DC go to are in the top 10 and top 20 nationally for their subjects.

Jimjamjooney Mon 12-Aug-19 08:55:03

When I went to uni in central London, I stayed in halls in my first year (around £175 a week). My loan didn't cover this (or the cost of my shared house accommodation either), so my parents would pay the difference required termly. They gave me £200 a month to live off and I also had a part time job in a bar for extra money.

Most banks offer student accounts that are 0% interest with big overdrafts if money will really be a struggle. They normally switch to graduate accounts after which are still 0% to allow them to be paid off without fees.

Jimjamjooney Mon 12-Aug-19 08:56:54

Long story short, I think the most cost effective way is to use all loan for accommodation, help with the inevitable excess, then try to give a monthly amount for keep. That's much cheaper than paying rent for your child.

titchy Mon 12-Aug-19 09:00:51

* the days of no fee and a full grant are long gone.*

The days of full grant regardless of parental income never existed hmm

DisgruntledGuineaPig Mon 12-Aug-19 09:01:05

We've just taken a tricky decision, we were debating moving, have seen a lovely house round the corner from us that's detached (were in a semi), extra bedroom, bigger garden, affordable etc, but if we stay where we are, the mortgage will be cleared when dc1 is in lower 6th. (Still at primary school currently).

On reflection, being able to free up that much money each month to give both dcs the chance to follow whatever high study they want/can get on, seems better for our family. (Dh and I are both so old we went to uni for free)

FeltCarrot Mon 12-Aug-19 09:02:33

My DC both had the minimum loan, so around £4K each. They used it towards their hall fees/rent and then we paid the balance and gave them an allowance each week to live off.
So DD rent was £4600 for the year with £80pw allowance during term time £3400 app. So we paid just under £4K for the year.
DS hall fees were £6600 and had £70pw (no bills) so we paid £5500 app. He will be in a rented house this year so will be considerably cheaper thank goodness.
The guidelines suggest you “top” up their loan to the full amount which I think is around £9k.

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