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Absolutely clueless about student finances. Can someone explain to me please?(19 Posts)
DD is hoping to go to Uni to study law next September.
She tells me that because we are in Wales she will qualify for £1000 grant. I’ve had a look at the course and the tuition fees are £9000, accommodation seems to be around £5000. She will obviously need food, clothes, pocket money phone etc paid for as she gets now.
So, student loans - is everyone eligible and how much does it cover?
We have some savings and have paid our mortgage off recently so the £350 a month we were paying on that could go to DD instead.
Can someone give me an idea of what is paid for out of any student loan DD can take out and what do we need to stump up for please?
Tuition Fees : The loan goes directly from the Government to the University and is repaid as a 9% tax by your child when they start to earn.
Maintenance Loans : Means tested, directly from the Government to the student, repaid as a 9% tax after graduation
Wales Grant : her money to keep
Parental contribution : you'll end up topping up her maintenance money by about what you spend on her living at home
Everyone is eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan but the Maintenance Loan (for accommodation and living costs) is means tested (based on parents’ earnings) so you may need to contribute as a top-up for her dependant on how much she gets.
Don’t be phased by the thousands of pounds of ‘debt’ she’ll have around her neck. They don’t start paying it back until they start earning a certain amount and for many a large proportion of it is written off eventually anyway.
Here is a guide from MSE that explains it all in detail:
If you earn under £25,000 as a family in the home, this includes DH or DP, your child gets roughly £200 a week for 42 weeks of the year
This is a student loan, it pays for the rent and her needs.
The Government pay the course fees. £9300 ish
Both these are loans to your child.
Grants are money given but not to be paid back.
Ah that’s really great thanks. We earn over £45k as a family so she’ll only qualify for the smallest maintenance loan. We will top up the rest.
I’m happy to help with costs of living etc but we’ve said that we won’t be funding endless socialising (DD would be happy to spend it endlessly on coffees and drinks I’m sure).
Do your student offspring get part time jobs for their extra pocket money or would that be something to avoid in case it affected their studies?
Jobs in term time depends on the course, the child and the level of local unemployment
there are NO hard and fast rules
Its cheaper to live in the North and the West, London is the most expensive
Mine managed on her £65 a week after rent.
Lazy sod never got a term job, but did work holidays .
I think term time jobs will be hard to get now. It’s really not realistic to think DC are lazy by not getting one. My DD attended a very academic university with plenty of self study required. She found the transition from school to university needed concentration and although she could have found time in y2, she preferred to concentrate on study and getting to know people in Y1. Don’t forget the hospitality and retail industries are on their knees, other than supermarkets, and locals often need these jobs. So I would plan to fund them at university and hope a holiday job is possible. If not, try volunteering. At least this is useful for the cv. Better than nothing.
My DS works as well as studies but it will depend on the course your DD is taking. He chose not to initially and decided he could get by on loans but the initial novelty of partying and socialising wore off so he had more spare time and this year (his second) the house share he wanted is quite expensive so he is glad of the extra money.
As well as how much time the course allows, it will also depend on how your DD likes to spend her spare time and how expensive her tastes are. Work isn’t a chore for my DS as his job involves meeting people so if they have the time and can find something they enjoy doing, it’s just another aspect of student life and learning to live independently.
I went to uni 10 years ago. I was in that annoying bracket where my parents "earns too much" so for the lowest grant, but didn't have any spare cash to give me to make the difference up. I think in my first year, halls were £110 a week for 52 weeks, and I got something like £60 a week loan. In second and 3rd year I house shared in house that were £60 a week, again with same loan.
I worked all the hours god sent during holidays and in college before going to uni so I didn't have to work at uni, and was fine. Had a great lifestyle without being frivolous.
That being said, my lovely nana gave me £50 a month, and my parents paid my phone bill and bought my train tickets if I wanted to get home. And my grandad bought my first year uni books as they were bloody expensive!
In hindsight due to my course (history and English) I would have had ample time to get a small job such as in Tesco, coffee shop or bar for a few hours a week to top up the money as my contact time was so small.
Getting a job in the union is the holy grail as it's good flexible hours.
Best of luck to your DD.
Thanks all. Her 1st uni of choice is only 20 minutes away but she still wants to live in halls. She’d also like a private bathroom but that’s another 1k on the fees! I may say that there’s her choice, she either lives at home or has the option with the shared bathroom.
We have some money saved but it’s our safety net in case we lose our jobs or something goes wrong with our cars or home. We can afford to help her out to the tune of about £400 a month. Just hope that’s enough
Living in halls for first year is well worth it as then she will be immersed in the social side
(well, in a normal year)
and then she can move back home but still socialise in later years
We have been through this loop with family and extended family. While absolutely you will want to inform yourself about the options, what we have found works well is for the student themselves to make a budget and ask you to support it
This is a good way to get them engaged in tbe process, to see how there are choices. If they see the whole term's money in one lump sum, it may be difficult to stop themselves spending extravagantly at first and running out of money later. Seeing that broken down into a daily/weekly amount, set against the fixed costs for accommodation is the first step in budgeting
It's also excellent practice for the world of work.
Especially In the early years, especially if their ask comes in below what you would have given, you might like to keep the rest in reserve in case they need further help.
Yes £400 a month should be fine. Why does she want to stay near home for university? Hopefully she’s going to the best university she can get into? Law jobs are hugely competitive.
I would also check (which she may have done already, of course) that accommodation is actually offered to those who live so close a d have no 'special' need for it, e.g. leaving care.
Most Unis offer accommodation to ALL first years.
I know kids who live in this city and are in halls in this city for their first year
(less than two miles from home)
so that they have the "experience"
but then save a fortune in 2nd and 3rd year
Obviously you contribute if you want to and can afford to.
Just because they may not be entitled to the full maintenance doesn't mean you have to stump the rest.
Lots of people can't afford to, and the young person gets a job.
Mine is working now, a small business at 16, because me and dh can't afford to contribute once she's an adult herself.
For some reason and it is very very unfair on the English the Welsh get more money, despite not paying more tax. I wish we could make all 4 parts of the UK the same. So whilst she may get the minimum maintenance loan of about £4300 she gets the extra £1k for Wales and if she is going to university in Wales then that alone may be enough for her to pay halls rent and live but £400 a month in additon from parents should be fine.
We pay rent and £400 a month for living expenses
Want them to focus on their studies and to have the 'free' Uni experience we had back in the day