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Uni funding - full time vs part time - how does it work?

(9 Posts)
lowrib Sat 27-Jun-09 23:15:33

How does uni funding work?

I've got a place at university on hold, as a mature student, which I really want to do.
Before I got pregnant the plan was to work part time, study part time, but then lovely DS came along. The university have let me defer for 2 years, DS would be 21 months when I start.

I'm trying to work out how I can fit it all in, and how on earth we'll be able to afford it, while bringing in a little money at least, but still being there for my DS. It's looking touch and go whether it's actually doable at the moment.

I'm thinking about changing the course to full time because I've realised that "full time" at this Uni isn't actually much more than what they call "part time" - and I think you're entitled to more money if you go full time - am I right about the money?

Does anyone know how it works or where / how I can find this out?

TIA smile

lowrib Sun 28-Jun-09 08:51:59


ihavenosecrets Sun 28-Jun-09 08:57:43

I think whether you would be entitled to a grant depends on your family income. I don't think p/t students are entitled to grants.

As a full time student you will be eligible for student loans and can defer the cost of your tutition fees, I don't think you can do this as a p/t student.

I think being a full time student with a toddler will be very hard, although you don't need to spend much time in Uni you will have a lot of work to do.

I hope someone with more experience comes along shortly.

lowrib Sun 28-Jun-09 14:29:40

Thanks ihavenosecrets. I really want to do it, I'm trying to work out how it can all work - or if it can even.

You say "I think being a full time student with a toddler will be very hard." This is something which does worry me.
Part of me says I should wait till DS is at least in school, but then I know people do manage it, and my partner is really supportive.

Doing the course will mean I'll have a whole load more jobs available to me, including freelance / working from home, which would be great, and much easier to fit round family life than 9-5. Also we may have to move about a bit for DPs job, and if I could do something home-based like decent freelance work it would make things much easier.

If I wait till DS is as school, then we'll be skint throughout most of his primary school years! If I do it now at least we'll get the extra income sooner. But then is it really worth me not being around so much when he's a toddler? Perhaps not.

The money side - grants etc - is an important factor anyway, and if it isn't doable then that makes the decision for me really, so I'm focussing on the practicalities at the moment to help me make a decision.

Sorry about the long post - it's useful to see it written down.

Jaquelinehyde Sun 28-Jun-09 14:41:04

Hi lowrib

Being a full time student is 100% beneficial financially. You are entitled to apply for all financial assistance, and will be able to defer loan payments as mentioned earlier, but you will also be able to open a student bank account and get a decent overdraft limit.

I am currently studying a joint honours degree in Education and English Literature.

I have just finished the first year and I'm awaiting my results. I have a 4yr old DD, 3yr old DS, and a 2yr old DD. Yes sometimes it is difficult, especially around assessment time but I wouldn't change it for the world.

Full time generally only means 3 days and those aren't usually full days. As long as you are prepared to work once the DC's are in bed, and pull some late nights/early mornings around assessment time you will be fine.

thirtysomething Sun 28-Jun-09 17:08:13

Hi i'm doing a part-time vocational MA with 2 DCs both at school. I think I'd advise doing the course whilst your DS isn't at school! Things are much harder when they're at school instead of nursery, as the day is much shorter, you get loads of school concerts/exhibitions etc you're expected to turn up to with 48 hrs' notice (which can clash with exams/lectures etc) and then there's the long holidays! I do think life is easier if you have a good nursery as you can fit much more into you day.

I've really struggled with my course when the kids are on half terms and easter hols as I've had huge deadlines for essays over these times and felt guilty for putting the kids in holiday clubs or trying to work whilst they amuse themselves at home, so I would say go for it now!!

lowrib Sun 28-Jun-09 21:32:13

Hiya Jaquelinehyde and thirtysomething thanks for the encouragement, I really appreciate it, it helps to hear it's doable. It makes me feel we'll find a way somehow, and that I should just go for it.

I think finance-wise it'll probably have to be full time (eek!)

Does anyone know where I can get advice on student finances? I did an access course to get on this degree and there was lots of advice available through the college, but that was last year and I'm not there any more.

madwomanintheattic Wed 01-Jul-09 10:03:50

the uni should have funding advice pages on their website, and a student finance advice centre you can ring.

FairLadyRantALot Thu 02-Jul-09 22:32:51

hi there...
I am doing a degree in Occupational Therapy full time (have 3 children , 13, 6 1/2 and almost 5), and in the first term I did toy wiht the idea of going part time, but tbh, I am now glad that I didn't for the one day more at Uni (which it generally works out as), just won't make that much of a difference, comparing it with a whole extra year (if I would do it part time)...

also, funding is better if you do it full, if you can do it full time, I would defintely go for that

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