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Uni costs

(20 Posts)
AnythingNotEverything Sun 24-Sep-17 22:08:01

My eldest is probably going to uni next September and we're trying to work out the costs.

He won't get any help so will have to pay fees and will get the maximum loan. He's looking at the northern metropolitan Unis - Manchester met, Northumbria etc, rather than London/Oxbridge.

Can I ask how you are supporting your teen financially at uni? We'll expect him to get a job - he already has bar and cocktail making/barista experience so shouldn't struggle - but we're trying to work out what else is normal. I'm sure there's no such thing!

We have time this year to encourage him to save from his part time job but that conversation would be more meaningful as part of a wider chat about uni costs, support and expectations.


BlessYourCottonSocks Sun 24-Sep-17 22:26:11

I don't support mine at all. We can't afford to. They take a loan, and will have to find work on top. At 18 they are an adult in our eyes. They have to make the adult decision as to whether they want to hock themselves up in student loan debt to go to uni, and hope therefore to get a better job at the end of it, or whether they would prefer to find an apprenticeship/job without uni.

That sounds harsh perhaps, but that is what we've had to do. We are always skint by the end of the month and couldn't afford to support another household on top of our own. My parents (and DHs) didn't financially support us after we left school. The idea that parents should somehow still be keeping teens once they are an adult and have left school is very new. They are welcome to come home in holidays for free board and lodge, but that's the best we can do. I simply don't have a spare £100 (or even more) a month to hand out to anyone - child of mine or not!

TrumpsWigmaker Sun 24-Sep-17 22:47:09

Cost of living is a lot cheaper in Newcastle than Manchester - just saying

krustykittens Sun 24-Sep-17 22:57:32

We are dreading this as our eldest wants to be a vet and with the amount of hours they study and the amount of hours they need to volunteer to get experience, she will not have much time for a job! We've told her to brace herself for living at home during her degree as like Bless we simply cannot afford to support a separate household. Nor do we want her to get into massive debt if she can commute to a good uni from home (if she can). We are encouraging her to take a year out, work and save as much as she can.

Beamur Sun 24-Sep-17 23:06:10

We've just got to the end of supporting 2 teens at Uni.
Neither worked, although one had a year in work as part of course.
Once they knew course costs/loans and accommodation costs, they worked out a budget for additional costs and we came to an arrangement with their mum about how much to give them each month. Grandparents have helped too. They wanted less than I would have expected, but I think Mum was able to pay more.

Crumbs1 Sun 24-Sep-17 23:25:32

It's expensive, no doubt about it and the costs may vary depending on the course. The ability to work part time also varies depending on the course. If you have good grades some universities give a financial award. If you're low income family and first generation to university there is additional financial support.
Most of ours haven't worked and have lived away. The cost of accommodation varies enormously from city to city. The costs of travel home vary too.
We pay tuition fees, we make them take the loan for living expenses (otherwise they'll take it on top of what we gave anyway) but we pay back if they finish vocational degree like medicine or get a 2:1 or above.
We pay accommodation costs in full including deposit and bills etc This year for one it's £750 a month inclusive of all bills, internet etc but it's walking distance to university, has good laundry facilities and is in expensive city. The other one is cheaper at £450 plus bills but they need a car which we'll pay for.
We pay phone, insurance, contact lenses and additional costs like travel,abroad for language degree.
We do expect non medicine ones to get holiday job during summer for at least part of the time.

cdtaylornats Mon 25-Sep-17 07:46:17

No matter what you plan life will tear those plans up.

My friend thought he had planned perfectly. Two kids 4 years apart. As they came up to secondary school he bought and refurbished a flat near his old university (Glasgow). His plan DS could go to Glasgow, live in the flat and graduate in time for DD to do her degree, live in the flat then graduate and he could then sell it for a tidy profit.

Part 1 worked and DS lived in the flat and graduated - then stayed on to do his PhD while his DD went to do medicine in Aberdeen.

He was last seen waving goodbye to his early retirement.

AJPTaylor Mon 25-Sep-17 07:53:39

my dd worked through uni. she was in london so easy to find work. she took student loan and that went straight to rent. we paid any shortfall and gave her 300 a month. her wages paid for everything else.

bouncydog Mon 25-Sep-17 07:56:22

There is a very helpful student thread on In addition, the Universities will have information on their sites regarding living costs. Depending on the degree, the costs will vary - e.g. our daughter's science degree also had additional costs for field trips etc. Some of the Unis give bursaries to help students from lower income families. There are also discounts available to students for lots of different things. Best thing we did was taught our daughter how to cook from scratch and budget. That way she lived within her means!

Notanothernamechangeaddict Mon 25-Sep-17 08:06:02

My ds got the maximum loan amount from student finance (around 8k a year) as we are on a low income, he chose mid range accommodation (2 share a bathroom, 12 share a kitchen)
After accommodation costs he has £65 a week to live on, so he got a Saturday job earning around £50 a week, giving him £115 a week to feed/clothe/socialise
More than I have!
He's 19, I lived on my own at that age, so he has to support himself and I'm not in a position to help really

Grausse Mon 25-Sep-17 11:25:15

Lots of threads about this on Higher Education
When you say he won't get any help do you mean from you?
The maximum loan outside London is £8400 but is reduced if parents have income above about £25K so you are expected to make up the difference
I am four years in to supporting two DC at uni.
They get student loans and I top them up to the max level.
This means I pay them each about £250 a month.
I don't expect them to take jobs while at uni as both are on very full courses but they do some work over summer.
You do save a surprising amount on food and bills etc when they are not at home.

AnythingNotEverything Mon 25-Sep-17 11:48:55

Grausse i mean he won't get any bursaries/additional loan etc as our income is too high.

I'll have a look at the MSE link and didn't know their was a HE topic. Thanks, will check those sources too.

Seems a wide range. We certainly can't offer £750 a month and not sure we'd want to. Topping up to the max loan amount sounds like a good idea though. He's worked 3 shifts this weekend so not workshy - hopefully a decent job will help.

He'll have a year in industry and prob a semester abroad, but we can manage those extras, it's the weekly/monthly amount that we'd like to have an idea about.

I'll come back and read again with DH tonight. Thanks so much for your posts.

Aderyn17 Mon 25-Sep-17 11:55:38

My dc doesn't get any additional help either and can only borrow the minimum amount because our income is too high. They have done paid work over the summer and we top up to meet rent costs and deposits. Also do them a food shop when visiting and bought things like interview clothes.

Mary21 Mon 25-Sep-17 13:23:10

Depends where they go to uni. My ds1 paid £3900 for halls in his first year northern uni. Other places halls can be double this meaning the whole maintainance loan goes on accommodation. In his northern city there is plenty of low isn cost housing for the second year where are in other cities like London it is hard to find.
Some uni,s try to help students keep costs low by having lots of cheap stuff via students unions others are out to make money from the students. Some cities have a lot more in terms of student discounts, student deals etc.
Jobs are easier to come by in different cities.
We don't help support Ds at all.

PinkCrystal Tue 26-Sep-17 13:08:44

That sounds harsh perhaps, but that is what we've had to do. We are always skint by the end of the month and couldn't afford to support another household on top of our own. My parents (and DHs) didn't financially support us after we left school. The idea that parents should somehow still be keeping teens once they are an adult and have left school is very new. They are welcome to come home in holidays for free board and lodge, but that's the best we can do. I simply don't have a spare £100 (or even more) a month to hand out to anyone - child of mine or not!

Bless cotton socks this is the same for us. They had savings which paid the 400 uni accom fee and we bought some books and household stuff. We couldn't sign as guarantor as couldn't afford 100 a week should they drop out or default. Other the the few tins and food bits we give when they pop round and a tenner here and there they have to make do with loans, bursary and part time work.

They seem to live well with latest phones constant nights out etc. Not at all in poverty. Officially according to student finance we should be contributing zero anyway due to income.

preproombabe Tue 26-Sep-17 13:24:23

We have two at uni, both second year now. We pay their rent and possessions insurance, and they both get the minimum maintenance loan which has to cover everything else - food, phones, books, socialising, clothes etc. If they find its not enough, I would expect them to look for work, not ask us for more.

When they were in halls last year it totalled about £10,000 for both for the year. This year, it will be about the same because, although the weekly rent is less, they have to pay for 12 months and not just 9.

donajimena Tue 26-Sep-17 13:26:19

Don't pay the fees! Read Martin lewis advice. You could be parting with money for no reason.

BlessYourCottonSocks Tue 26-Sep-17 21:44:36

PinkCrystal Thank God it's not just us! (Although frankly, even if we are the only parents NOT paying, it's tough).

Looking at posts like preproom makes me incredulous if this is what is expected of parents - I'm not judging or criticising them, but £10,000? There is no earthly chance I could come up with £1,000 a month handout for DCs. We basically have about £150 a week to live on for food/petrol/toiletries etc - and there are still 4 of us at home. One of the problems we have found is that student funding is means tested - but only in that they ask for household income and how many other DCs are still at home. They have no interest in how much my mortgage is, council tax/bills. What loans you may have, etc. And so whilst I may look to be earning a reasonable salary, actually there is very little left after paying out the monthly bills.

AnythingNotEverything Tue 26-Sep-17 22:47:11

Donajimena i don't mean actually pay the fees, but they'll be added to his loan. He won't get any sort of grant for them. (I don't even know if anyone gets those anymore but I did in 2004)

preproombabe Wed 27-Sep-17 11:07:39

Bless the only way we can afford to pay this is to borrow money on our mortgage, which obviously means it will take longer for us to pay it off.

I completely agree with you about the inequity of the means tested loans. Our income, whilst probably above average nationally, is definitely below average for the area we live in. The bar seems to be set so low - anything above about £25k and the maintenance loan is reduced. And no consideration to whether there is more than one student in the household to support. We're just hanging on in there waiting for the kids to graduate!

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