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AIBU?

to think that £500 a month is enough for a child at uni

554 replies

FunnysInLaJardin · 04/02/2024 20:39

we will pay his accommodation and his tuition fees will be paid, so this will just be for food and travel etc

OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

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cakeorwine · 04/02/2024 23:10

Spirallingdownwards · 04/02/2024 23:09

I very much suspect he is studying in London. Even in places like Bristol accommodation is £9-10k a year

The OP has updated and there are links to the accommodation.

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Spirallingdownwards · 04/02/2024 23:11

cakeorwine · 04/02/2024 23:05

How do people who just get maintenance loans manage as the accommodation costs seem to massively outweigh the maximum loan cost?

Brighton Accommodation - BIMM Music Institute

They have a gap year and work to save, parents are expected to top up, they have jobs whilst at uni.

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DaffodilsAlready · 04/02/2024 23:12

It was a bit of an eye-opener to me that the maintenance loan did not even cover the halls of residence where DD is. It seems to me to price low income students out of some places. I naively assumed that the full maintenance loan would be enough for somewhere to live.

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Spirallingdownwards · 04/02/2024 23:13

cakeorwine · 04/02/2024 23:10

The OP has updated and there are links to the accommodation.

Yes crossposted. Yes Brighton is one of the expensive cities too.

Students should be alerted to the factvwhen deciding which unis likely costs of not just halls but subsequent years' accommodation too

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DaffodilsAlready · 04/02/2024 23:13

*I mean, I knew I had to pay some of her costs as we are in Scotland and she gets the minimum loan (which was £4700 when she started - half of the halls of residence), but even the maximum loan was not enough for halls. Never mind anything else.

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mitogoshi · 04/02/2024 23:13

I'm guessing this is a studio flat rather than halls and on a 52 week contract. I'd be telling your child to go into normal halls, they are around half the cost

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mitogoshi · 04/02/2024 23:20

I'd also do your homework on BIMM I've heard mixed reviews from a couple of people who studied there (other branches not Brighton).

Brighton is an incredibly expensive city for students, my dd pays £140 a week for her studio elsewhere

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Gobimanchurian · 04/02/2024 23:23

My DD gets maintenance loan £1500 /term, £4500 / year to live on (we pay rent). Not counting weeks at home (we obviously feed her) that means she has about £100 a week for food, socialising, clothes. She generally doesn't need it all and saves, works PT too which enables summer travels. Oh, and she's paid utilities in Y2 (£100 a month) from her own money too.

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MrsAvocet · 04/02/2024 23:26

I thought £500 month sounded like a huge amount until I realised that the OP's son won't be getting any maintenance loan whatsoever. I pay my DS's rent and give him £150 per month but he gets minimum maintenance loan as well, which I think is about £3700 per year so that does work out similar. Mind you, he's in a shared house now so there's bills to pay out of that. When he was in halls and bills were included I paid the hall fees but didn't give him anything extra on top of that. He managed fine on the minimum maintenance loan for food and other day to day expenses. He's in the Midlands which I guess is probably a relatively cheap place to live compared to some parts of the country and he doesn't have a car.

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MBL · 04/02/2024 23:52

Hi @FunnysInLaJardin head over to the Higher Education topic where there is lots of current advice from students and parents in lots of different cities and courses Inc those coming from far and overseas.
https://www.mumsnet.com/talk/higher_education

Higher Education Forum - University & Degrees | Mumsnet | Mumsnet

Discuss everything related to university and degrees in our higher education forum. Get help choosing universities, loan applications and more.

https://www.mumsnet.com/talk/higher_education

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MomOfTwoGirls2 · 04/02/2024 23:56

DD in private halls North London, no grant, we pay. We give her £150 per week. She has transportation costs 7 days per week.
She gets by on this OK. Pays for transportation, food, laundry, socialising…
She doesn’t have a lot of money to spare but she manages quite well.
£17k for private halls is very expensive. We pay £10k for private ensuite room in London…. 45 weeks.

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ALargeChardonnayPlease · 05/02/2024 01:36

£500 is how much our daughter has each month. She gets the minimum student loan of £4500 and we pay for her accomodation, bills including phone bill and travel home. However, she also has a part time job at uni and one when she's back home, because she likes doing nice things and I fully support her. They're both zero hour contracts, which suit her need to pick and choose her shifts flexibly. She really struggled in her first year, but is thriving in her 2nd year, in part due to having less money worries. I realise we're very lucky we've been able to financially support her in this way. When I was at uni, I had the max amount of loan because my mom was a single parent with very little income at the time. She tried her best and would send me the odd £50 and pay for lunch if she visited. I'm still paying off my student loans, but at least I wasn't 27K in debt from the £9K student fees alone

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Yesnosorryplease · 05/02/2024 05:24

My mind is absolutely blown by a room in halls costing considerably more than our mortgage on a large detached house!

If we need to pay anything like that plus £500/month per child, we will have to sell our house for our DC to be able to go! We will still have younger siblings at home too...

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cloudtree · 05/02/2024 05:50

Yesnosorryplease · 05/02/2024 05:24

My mind is absolutely blown by a room in halls costing considerably more than our mortgage on a large detached house!

If we need to pay anything like that plus £500/month per child, we will have to sell our house for our DC to be able to go! We will still have younger siblings at home too...

That’s extremely unusual and the OP is choosing to pay for a 52 week contract too. Most university contracts are about 40 ish weeks which covers Christmas and Easter but ends over summer. Plus they’re choosing a studio flat instead of typical halls (which personally I would never do for a fresher).

I think average cost is about £7-8k a year for rent.

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Yesnosorryplease · 05/02/2024 06:06

cloudtree · 05/02/2024 05:50

That’s extremely unusual and the OP is choosing to pay for a 52 week contract too. Most university contracts are about 40 ish weeks which covers Christmas and Easter but ends over summer. Plus they’re choosing a studio flat instead of typical halls (which personally I would never do for a fresher).

I think average cost is about £7-8k a year for rent.

Good to know, thanks!

Need to seriously start saving!

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WhyIOughtTo · 05/02/2024 07:05

@Yesnosorryplease my dd is at Newcastle and she was in halls in her first year and it was under £5000. And they were modern en suite halls right in the middle of the city.

This year she is in a flat with six others, also in the city centre so no travel costs. Her rent is £106 for 40 weeks and they have a bills package which is £23. She gets a minimum loan so we top it up to the loan amount and she doesn't get any extra although I pay her phone.

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MooFroo · 05/02/2024 07:19

a lot depends on your circumstances, uni location and the course they are doing- how demanding it is and what prospects after they graduate. A lot of courses only have 10-12 hours a WEEK of content time so plenty of time to get paid work.

it’s heartbreaking to see struggling parents subsidise their kids party life at uni when they’re doing a ‘lightweight’ degree rather than something that will help them get a good job/career path free uni.

So many graduates struggling after uni because they don’t know how to work and manage life and responsibilities.

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Lentilweaver · 05/02/2024 07:23

I pay this for my DS in London for food and travel. He just about manages on it. He has actually started walking and biking to save money. London has become phenomenally expensive. He worked in his first year, but he is doing a very punishing course and hasn't had time to work in his second year. Not a 12 hours per week course.

I don't even want to discuss what he pays for his room as it's too painful a subject! :(

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DG1749 · 05/02/2024 07:28

Probably absolutely fine unless they're in a particularly expensive city and having to buy a travel pass because they live far from campus (eg travel in London can be easily be £100+ / month alone)

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Lentilweaver · 05/02/2024 07:34

I'd encourage parents to look very carefully at cost of accommodation and transport in larger cities and expect it to rise substantially, especially in London. Thinking rather wistfully of the offer DS got at Warwick Uni where everything would be much cheaper. He didn't much like Coventry though!

DS has only a year to go, so we are just being frugal elsewhere.

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ohthehokey · 05/02/2024 07:43

Yes, it's loads. My DS got £300 a month to live on and managed fine.

That said, he wasn't out partying every night or buying take away.

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Copasetic · 05/02/2024 07:47

We give £100 pw all year round. That way she has a bit of a build up when home for extra beginning of term costs. This is just for general living, food, socialising etc.

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cakeorwine · 05/02/2024 07:54

All these people saying what they give their children without context of loans and accommodation is meaningless. I could give my child £100 a month or £300 a month and say he's ok with that - but that does not mean anything as you don't know what loan he gets or what his accommodation costs are.

I suppose the more useful thing is how much a student needs after accommodation costs.

Students may get a maintenance loan - and that amount depends on the parental income. I think it comes as a surprise to some parents that they are expected to top it up.

So assuming accommodation is paid for (either via loan or from parents), what amount do parents think a student should need per week to get by? Once you know an amount you are happy with, then look at the amount they get from the loan company and figure out what you need to do to top it up - and if they need to work as well

Of course, there is the argument that the loan amount has not kept up with inflation and rent increases.

Which is why knowing what you think is a reasonable amount a student needs per week (after accommodation) is a better discussion - and that amount is not necessarily what you give them as some of it may come from the loan and any work they do.

(DS and I are about to have this conversation in September)

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Lentilweaver · 05/02/2024 07:56

We are not eligible for a loan.

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cakeorwine · 05/02/2024 08:00

Lentilweaver · 05/02/2024 07:56

We are not eligible for a loan.

Which is why it's useful to say - my child is not eligible for a loan so we give them X pounds a month - and their accommodation is £Y

Or our child gets a loan of £X, we top it up with £Y and accommodation costs £Z

And hope that X + Y is bigger than Z

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