Welcome to our University Advice section. We have prepared the information here to help students understand the vast options of studying home or abroad at higher education level. Most of the topics are written as Questions and Answers and if there is a question that you have that we do not provide an answer for, get in touch we would love to hear from you and help further.
The cost of university life varies depending on where you study, whether you study locally, move to another city or country and the length of the course you study. It can be hard to plan the exact cost to fund university life, but there are always going to be definite expenses that you need to be aware of or plan for. If you do decide to live at home or with family whilst you study, often the biggest expense of rent, food and bills are saved, this can be a huge saving for students and their parents.
Currently set at maximum of £9,000 per year (2013-14) for UK students and can go up to £13,000 per year for full-time undergraduate courses. For home students, their parents’ income is considered. The UK Government have a great Student finance calculator to help students understand whether they will get any assistance with payments to their tuition fees.
It is good to set out a weekly budget for food to include what you need for cooking, breakfasts, drinks and snacks at home as well as eating out. The food budget often includes cleaning products and toiletries.
Whether you are staying at home, with family, student accommodation or renting privately rent is a big expense. If you are staying home, you most likely avoid this cost, however it’s always a good thing to contribute where you can. If you are going away from home in university halls of residence, you will be able to get lots of information on the cost of living from the university that you have applied to or secured a place from. If you are renting a house with a group of friends or house sharing with other students, make sure you are all clear on what you pay for together and separately. There are some great Applications that you can download to your smart phone that help to manage students bills and house sharing.
Depending on how you choose to get around Travel can be expensive or manageable using public transport and car sharing with friends. Typical Travel costs if you do not own a car include: trains (booking well in advance can save you a lot of money), buses, coaches (although sometimes a lengthy journey coach travel can be a cheaper option to get across the country) and taxi’s.
These can vary depending on whether you choose to live at university halls of residence or private halls of residence or if you choose to live in a student house. If you choose to live in a student house you will most likely have separate bills for water, electricity and gas and these bills would be shared amongst the other people you share the house with. Other bills include TV license, if you choose to use a laundrettes to wash your clothes phone bills, internet and insurance. One bill that full-time students are exempt from paying is the Council Tax bill, check with your local council if you are unsure if you are classified as a student.
As well as tuition fees there are additional expenses to studying, these typically include Books (but check to see what books are provided as part of your course tuition fee from the university), equipment (this varies depending on what you study for example if you are studying Business Management you do not need much additional equipment, but if you are studying Acting or Sports you may require additional clothing for certain classes), stationary and photocopying.
Work hard and play hard! However you choose to spend your time socialising at university it does not have to be your biggest expense. There are great student saving websites that provide offers and discounts for students.
Not the best way to spend your student loan, but essential shopping nonetheless. Make sure you make the most of student discounts, which are offered at most high street clothing stores.
Poor money management
If you cannot manage your money whilst at university you can quite easily run into extra expenses such as fines, charges for going over your overdraft limit with your bank, not settling bills. It pays to be a little considerate with you monthly budget.