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Financial realities of university

There is lots to consider before moving to university, such as university finance and student loans. Watch Prof Gail Marshall explain more.
As a dad, I’m concerned about the social aspect, leaving home and the friends he’s grown up with. I’m concerned that the loan won’t cover all living costs and my son might struggle to get a job. I’m worried about how student finance works, and I feel guilty. I don’t understand the process to help.
As the offers begin to come in from universities, the reality of moving away will become a lot clearer and may bring particular issues into focus– nervousness on all sides about actually leaving home, making a new life and a new place, making new friends, maybe worrying about old friendships and how they’ll be sustained, and coping with the huge independence of life in a university where the timetable might be much lighter than school and where no matter what the timetable demands, students are responsible for motivating and organising themselves. That said, there is lots of help available from academic or personal tutors, from welfare services, study advice, and friends to help everyone stay on track.
At this time, the financial reality of university looms larger too as you get a sense of how much accommodation and general living costs will be at the places you’re looking at. University websites and talks on open days will give advice about managing finances, applying for grants and loans, their tuition fees. And student finance services will often be able to help students manage their finances while they’re with us. Universities nowadays realise that many students will want or need a part-time job to help them through university and will do what they can to help students manage this situation. That said, university work has to come first. And it can’t be neglected because of a short-term necessity.
So students need to think very carefully about how they’ll manage to fit in paid work around their university work, not the other way around. With this in mind, many universities actually offer paid employment to students in catering venues, student unions, in the library, and as volunteers, for example, on open days in order to try to ensure that students take on jobs that are designed to be compatible with their studies. In addition, students can use their vacations to gain relevant experience for future careers by seeking out paid placements.

In the video, Gail introduces you to some of the financial realities that parents and supporters face and some of the help and support available to students when they get to university.

In the next Steps, we’ll look at finances in more detail, including loans, how the repayments work, as well as how they might be able to manage paid work alongside their study.

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A Parent and Supporter’s Guide to University Entry

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