The cost of University can feel extremely off-putting if you’re thinking about further study. I remember being in Sixth Form and having no idea how I would afford it. I didn’t know the way loans were repaid, how they were repaid, or when they stop being repaid. I was completely clueless until I attended a talk on the costs, and then I realised it was all do-able! For UK students, I’ve broken this post up into 5 stages that I feel will be a massive help if money is something you’re worrying about.
You or your parents may already have savings for Uni. However, if this is not the case and you’re from the UK or EU, don’t worry! You won’t have to pay upfront fees and the money is given to you as a loan that you pay off in installments once you graduate and earn over a certain annual income. For international students, the process is slightly different and you can find out more about student finance on the University’s finance pages.
The student loan given to UK and EU students for September 2017 by the government may include grants (non-repayable) depending on your parent’s income. Aside from this, there may be other scholarships available from your Uni. For example, Newcastle University offer ‘Opportunity Scholarships’ and your hometown/city may also provide financial help.
A common myth about student loans is that once you graduate, you must repay as soon as possible! This isn’t true. You only star repaying once you earn more than £21,000 a year. Whilst every graduate hopes that one day they will earn above this amount – it isn’t common for recent graduates to earn this amount straight away, so don’t panic!
I remember sitting down with my mum just before I started University and we planned a scary looking Excel spreadsheet of what was leaving my account and what was coming in on a monthly basis. Whilst it took a couple of hours to make, it was so worth having this budget as a visual reference point just to keep me on track.
Don’t worry – these costs will not be looming over you once you become old and grey. In fact, they are wiped thirty years after you graduate! It doesn’t matter how much you already paid, or how much you had left to pay off, the slate is wiped clean.
If you’d like to read more about budgeting for Uni, Martin Lewis from Money Saving Expert has created this handy PDF guide!