With tuition fees rising to their highest ever levels, the cost of living continuing to grow and the current economic climate, from a financial perspective, sending your children to university might seem ludicrous. Yet the number of students applying hasn’t slowed down and hundreds of thousands of parents still afford to ship their kids off each year. If you’re considering it, here are the real costs that are required.
Not so long ago, university fees were a third of what they cost now, a third of that before and completely free before that. Now the average annual cost for tuition fees is £9,188 in the UK, which is only just less than the maximum £9,250 that universities can charge. However, thanks to student loans, grants and bursaries, no parent ever has to fork out £27,000 up front for a three-year university course. Once your child is earning £21,000 per year, they’ll begin paying it back themselves.
Rent will vary for each year and depending on where your child goes to university. Wherever you go though, this will be the biggest expense. Research showed that the average student rent in 2017 was £125 per week, but this ranged from the lowest of £91 p/w in Northern Ireland to £182 in London. In their first year the university accommodation might only be for nine months but in their second and third years it’s likely a full 12 months rent will have to be paid.
Essential Student Bills
While students are exempt from council tax, there’s no getting away from utility bills, internet, mobile phone and transport costs. In rented accommodation, monthly bills will cost around £50 on average, though in their first year university halls bills might be included. The reading list can be quite expensive too, unless they can borrow from the library. Plus, transport ranges from single bus journeys being around £1.50 to around £90 a month for London students relying on the tube, buses and walking.
It can depend whereabouts your child goes to university as to how much they need to budget for everyday living. Again, London is by far the most expensive for everything from the weekly food shop to taxis, drinking, cinema tickets and more. In the north there can be a big difference in price for all of these things and a lot will depend on their tastes, especially for gig tickets and eating out.
The costs of sending your kids to university are on the rise but through loans, grants and good budgeting, it’s still a highly feasible option.