That’s in addition to the other pertinent question you should be asking – can you afford not to? If there’s one thing all parents unequivocally agree on, it’s that we all want what’s best for our kids. When it comes to a university education, this means wanting them to not only become independent and professional but also make their dreams come true.
However, ambition can certainly be an expensive habit. Here are several tips for working out how you could manage the next important step in their young lives.
Can you really afford to send your kids to university?
What kind of costs are involved?
These days, a student can easily graduate with between £35,000 and £45,000 of student debt, including tuition fee debt and any maintenance loan repayment. In 2017, the average student rent was £125 per week, which also means a massive outlay for parents.
Some parts of the country, of course, will prove much cheaper, and none more so than if your student stays at home during university, so it’s worth discussing this prior to university applications. Be realistic with what you can afford, and be clear about what sort of lifestyle the student can expect from the funds you can afford.
What does the student want to achieve?
For some reason, some kids seem to sniff out a career path from a young age, then pursue it throughout education. Although it doesn’t always work out as planned, they seem to have a goal and just go for it. Many other kids have a more vague idea of what they want to do, and university seems a useful way to achieve… something…
From your point of view, the big question is whether or not this is worth it, for both you and them. Usually, it is – research shows that graduates can expect to earn more money throughout their lifetime, so even a questionable career path usually pays off if it goes via university.
Educate them in economics
Regardless of whether or not they’re taking this class on campus, it’s essential for both you and your kids that they learn what things cost, where they come from, and how they can make the best use of every penny. Let them manage their own money, become accustomed to paying bills and even discover better deals for themselves.
Of course, they’re going to make some mistakes along the way, so point them in the right direction for useful money-saving student tips, be there to provide your own ‘pearls of wisdom’ when required, and let them work some things out on their own.
Spend to save
Look at every pound you can provide as an investment. Perhaps not in the sense that you’ll get it back with an astonishing return, but in that your university-ready child will reap the rewards for years to come. Spend the next three years sniffing out all the best offers and money-saving advice you can, as their qualification could be key to you saving money on supporting them in the future.
You can begin even before they leave the home, such as by negotiating better mobile offers, ushering them into part-time work and using sites like Compare the Man and Van to secure cheaper moving costs. After all of that, when the moment comes that the student receives their degree, you’re unlikely to care how much money you spent helping them to get it.