It’s no secret that going to university is now more expensive than ever before.
Tuition fees have been on the up over the past decade, putting some people off the idea of further education, and putting others in debts that they have little hope of paying off until well into their later life.
It’s not just in this area where things are getting trickier, however. Rising living costs, a tougher jobs market and several other factors are all leaving people feeling the pinch.
So how did we get into this situation – and how can people find help if they’re struggling?
What do the numbers say?
According to the most recent Unipol Accommodation Costs Survey, the overall average weekly rent stands at £147 – a rise of almost a third in just seven years.
For the upcoming education year, maintenance loans could pay out up to £9,203 for those living away from home, and outside of London – where students generally are given more money to cover the higher cost of living.
That maintenance loan split into monthly instalments works out at £177 – leaving little wiggle room for things like food, textbooks and… well, living for those who do not have a job.
Although many students are fortunate to have financial help from family members, it’s not hard to see how those who do not can quickly fall into financial trouble.
Where is it most expensive?
Mystudenthalls.com’s Student Rent Index 2018 tracked the average cost of student accommodation across the UK and Ireland. The top 10 are as follows:
- Bath (£223.17 per week)
- London (£219.96 per week)
- Dublin (£204 per week)
- Cambridge (£192.60 per week)
- Reading (£187 per week)
- Portsmouth (£186.13 per week)
- Coventry (£179.50 per week)
- Edinburgh (£172.64 per week)
- Bristol (£171.80 per week)
- Oxford (£170.50 per week)
What help is out there?
The government has several options for those either from low-income backgrounds or those with dependants to make getting into further education more accessible.
For those already at uni, there are options for short-term student loans to help cover the costs of course materials, or other expenses. Before taking on financial products, however, it is crucial to make sure it fits in with your long-term budget and that you can afford any repayments.
Of course, the most popular way of getting financial help while at uni is to get a part-time job. It won’t only help you with some extra cash, but the experience of working could give you a head start on your contemporaries when it comes to finding a career post-uni.