Last year the government agreed to raise tuition fees, which saw fees rise from on average £3,000 a year starting in 2011 to on average £7,500 in 2012. The Guardian UK covered this with the main points:
- Universities have submitted their 2011 tuition fees plans and it has emerged that every university in England is planning to charge at least £6,000 a year.
- More than two thirds expect to charge the £9,000 maximum fees for some or all courses.
- Fees are paid when students graduate and start earning £21,000 a year.
- If the debt isn’t cleared in 30 years, it will be wiped out.
- Grants are available to help students and universities are supposed to offer students more financial aid than ever before.
So as students get busy revising and practising for their exams, the challenges above pose many questions. Is it really relevant or necessary to have a university education? Is it worth getting in to debt for a degree? Isn’t there a cheaper way to educate the next generation of students with the skills they really need? We certainly don’t pretend to have the answers to these questions. We can conclude however that for the moment student debt is a necessary evil and one that must be carefully managed so as to minimise it’s impact until a better solution is found.
Student financial survival
At ExamTime we would like to be able to provide students and their families with not only the best tools to succeed in exams but also advice on surviving financially through college once you get there.
We always advise to create your own student debt survival guide to trim expenses and find savings across the entire lifestyle board. So here are our tips to saving £££’s!
Think Long term
Don’t get carried away in the SU bar as soon as your student loan hits your bank account. It looks like a lot of money in initially, but after the rent gets paid, books are bought, it’s not long before that balance will shrink.
Shop around for competitive offers on utilities, ask for student discounts and check all major providers before making your decision.
As the financial sector goes through “interesting” times, students can take advantage as banks get more competitive. Compare the interest rates, overdraft facilities, credit cards and loan options. Register for phone and internet banking so you can keep on eye on your accounts easily.
More and more retailers are offering students discounts for clothes, gym membership, cinema tickets, meals etc. Take advantage of these offers, arrange your social life around these offers and you will see the difference in your bank balance.
Don’t be afraid to be a geek!
Don’t be afraid to use software programs to create your budgets. Excel spreadsheets can be a great way of keeping track of your spend and budgeting. Use the latest technologies to organise your study, free where possible, such as free flashcard and free mindmap software.
While we can’t do anything about the hike in University tuition fees, we will continue to offer students advice and help in getting to and getting through college!!