University Costs, what should your child (and you) be aware of?



Following A-Level results day, 17 to 18 year olds across the country will now know which university they will be off to in September.

One of parents’ main worries, (apart from how their children are going to survive on Pot Noodles and alcohol), is how their son or daughter is going to manage their finances over the next three or four years.  Back in March we held a Money Management Workshop for Year 13 students at Wilmslow High School. We covered everything from debit and credit cards to income and budgeting to payslips and tax.

Here is a snapshot of some of the areas we covered:

Student Loans:

In England, students can apply for Student Finance, ie. their student loans.  This includes the full tuition fee amount, which in most cases is £9,000 per year.   They can also apply for a maintenance loan of up to £5,555 or £7,751 if they are studying in London.  A maximum loan of £4,418 is available if your child lives at home.

These loans have really good interest rates, and arrangements for paying them back – ie. your child must be earning more than £21,000 a year before they start paying back the loan.

Maintenance Grant:

Some students may be eligible for a Maintenance Grant; a maximum of £3,387 is available. Eligibility for this Grant is linked to household income.   In our experience, it is rare for business owners to be eligible for this Grant.


Accommodation is the second biggest expense to university students, after the tuition fee. A survey, conducted by the National Union of Students examined the cost of 336,000 student rooms in the UK.  It found that London had the highest weekly rent (£157.48 on average) and Northern Ireland had the cheapest weekly rent (£83.01).  In most cases the student accommodation is only available to First Year Students.  Second and Third Year Students will need to look at house shares; which work out more expensive with the additional bills they will need to cover, such as Council Tax and Utilities.


In most cases the Student Maintenance Loan won’t cover the accommodation costs, let alone the other costs that the student will need to cover, including: Course Books – which can be very expensive

Food & Drink


Travel – to and from lectures, as well as visiting home

TV Licence – regardless of the device on which a student watches TV, they will need a TV Licence which is £145.05 per year.

With all these expenses, your son or daughter will want to consider how they can finance themselves.  “Bank Mum and/or Dad” is probably their preferred route; but they may also need to find a job.  We would advise that they prepare their CV before they leave for university, so they are ready to look for a job as soon as they arrive.


If you have any queries please contact Jackie or Andrew on 01625 524127.

Castletons Accountants

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