Wow your friends and attract your preferred sex by dropping these nuggets of knowledge into conversation:
1. By the time they graduate, the average debt of a student starting this Autumn is likely to be around £50,000.
2. At some unis, the cost of living is more than twice as much as at others. Last year Teesside was the cheapest and the Royal Academy of Music the most expensive. Meanwhile, studying in London is almost 50% more expensive than studying in Wales. So, choose your uni carefully.
3. Tuition fees always seem to be on the rise, but currently the maximum tuition fees that unis can charge to UK students is frozen at £9,250 a year.
4. If your parents earn less than £25,000 a year, as well as money to cover your fees (or most of them), you’re probably entitled to a grant to live on. That’s money you never have to pay back. If they earn less than £50,000, the grant will be smaller, but there’ll be a loan too. Beyond that, you can get the loan, but that’s all.
5. If your parents are divorced, they usually only count one parent’s income when they calculate what you can get. (So, if they’re still together, now’s the time to have a quiet word...) Head here for more on applying for grants, loans and bursaries.
6. Hundreds of thousands of pounds go unclaimed every year in bursaries, scholarships, prizes, all sorts. Most universities don’t bend over backwards to tell students, so it’s worth asking about them as you could be able to pick up anything from a few quid to a couple of thousand pounds.
7. You'll start repaying after you’re earning over £21,000. And it's 9% of your income over this amount, so the more you earn, the higher the amount you pay back per month. Think of it like a tax, and most importantly, don't panic over it.
8. Year on year the Government spend £5bn on student grants and loans. If they spent the same amount on Mars Bars, they could line them up on the equator and go round the earth two and a half times.
9. Befriending your bank is a good idea. Wining and dining them probably isn't necessary but at least return their phone calls. That way, they’ll trust you if you need their help. What’s more banks almost never make a profit out of student accounts – they run them at a loss to attract customers who’ll earn more in the long run.
Okay, so they’re not charities, but no evil corporate monsters either.
10. It's worth it in the long run. As a graduate, on average you cut your chances of ever being unemployed in half, you’ll find a job twice as quickly in the first place and, over a lifetime, you’ll earn more (estimates range between £54,000 and nearly £400,000) than people who give up on education earlier.
Beware the small print. There are all sorts of ifs and buts when it comes to finance, so please don’t assume the numbers above apply to you without checking elsewhere on Push.co.uk.
That’s particularly true if you don’t live in the UK, if you’re in Scotland or Northern Ireland, if you’re over 21, if you have a disability, if you're studying part-time, if you’re studying to be a teacher, if you have kids, if you’re living with your parents, if you’re living in London, if you like to carry fish in your pocket and shout ‘wibble’ at strangers, and so on.
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