Sending your children off to University is an exciting and proud moment for parents. To watch your kids grow up and flock the nest into further education is certainly a big moment in any parents life but it can also come with its own fair share of headaches too. The biggest headache of all of course is the financial side of making sure you’re in a position to support your children should they want to go onto University and not dive straight into work. So here are our top tips on how to financially prepare yourself for sending your children to University without crippling your bank balance.
Factor in Any Financial Help You May Need
Sending your kids to University is a huge expense, particularly if you have more than one that wants to go. Therefore you need to make sure that your hard earned cash is going in the right places. With so many different costs to factor in, from tuition fees, to accommodation to a whole range of different living costs it’s essential that you look at how far your savings will stretch when setting your kids up for higher education. Cash Float loans are a way of getting a little extra financial help or you may want to look into any scholarship programmes certain Universities offer as a way to reduce the cost that further education demands.
Look into your savings and balance what you have available with what the entirety of the course will cost. Of course you will need to multiply this by the number of children you have that are wanting to go to University. Once you have devised how much money you have to put into your children’s educational funding you can from there find out, how much financial help you may need, or how much more you will need to be putting aside each quarter to fund your child’s education.
This is the largest expense for sending your child to UNiversity so this is the first area that you are going to need to look into. With the recent years seeing a stark incline in tuition fees some of the best Universities in the UK are now charging almost £10,000 a year in tuition fees. So you are going to need to look into the Universities that are offering the courses your child is interested in and compare the different tuition prices that they charge.
Not all Universities have made the decision to ramp up their tuition fees however and there are still some affordable Universities, with strong reputations, that offer more realistic educational packages. So, with your child, do your research into the best Universities on offer at the most reasonable prices.
The Cost of Accommodation
Accommodation is another of the larger costs associated with student life. Student digs are notoriously low quality and highly priced so it takes time to shop around for the best accommodation for your money. Generally for first year students there are two options, you can either go into the Halls of Residence, the accommodation that is usually situated on campus or at least close by, that is specifically for students of the University. Or alternatively there is the option of students going straight into private accommodation. Typically the Halls of Residence is the more expensive option and the housing is generally safer for students and all the utilities are included in the price.
This tends to be the most popular option for students as it’s the best opportunity to meet other new students and socialise with coursemates and students from other courses, on the campus. It is of course, also more convenient, getting to and from classes and the quality of this accommodation tends to be slightly higher than with private accommodation.
Private accommodation is the cheaper option and obviously requires more time from students and parents to find a suitable place to stay. Private student accommodation, although is typically cheaper than the halls of residence, is in general cheap housing (in comparison to young professionals and family housing) so the level of living can be quite low.
Most Universities provide a list of private accommodation for parents to visit with their child. They organise ‘mixing’ events which gives students the opportunities to meet other new students and decide who they’d like to live with. Once alliances have been made, the list of accommodation is provided and students can head off in their new groups to look at private properties together. It is always advisable that parents attend these viewing also to make sure that all the necessary questions are asked to the landlord and to make sure that the quality is high enough for a decent level of living.
Even if your child is on the brink of heading off to University it really is never too late to start trying to put more money into the further education pot. Setting your children up in their first few weeks and months at University can be the most expensive time of all so making sure you have freed up a little extra cash will be really useful in the beginning chapter of their new life.
Not only do you need to focus on the tuition fees and accommodation costs, you also need to be thinking about the finer details. You will need to go shopping to kit your child out for new bedding, a sturdy school bag and stationery, pots, pans and basic kitchen utensils, bedside lamps and so on. Student books can also be rather expensive so it’s advisable to factor in around an extra £200 per trimester for the new books your child will need for the new modules they’re starting on. Once you start writing down a list of what they need you will realise very quickly how rapidly it all mounts up. So make sure you have factored in all these additional costs so that you are in a position to comfortably get your child all set up and ready to venture into their new life.