Flying the nest – a quick guide to university finance

Starting university means plenty of challenges for young people. It also means a few for their parents, particularly in the area of finance. Further education is an expensive proposition and knowing how to deal with the costs is vital.
Here’s our brief guide.
There are two main costs for university students – living costs and tuition fees. Both will be expensive, but most people will be able to apply for a student loan to cover the costs.

Tuition fees

A loan of up to £9,250 a year is available for tuition fees, the actual amount to reflect the tuition fees set by the university. The Tuition Fee Loan will be paid directly to their university or college in three instalments at the start of each term.

Anyone with a disability may be able to get a Disabled Students’ Allowances grant to pay for things like specialist computer software, or help with transport. This is a grant and will not need to be repaid.

Living costs

The costs of living as a student can be high, and some students opt to stay at home and travel to college to avoid the costs of accommodation.

However, even those who stay in the parental home need to pay for travel, books and food. A Maintenance Loan is designed to help, and anyone eligible for student finance can have one, but the level differs based on parental household income. The Maintenance Loan is paid directly to your child in three instalments in line with term dates. The first is usually in September, shortly after they’ve started their course, the second in the New Year and the final instalment in April.

The Maintenance Loan is paid directly to your child in three instalments in line with term dates. The first is usually in September, shortly after they’ve started their course, the second in the New Year and the final instalment in April.

For full-time students in England where household income is up to £25,000 the maximum maintenance loans for the 2018/19 academic year are:

  • Living at home: up to £7,324. If household income is £58,215 or more, the maximum loan is £3,224.
  • Living away from home, outside of London: up to £8,700. Where household income is £62,215 or over, the maximum loan is £4,054.
  • Living away from home, in London: up to £11,354. Where household income is £69,860 or over, the maximum loan is £5,654.
  • A year of the course studying abroad: up to £9,963.

How to apply for funds

If you are a parent with a child starting university after the summer, you and your child need to apply for a loan as soon as possible so funding is ready at the start of term.

To do this, you will need to get in touch with the Student Loans Company (SLC). SLC is a non-profit body that processes all applications for students in England and Wales and administers funding on behalf of the government.

Scottish students apply via the Student Awards Agency for Scotland while students in Northern Ireland apply to Student Finance Northern Ireland.

If your child is applying for the basic Maintenance Loan, you won’t need to do anything further. If they’re applying for the part of the Maintenance Loan that depends on your household income, you’ll be asked for details of your income so you will need your P60 and have your National Insurance number. Applications take six to eight weeks to process so you need to apply without delay.

Applications take six to eight weeks to process so you need to apply without delay.

Of course, with the children ready to leave the nest, it might also be time to think about your own financial plans. The Continuum team will be very pleased to help.

The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you invested.

Get in touch

If you would like to discuss further please call us on 0345 643 0770, email us at [email protected] or click on the ‘Contact Us’ link below. Thank you.

Let's talk

If you want to get a free consultation without any obligations, fill in the form below and we'll get in touch with you.









    Sign-up to our free weekly online publication