There is a stereotype of students as being broke, I suppose this works to our advantage as so many places do offer student discount because of this. It can be scary though, knowing for the next three or four years you’re going to have to deal with this trope. This may be the first time you’ve ever been financially independent to this extent and if you’re worried about budgeting I have a past blog post you can check out. This post will focus on where you can get money from when you’re at university.
Student loan: This is the big one and there are two parts of this you can apply for. The first part is your tuition fee which will be paid straight to the university and this will cover the fees that the university charge you. This will usually be the full amount but if you go to a private university you may have to contribute extra yourself. The second part is the money you will actually see, this is the maintenance loan. With Student Finance England the amount you receive is dependent on your parents income which can be problematic for some people but as you will see there are other ways of getting money while at university. All the information about paying this back is on the Student Finance website so you can check that out if you are unsure on anything. However, this is definitely the best type of loan to take out when you are a student as the repayment is more like a tax as opposed to how you’d pay back a regular loan. Also note that I have only used Student Finance England and I know it is slightly different in the other countries of Great Britain but all the information you will need can be found on the government’s website. One last thing to say on this, if you are going to university this year and haven’t applied yet, you need to do this ASAP as it takes time to process.
Bursaries: you can check to see if can you apply for any bursaries either through your university or a third party corporation. These are different to a loan as they are basically free money, they don’t have to be paid back. The only thing is that you have to qualify for these and there are different types of bursaries for people with different needs.
Part-time job: If you are worried about how to juggle a job while at university, don’t worry I have a blog post for that. For some people this will be a necessity and as someone who has worked while I’ve been studying it definitely is possible, it may just require a bit more organisation. The best thing about this is you can work the hours to suit how much money you need (within reason, you still need time for your studies) so this is a great form of income if your loan isn’t enough to cover everything. It also gives you that sense of independence, that money you are spending you have earned yourself.
Savings: This is something to plan ahead but if you know you want to go to university in a few years perhaps start putting some money away for it now. It doesn’t have to be a lot, it could just be a portion of pocket money or wages from a part-time job. It just means you have that added security of a bit of extra cash.
Speak to parents and guardians: The idea with student finance is that if you get a small loan your parents will make up for it. This is of course not possible for everyone but if you are worried about the amount of money you have coming in, speak to your parents and see if you can come to some sort of arrangement.
Student bank account with an interest-free overdraft: Most banks will offer a student bank account so its best to look through these and see which one has the best perks or will suit your needs best. A good thing about these bank accounts is that the overdraft is usually interest-free while you’re a student. Do be careful with these though as often you will begin to be charged interest on any debt you occurred as a student once you graduate, make sure you always read the fine print. It can be a good idea if you need a bit of extra money to tide you over until the next time you have some money coming in.