University costs

Can You Afford To Send Your Child To University?

Many who would like their children to get a debt-free university education are worried about increased tuition fees, which are hitting families at a time when increases to the cost of living are already stretching parents’ budgets thin. However, helping your child attend university with as little debt as possible is one of the best ways to secure their future and ensure that they will be able to start their lives in the best possible position.

Depending on how far away your child is from starting his or her degree programme, there are a number of options available to make school a little bit more affordable.

The tuition fees at most UK universities will now be £9,000 per year, after new government rules go into effect this autumn. However, the first step is to figure out how high the tuition fees will really be for your child. If you are able to find schools that your child wants to attend that charge less than the maximum of £9,000, consider this carefully.

Accommodation

Another cost that parents have to worry about, besides tuition fees, is the cost of accommodation at a school.

Most first year students spend their first year in a university hall of residence and later move on to privately rented accommodations. If possible, explore other options to look for something cheaper, such as long-term hostel accommodations or staying with a family friend or relative that lives near your child’s chosen school. Many students are now choosing to commute if the school is not too far from home, as this can save tens of thousands of pounds each year.

How to Save

One of the best ways to make sure your child can go to the school of their choice is to have savings put away specifically so the child will not have to graduate with debt. No parent would want that for their children in this volatile economic climate, particularly with the unemployment rate for under-24s reaching eye-watering levels.

Of course, saving is easier the further a child is from turning 18 and heading off to university, but even for a teenager it can be worth it to put away some money.

One of the most popular ways to save for children is through the Junior ISA, which was launched by the government last autumn. This is an account that allows parents, family and friends to save money for the child together, up to £3,600 per year. All earnings such as interest or capital gains, are payable in full to your child and is completely tax-free. Some parents worry that their child will spend their hard-saved money frivolously, but studies have actually found that young adults are much more responsible with a lump sum of money than their parents would believe.

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