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Student Loans/Maintenance Grants advice

Any advice here from anyone who's children have gone to Uni recently?

I've been helping my nephew who just got a place at Uni for September, this is all very new to me as my eldest daughter isn't due to go until next year. It seems from checking online that anyone can take a loan of up to £9,250 for their university fee's per annum. However the maintenance grant is means tested, meaning that what you can borrow depends on your parents income (or I believe they call it 'household income').

So in the case of my nephew who has an a$$ of a dad who earns good money it seems he can only take a maintenance grant of £3,928 which isn't even enough to cover his halls of residence (about £5k) let alone eating as he predominantly lives currently with his father (don't ask). On the flip side if he lived currently with his mother he could take a maintenance grant of £8,430 and probably get by.

Seems a little unfair as it's based on the fact the parent will fund the university living expenses, which in this case the parent won't or to a very minimal extent (£150 a month!).

I need to look into further but unless I help him out as his father 'doesn't believe in university' he won't be able to go or will need to find a part time job nearby earning say £5k a year minimum. And I thought it was those from the less affluent backgrounds who may struggle.......

Anyone who's been through this/kids going to Uni recently know anything on the above and in particular maintenance grants that may help?
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Comments

  • I can only echo what you've already said. When I went to Uni 4 years ago because I lived with my Mum (low wage) I got a large chunk of the maintenance grant despite my dad earning good money and supporting me. Didn't seem right but it helped me out alot. The whole system needs a good look at in my opinion.
  • I've always found Martin Lewis' website really helpful on student loan topics.

    Have a look here if you haven't already:
    moneysavingexpert.com/students/student-loans-tuition-fees-changes#grantsgone
  • edited August 24
    If he's going to be living in halls of residence I'd suggest he states his mum's address is the main residence (If possible). My daughter is going into her final year and has worked part time throughout and is still getting good grades. He can contact the uni job centre (now) to see what is available. They often have a Facebook page as well.
  • Good luck Andy. Everything I read about Uni now gets on my nerves. Seems like everyone gets hammered, students and parents unless you are very well off
  • Having just finished myself I can confirm that you are correct.

    As has already been suggested, it's worth trying to put down his mums address as where he lives.

    A lot of the unis themselves offer grants to particular students so thats something to look at. My housemate got £1k from the Uni each year.

    Another one of my housemates worked for Sainsburys for 3 of the 4 years and that suited him well as he could work at a different branch when he went home for the holidays.

    Also good to remember that whilst the halls may be expensive for the first year, in my case the 2nd, 3rd and 4th year rents were around half what they were in first year (although probably less than half as nice).
  • Based on my wife's and my joint income, my daughter gets about £4600 in maintenance loan. This only just covers her rent in the halls of residence at Portsmouth. We will be funding her for her food, insurances, any travel, books etc etc. Her social life is her own concern and she will have to work part-time for that. Luckily, she works 12 hours a week for the Co-Op in Dartford and she has secured a transfer to the one next door to where she will be living.

    As Cabbles said, everyone gets hammered. It's not cheap when you get there as despite getting £9250 in fees for the academic year, they still charge for things like printing and photocopying. The tenancy agreement for the halls of residence forbids her to wash or dry clothes in her room, forcing her to use the on-site laundry which is £4 for one wash and £2 for one drying cycle (up to three cycles is recommended to fully dry her clothes)

    As for the question asked, register your nephew at the address where the parent earns the least. That way the loan will be higher. But why they means test it is anyone's guess. Before this year it was a grant and needed to be means tested. Now, it's a loan and needs to be paid back anyway.
  • Worth considering the ridiculous interest rates applied to the newer student loans before taking them out. Ie less maintenance might be better if at all possible.

    I did a course at uni that was very demanding hours wise compared to a lot (my friends doing business degrees had about 6-8 hours a week of lectures) but I would have still had enough time to get part-time work. In hindsight I should have donebut my fees were only just over £1k a year.

    I worked full-time during my masters and that required more work than the first degree.
  • Thanks for all the points I'll look into all those, i'll see about his mums house/address, but not straight forward but I won't bore you all with those details.

    He's a good lad and will look for a job, but he was thinking of not going as he didn't want to drop out if finances became a major issue, If it comes to it I'll make up what he needs to live, I was always partly expecting it TBH.
  • That is the idiotic thing about maintenance grants. Students are adults in their own right; what in the hell does their parents' income have to do with anything?

    Unfortunately that's the system we have. A part time job might be a good thing though, gets something on the CV, is good experience and teaches time and money management. Student towns usually have quite a few jobs going and a lot of the work will be cyclical based on term times anyway (meaning he can take the usual breaks).
  • Fiiish said:

    That is the idiotic thing about maintenance grants. Students are adults in their own right; what in the hell does their parents' income have to do with anything?

    Unfortunately that's the system we have. A part time job might be a good thing though, gets something on the CV, is good experience and teaches time and money management. Student towns usually have quite a few jobs going and a lot of the work will be cyclical based on term times anyway (meaning he can take the usual breaks).

    he works locally now for a small pizza place so he'll look for a job up there.

    As you say, what a parents income has to do with a 18/19 year old adult going to Uni I don't know. 98% of parents would of course help their son out, sadly my nephew is in the 2%.....
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  • edited August 24
    Rob try and get him registered to your sisters address should get more of a grant that way.
    My daughter lives with her mum and gets quite a bit more than that.
    Duncan's given good advice regarding social life.
  • Rob just out of interest how much do you think his dad should be giving him a month
  • Currently the average student would have to be earning over 45000 just to cover the interest. They won't be paying off any of the 'loan'. So all the years that you earn below that threshold plus the fact that they charge you interest while you're studying means they have a massive head start on you.

    But don't worry as it's all friendly debt and owned by the government (much like the debt to roland). Wrong. They hold the right to change the terms on it at any point in time. It has also been sold to loans company before you even start uni so of they shout loud enough the government will let them further screw you in 5 years time.

    Amen Canters. I shudder when I see my student loan statement.
  • Is it not worth going to uni now canters if your borrowing £15000 a year
  • clb74 said:

    Is it not worth going to uni now canters if your borrowing £15000 a year

    agreed, go and get a job you lazy fuckers!

    ;)
  • Currently the average student would have to be earning over 45000 just to cover the interest. They won't be paying off any of the 'loan'. So all the years that you earn below that threshold plus the fact that they charge you interest while you're studying means they have a massive head start on you.

    But don't worry as it's all friendly debt and owned by the government (much like the debt to roland). Wrong. They hold the right to change the terms on it at any point in time. It has also been sold to loans company before you even start uni so of they shout loud enough the government will let them further screw you in 5 years time.

    Move to Asia, problem solved ;-)
  • Based on my wife's and my joint income, my daughter gets about £4600 in maintenance loan. This only just covers her rent in the halls of residence at Portsmouth. We will be funding her for her food, insurances, any travel, books etc etc. Her social life is her own concern and she will have to work part-time for that. Luckily, she works 12 hours a week for the Co-Op in Dartford and she has secured a transfer to the one next door to where she will be living.

    As Cabbles said, everyone gets hammered. It's not cheap when you get there as despite getting £9250 in fees for the academic year, they still charge for things like printing and photocopying. The tenancy agreement for the halls of residence forbids her to wash or dry clothes in her room, forcing her to use the on-site laundry which is £4 for one wash and £2 for one drying cycle (up to three cycles is recommended to fully dry her clothes)

    As for the question asked, register your nephew at the address where the parent earns the least. That way the loan will be higher. But why they means test it is anyone's guess. Before this year it was a grant and needed to be means tested. Now, it's a loan and needs to be paid back anyway.

    My stepdaughter is going to Portsmouth in September too. What is she studying?
  • The other thing to look at is whether there are any scholarships, bursaries, hardship funds or book grants that your nephew might be eligible for. Unless he's very lucky it's unlikely that it'll cover the bulk of his living costs, but it might help. This is a good place to start, but his university student support office will probably be able to point him to other appropriate funding sources.
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  • clb74 said:

    Rob just out of interest how much do you think his dad should be giving him a month

    I'd have expected his father should at least top up his maintenance grant to cover his accommodation cost, food, books etc. It's a big variance between the maximum grant (I think if you earn less than about £35-40k) at £8,430 to the minimum of £3,928, so basically £4.5k I'd have said roughly £350 term time I suppose.
  • clb74 said:

    Is it not worth going to uni now canters if your borrowing £15000 a year

    Tough one. Really really tough one.

    I don't in any way regret going. It was the best time of my life I've met some great friends and have memories that will last forever. Most importantly I have a good degree from top uni from that subject and good experiences with that.

    Depends on a few things. If you have ambition to do well and earn well then you basically have to accept that you will be charged a graduate tax on earnings for the 30 years after graduating. You will also end up paying a lot more than you borrowed (up to 8 times more) and will be subsidising the people who have no ambition and went to a crap uni for a pointless course and end up never paying any back.

    If you're willing to accept that and treat it as a tax and never let it bother you that the rich only pay the cost of their uni and you subsidise everyone else then it's worth it.
  • I was able to use either my mum or my dad - they earned similar but it didn't seem like there was that many hoops to say I lived with my mum despite predominately living with my dad
  • clb74 said:

    Is it not worth going to uni now canters if your borrowing £15000 a year

    Tough one. Really really tough one.

    I don't in any way regret going. It was the best time of my life I've met some great friends and have memories that will last forever. Most importantly I have a good degree from top uni from that subject and good experiences with that.

    Depends on a few things. If you have ambition to do well and earn well then you basically have to accept that you will be charged a graduate tax on earnings for the 30 years after graduating. You will also end up paying a lot more than you borrowed (up to 8 times more) and will be subsidising the people who have no ambition and went to a crap uni for a pointless course and end up never paying any back.

    If you're willing to accept that and treat it as a tax and never let it bother you that the rich only pay the cost of their uni and you subsidise everyone else then it's worth it.
    Out of interest, where do you get the '8 times more' statistic from? Unless I've misunderstood something the interest rate would have to be extraordinarily high for that to be a possibility.
  • It was an article I read a while back on money saving expert. It was based on different earnings projections and paying 9% of all earnings iver 210000 for 30 years. There were various earnings scenarios the highest one (I didn't thibk was that outlandish) ended up with someone paying back 8 times the amount they borrowed but not clearing the balance so still owing after the 30 years. The lowest scenario assuming someone got a graduate job and had below average salary progression had someone paying back 3 times what they borrowed.

    It's not just about the extortionate interest (currently 6.4%) but about how it's loaded. You are charged interest from the second you start your course. Your first few years of payments won't even cover the interest so the total amount still rises. By the time you earn enough to cover the interest you're a chunk of the way into the 30 years so there is little point repaying a lump sum even of you had it. Then if you continue paying the 9% you'll pay off small amounts so never clear the balance.

    Basically think of it as a tax not a loan. They tax graduate earnings.

    Of course the projections were inflation adjusted and so are slightly misleading. £35k in 30 years is worth significantly less than now. So earnings will be higher so repayments will be higher so in real terms thatv8 times will be less.

    Still a scam in my eyes. It's loaded to be a tax so call it a tax.
  • The system stinks to high heaven. Going up to over 6% interest with base rates at 0.5. When they say you reach a certain threshold of earnings before you start paying it off, no you don't, you start paying the interest when on a modest wage, the principle stays the same. As it is a monopoly those who run the 'service' work on a 'we can do no wrong' basis.
  • Curb_It said:

    Based on my wife's and my joint income, my daughter gets about £4600 in maintenance loan. This only just covers her rent in the halls of residence at Portsmouth. We will be funding her for her food, insurances, any travel, books etc etc. Her social life is her own concern and she will have to work part-time for that. Luckily, she works 12 hours a week for the Co-Op in Dartford and she has secured a transfer to the one next door to where she will be living.

    As Cabbles said, everyone gets hammered. It's not cheap when you get there as despite getting £9250 in fees for the academic year, they still charge for things like printing and photocopying. The tenancy agreement for the halls of residence forbids her to wash or dry clothes in her room, forcing her to use the on-site laundry which is £4 for one wash and £2 for one drying cycle (up to three cycles is recommended to fully dry her clothes)

    As for the question asked, register your nephew at the address where the parent earns the least. That way the loan will be higher. But why they means test it is anyone's guess. Before this year it was a grant and needed to be means tested. Now, it's a loan and needs to be paid back anyway.

    My stepdaughter is going to Portsmouth in September too. What is she studying?
    I was down in Southsea last Sunday checking over my accommodation when we play portsmouth in April,
    Daughter not very happy when I told her 10 of us will be staying
  • It was an article I read a while back on money saving expert. It was based on different earnings projections and paying 9% of all earnings iver 210000 for 30 years. There were various earnings scenarios the highest one (I didn't thibk was that outlandish) ended up with someone paying back 8 times the amount they borrowed but not clearing the balance so still owing after the 30 years. The lowest scenario assuming someone got a graduate job and had below average salary progression had someone paying back 3 times what they borrowed.

    It's not just about the extortionate interest (currently 6.4%) but about how it's loaded. You are charged interest from the second you start your course. Your first few years of payments won't even cover the interest so the total amount still rises. By the time you earn enough to cover the interest you're a chunk of the way into the 30 years so there is little point repaying a lump sum even of you had it. Then if you continue paying the 9% you'll pay off small amounts so never clear the balance.

    Basically think of it as a tax not a loan. They tax graduate earnings.

    Of course the projections were inflation adjusted and so are slightly misleading. £35k in 30 years is worth significantly less than now. So earnings will be higher so repayments will be higher so in real terms thatv8 times will be less.

    Still a scam in my eyes. It's loaded to be a tax so call it a tax.

    This is exactly what I say to people who ask about "student loans". The word "loan" shouldn't be used. My student "loan" didn't impact my ability to get a mortgage as it isn't technically a loan, so why call it a loan?

    The interest charged is misleading too, when I was doing my A-levels not once did I realise the "loan" I was about to get would have interest loaded onto it. Granted I didn't read the fine details as an 18 year old.


  • It was an article I read a while back on money saving expert. It was based on different earnings projections and paying 9% of all earnings iver 210000 for 30 years. There were various earnings scenarios the highest one (I didn't thibk was that outlandish) ended up with someone paying back 8 times the amount they borrowed but not clearing the balance so still owing after the 30 years. The lowest scenario assuming someone got a graduate job and had below average salary progression had someone paying back 3 times what they borrowed.

    It's not just about the extortionate interest (currently 6.4%) but about how it's loaded. You are charged interest from the second you start your course. Your first few years of payments won't even cover the interest so the total amount still rises. By the time you earn enough to cover the interest you're a chunk of the way into the 30 years so there is little point repaying a lump sum even of you had it. Then if you continue paying the 9% you'll pay off small amounts so never clear the balance.

    Basically think of it as a tax not a loan. They tax graduate earnings.

    Of course the projections were inflation adjusted and so are slightly misleading. £35k in 30 years is worth significantly less than now. So earnings will be higher so repayments will be higher so in real terms thatv8 times will be less.

    Still a scam in my eyes. It's loaded to be a tax so call it a tax.

    Only seems possible with a combination of a very high earner and ludicrously high interest rates - moreover the high earner would likely choose to pay it off in advance in this scenario too.

    Agree it's a tax and not a loan, but then the graduate should have benefited from the degree which they ought to contribute towards.
  • I've got 2 starting uni next month , my first did a year at Essex hated it and dropped out after a year , after having a year out, she has decided to go back and start a different course to become a primary school teacher, the other has just turned 18 and going Bath Spa to study Drama, gonna have to help both , how ? Fuck knows
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