Can your child or grandchild afford to go to university without your help?

With the increased university fees, and the cost of accommodation whilst living away from home not totally covered by a student loan, it seems that it is impossible for students to manage their finances without either income from a part time job whilst studying or some help from the bank of mum and dad or grandma and granddad. 

New research out today by Which? University shows that as many as three quarters (72%) of grandparents are providing financial support to help their grandchildren through university, while nearly all (95%) parents contribute.

According to the survey, half (50%) of parents and grandparents wanted to offer financial support to help their children or grandchildren avoid excessive debt after university, while almost half (47%) have a desire to invest in their future. More than a third (35%) of those surveyed said that their child or grandchild could not afford to go to university without their help.

Alex Neill, Which? Director of Campaigns, said:

“It looks like choosing where and what to study is fast becoming a family affair, with not only parents, but now the majority of grandparents providing financial support for university.

Have you had experience of helping to fund a child or grandchild through university? Do you expect to be involved in helping them to think through their university and course choices? What advice would you offer others to help them through this process?

Can your child or grandchild afford to go to university without your help?

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8th Aug 2015
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i cannot understand why foreign students are applicable for grants.
31st Jul 2015
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As the young adults who attend are our future' seed corn' and are the ones who will be working and paying tax that will be paying our pensions, my view is that their tuition should be free, and paid for by current taxpayers.
I would add the caveat that after University they must work in the UK for at least five years. Foreign students would be charged up front and if they had completed their five years, the money repaid.
Currently we have students leaving with a huge burden and foreign students going home and not repaying, which manifestly unfair.
6th Aug 2015
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I totally agree with this. It always used to be free and if people have not much income why should their kids be penalised by not being able to go to university?
14th Jul 2015
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We have been funding all three of our children whilst they are at university. Whilst their loans cover their tuition fees, their maintenance allowance was just not enough to cover their rent and living costs, so we had to subsidise them. Two of them have also had part time jobs as well to add to the funds. I don't know any parents who haven't had to help out. I dread to think how much student debt our youngest will have when she leaves Uni .. her fees alone are £9,000 a year for 4 years!! I don't know how they will manage this debt and try and get on the housing ladder .. we can't afford to pay off their loans, although I do know of some parents who can and do.
Jolanda Keur
19th Jul 2015
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We're doing exactly the same for our two children - we had saved enough to give them the opportunity to go study without getting into debt but then the student fees came into effect and we could nowhere near cover that: so now they've had to take out the loans which like you say aren't even enough to cover all living expense and we pay the rent. They're building up debt which I have no idea how they will repay as the prospect of well-paying jobs is slim. I worry a lot about how they'll manage in life. It seems so wrong to send our young people into the world with such a disadvantage and the message that it's okay to have lots of debt.
14th Jul 2015
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Yes we have helped our daughters through University. Its tough as its so expensive now but if they want to go what can you do? They have all had jobs as well. My view of a lot of courses though is they could easily be done in 2 years. the first year at university for many of the kids is just about drinking and having fun. With the fees now this is not an option for them or the UK. Put courses at 2 years and make them more affordable. All kids should have the right to goi to university and afford to do it if they want
14th Jul 2015
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I think education is most important and I would do anything I can to help family and grandchildren to reach their goals.

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