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Supporting your child through higher education

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It is a proud moment when your son or daughter receives a place at university or college. But as a parent you will undoubtedly want to be confident that they have enough money to live on and that they know how to manage it well.

So whether or not you are able to support them financially through their higher education, here is a guide to what else is out there if you think they will need more help.

Tuition fees and loans

Annual university fees here in the UK can be up to £9,250 a year as at April 2019 - a lot of money to find. So, many students get a tuition fee loan to help cover the cost. It is worth noting that if your child is Scottish and studying in Scotland then they don’t have to pay tuition fees.

Maintenance loans might also be available to help your child with everyday living costs like rent, food, books and transport.

Student loans don’t need to be paid back until your child is earning a certain amount. However, they do charge interest (which can build up). Therefore, your child might want to look at how much money they have elsewhere, such as savings or part-time work, before applying for a loan.

Most universities and colleges also offer scholarships and bursaries. You will need to speak to them directly for details of how to apply. The National Union of Students website lists other possible sources of funding.

Apply for loans

Both the government and Money Advice Service websites tell you where to apply for loans. It is worth noting that the terms of a loan are different depending on where you live and where your child will be studying.

Managing their money

If your child is moving away from home then it might be a good idea to talk with them about setting a realistic budget - and not be tempted by spending all of their money on going out!

You can use our budget planner to get them thinking about all their outgoings and work out a weekly budget for their expenses.

Student discounts are also widely available on everything from clothes to cinema to travel. The National Union of Students website is a great source of information. Students can usually get good deals on bank accounts too, and the Money Advice Service gives advice on student banking.

Protecting their possessions

Many students live on campus or in rented shared student accommodation, with many people coming and going things can easily go missing. So, it might be a good idea to take out insurance for your child’s personal belongings seeing as it can be expensive to replace them. However, before doing this you might want to check to see if they are covered under your existing home insurance.