Student Finance – Get ready for university

Hi, I'm Llinos and here's Hannah and we're going to talk about the delightful subject of student finance You have to look at university as an investment, and not as debt

Because if you end up with a job that you love, a great experience as a student, and the ability to pay it back afterwards, then it's something that's definitely worth investing in So first of all, you have to pay for your course, your tuition fees So universities can charge anything up to £9000 per year per course that they offer And they can decide how much they charge Sometimes it varies, depending which subject you're looking at

But the majority of universities do charge £9000 Now depending where you're living, there may be some help available with tuition fees, so you may not have to pay the full £9000 But the main way that people decide to pay for their tuition fees is through getting a tuition fee loan This is really easy, you tick a box on the form saying that you'd like to borrow money for your tuition fees Whatever the cost of your tuition fees are, that's what you'll borrow

And that does not go into your bank account so don't worry, they'll not give you £27,000 and hope that you'll pass it on to the university It goes straight to the uni, pays for your tuition fees, and that's it Done, dusted, sorted, really easy So the second cost you're going to have at university is obviously your living costs because you need money to live off whilst you're a student The main cost is going to be rent and they can range from anything

If you're in university halls they are usually covered by your loan and you should have some left over Sometimes if you go for a more high end place to live you aren't going to be able to cover it with your loan For example, my loan doesn't cover my rent, and I have to work an extra job to be able to subsidize my rent and have food And food is another cost that you've got Obviously socialising is going to be another big that you need to spend your money on isn't it? Yes, definitely

like saving a bit of money for going out So even if you are budgeting, you are allowed some fun now and again And one other thing that people really forget about and don't always factor in is books and course equipment, cos you are going to have to spend some money on that whilst you're a student as well So there's always handy things that you can do to save money like if you can buy second hand books from 2nd or 3rd year students So like Hannah mentioned, you can get a student loan that will cover your living costs

It won't necessarily cover all of your costs, but anybody doing their first undergraduate degree can apply for a maintenance loan So this is seperate one to your tuition fees one And 65% of whatever's available of the maximum amount every student who applies gets So the last 35% depends on your individual circumstances like household income and that sort of thing So you can spend the maintenance loan on whatever you want

So nobody checks up on what you spend your money on do they? No Obviously don't blow it all on going out and things you shouldn't – pay for the important things first, like your rent and stuff upfront But basically that's there to meet your living needs, and then like Hannah said, you may want to get a part-time job or something to supplement the money you've got coming in But they'll give it to you in three instalments over the year So the idea is, you get your first instalment, then you know what you need to pay for your rent and stuff that term and then you know what you have left for the rest of the month, then you can budget according to that

There are other things to help you get some more money with your living costs There's also something called a maintenance grant This is based on household income So if your household income is between certain brackets, again it depends where you're coming from and where you're going to university That is essentially free money that you can get and the maintenance grant doesn't have to be paid back, and again you can spend it on whatever you want

And other money you can get for free are bursaries, grants and scholarships from universities So you have to contact each of the universities themselves cos they've all got different things It could be subject specific, it could be that you fit a certain criteria and again it's to spend on whatever you want and you don't have to pay it back at all And if you've got certain circumstances as well there could be other funding available cos you get some extra cash as well don't you? Yeah, I have disabled student allowance I get a certain amount set aside for me each year, for example if I buy a book I can reclaim some of that money, and I have to send off a form each year

I also get a free Macbook which was quite impressive, and free printing But that's something to do with your uni and it's subjective to what uni is going to provide for you So when it comes to paying back all these loans, what student loan companies do is they add everything that you've borrowed into one lump sum – so your tuition fee loan, your maintenance loan, and that's the lump sum that you have to pay back So you have to earn over £21000 a year before you start paying any of the loan back And there are still conditions after that as well

You have to pay back 9% of anything you earn after £21,000 a year So the more you earn, the more you pay back But it's only ever 9% over the threshold So just to give you an idea, if you earn £25,000 after you leave uni, it means you have to pay back about £650 a week

Now, I don't know about you but or you Hannah, but my mobile phone is a lot more expensive than that So repayments are small and really easy to manage so you don't have to worry too much about how much money you're going to lose each month It's the minimum amount, it's taken out of your wages, just like pension, National Insurance, anything like that – it's automatically deducted So the idea is it's like an extra tax You pay a little bit extra every month than you would do if you didn't have a student loan, and they send you a statement once a year to tell you how much you've paid off and how much you've got left to pay

So if you want to apply for student finance you've got to go to your relevant student finance pages, so whether your England, Wales, Scottish students, northern Ireland – go to the relevant pages and then start an application form Fill all of this in and then they tell you how much you're entitled to You have to fill it in as soon as you can You don't have to wait until you have a place confirmed at the university before you do the application form, so I would say do it as soon as you can And then you put down is what you think is going to be your first choice university, but if you change your mind for any reason you can go back into the form and change different details around

And then they work out how much you're entitled to and then they send you a letter saying how much you're going to get and how they're going to pay to you throughout the instalment So some grants and bursaries can be included in the student finance application, but others you'd have to apply direct with the universities for So it gives you an idea before you start at university how much you're entitled to and when you're going to get it during the year When you go to uni as well you should take your student finance entitlement letter with you and double check everything And that's really important so that you know you're getting the right amount of money for your situation and your circumstances

Cos you found that out didn't you? Yeah, I ended up getting some money back from the student finance company When I actually looked at how much I was getting from them and how much the calculator said I should be getting, it was a big difference So I rang up and they realised that they'd made a mistake and i actually got some money back which was great, and it came at the end of term as well so that was some money that I saved then for the next year We hope you found this video really useful and there's lots of tips available for your finance at university

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