Every youngster will be aware of the hike in UK University Fees from 2012. On top of these steep tuition fees the average student has annual living costs approaching A6,000. Expect a debt approaching A15,000 for each year spent at University.
Our government will cancel all student debts 30 years after graduation. So why not go to University, enjoy yourself and then earn less than A21,000 per annum so you will not be expected to pay off the debt. Think of part-time work or being a child-minder or a Carer. (Perhaps this is a daft idea, it is certainly not what I would choose for my own children.)
Nobody wants a massive debt form tuition fees when they start their working life, so here are some practical steps that can be taken to reduce it:
Choosing a 3- or 4-year course? Scottish Universities have the same yearly tuition fees as the English but 4-year courses are common. Your choice may not be too difficult here – three lots or four lots of A15,000 debt to get the same degree?
An increasing number of Companies are taking on A-level students and paying them through University – the Armed Forces have always done this and they have now been joined by some accountancy, pharmaceutical and retail companies.
What about getting a job and studying Part-time with the Open University? Their tuition fees can be quite generous for those with low paid jobs.
Match your course choice to the ‘skill-shortage’ areas in different parts of the world such as Australia. This will certainly improve your job prospects.
Consider a degree course over in Europe. Many of their courses have much lower University Fees and luck for us, many are delivered in the English Language.
The two obvious debt-killing ways are:
Keeping those living costs down during your student days, and
Joining a course with a good job rate and a decent wage
Many students live at home; many live away from expensive centres such as London. Lots take on Holiday work and Part-time jobs in term time.
Perhaps the most important idea is to get on a course with good debt-killing potential. Few youngsters are told how to find these courses. It’s no wonder when a lot of published information is so misleading:
One example is the University League Tables, which are partly based on job ‘prospects’ – beware of such vague ideas, ‘prospects’ do not earn a wage!
A second deceptive example is the constant reference to our top twenty or top ten Universities. Many of these Universities seem to appoint themselves based on entry qualifications, without any recognition of success in terms of employment, or debt-killing potential.
Not enough credit is given to the value of the course – the course is usually more important than the University.
Not going to University at all? Then you might find these two excellent websites helpful: Notgoingtouni, and Apprenticeships.