We’re in the middle of august, which means a lot of students have received their A Level results and now are looking to make the next step in their education. One area that causes a lot of confusion and concern is course funding. As a student you’ve probably spent the last 14ish year receiving a free education and now that’s stopped. So what options does a student have for receiving course funding, whether you’re going to university, paving your own way through higher education or simply looking to study something work related such as a basic first aid at work course? We decided to give you some pointers and guidance on what you need to know.
If you do get a bank account, aim for 0%
A lot of banks try and get students to sign up for specific accounts based solely on the “freebie” attached. It could be a voucher for an online store, it could be speakers for your iPod. Whatever the scenario, don’t go for the account unless the bank is promising a big 0% overdraft on the account. When we say big, we’re talking about the longest period of time on that overdraft. Not many students stop to ask when their overdraft really kicks in, but if you can get a bank account with a full year of two that includes this type of overdraft, take it.
Going local is great
If you’re planning on paving your own way and want to do courses in something non-traditional like cooking, mechanics, fitness, health etc, local colleges are the best place to source your course. They’re generally a lot cheaper than university and don’t come with inflated price tags.
You may be eligible for grants
A lot of students who come from households with lower incomes are able to get maintenance grants that aren’t loans. These are grants that can help students from such backgrounds to feel financially secure at university and get their feet on the ground. It’s not money to be wasted on nights out though. It is important to get a good grasp on finances at the beginning of every term.
It could be free if you stay home
Certain parts of the UK have different rules on university tuition fees. For example, Scottish students can go to university for free, just as long as they study in Scotland. Students in N.Ireland who are also from there are charged a fixed rate in all institutions, no matter where in the region they study. Unluckily enough, students living in England and studying in England don’t get these types of incentives to stay closer to home.
Forget it’s a loan
Much like when you graduate, get a job and then start seeing yourself getting taxed every month, it might be a good idea to think of a student loan as a tax in itself. A student loan doesn’t have any affect on your credit rating as you get older, you will normally only ever pay it back through tax and you only pay more of it back if you end up earning more. So think of your student loan as a tax and you might be a bit wiser with how you use it.
We hope these finance tips helped, especially if you’re getting ready for university.