New university students expect to pay around £28,600 for a three-year degree course and graduate with debts of around £13,680, suggests a survey from NatWest.
Research from the NatWest Student Money Matters survey finds 46% sixth formers starting university this year are happier to begin their studies rather than in 2006 as the cost of starting now rather than later will be much less than once the new charging fee structure is introduced.
Undergraduates who soon begin courses also seem to anticipate carrying higher levels of debt than today’s higher education students, as current graduates expect to leave with debts of £12,640, an increase of £460 or 3% on last year.
At the same time, however, starting salaries appear to have risen too as the average graduate salary now stands at £14,090 compared with £13,600 in 2004 and it seems to pay off as 40% of graduates say they have landed good jobs and 42% live financially-independent of their parents.
This is in contrast to three in ten of those undergraduates questioned (29%) who say they had considered quitting their course and instead pursuing a full-time job while 40% had considered leaving university because of the debts they face.
More students than ever are turning to part-time work to finance their education, as 39% have part-time jobs, working an average of 15 hours a week to bring in an extra £77.66 per week, however, this does mean 41% of students have had to skip lectures because they had to work.
Almost one-third of students do receive regular financial support from their parents to help finance their education while a further 25% get help “as and when they need it”, says NatWest and 29% are now self-sufficient and receive no assistance at all.
On the back of its research, NatWest has developed a guide to student finance covering government support and the finance available from banks and the Student Loans Company.IFAonline
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