August 30, 2018 - No Comments!

The real cost of university

Exploring the real cost of attending university in 2018

Does going to university in 2018 have to break the bank?

The average three year degree will cost a student £140,000; enough for a house deposit, a brand new BMW, a trip around the world for a year, a jet ski, and still have enough left over for a rainy day!

So how does a degree end up costing a student so much?

university, paperclip, uk

We have broken it down into five different areas...

  1. Study costs (inc. maintenance loan)


The current upper limit for tuition fee loans is £9,250 per annum, with most UK universities taking advantage of the upper limit.  A typical undergraduate degree in the UK lasts three years, meaning that the average student debt amounted to an eye-watering £27,000 in 2017. If you take out a maintenance loan, which most students do, this will increase your total to around £40,000. If you add the interest rates to the loan repayments, we're talking upwards of £50,000.

  1. Student Accommodation

£14,625 - this is included in the maintenance loan so let's not add that to the total.

In 2017, the average student rent came to £125 per week or (£535 a month) however, students in London can expect to pay an average of £182 a week (£640 a month). The average annual cost for students is £4,875. One-third of students will pay bills on top of rent!

  1. Essential Living expenses


Including food, course costs (textbooks, printing, laptops), transport, socialising and utility contracts, the average total student living cost for 2016 was £8,990 – amounting to £26,970 across a three-year period.

  1. Realistic Costs


Students spend £32 a month on clothes and on average £36 on other expenses such as house hold essentials, bikes, electronics. This figure depends on lifestyle, amongst other factors.

  1. The opportunity cost


The main alternative to university is going out into the real world and getting a job, which is what most school leavers do. According to total jobs the average UK school leaver salary is £21,000 a year. This means by going to University you miss out on the opportunity to earn £63,000

Use your money wisely

This is not meant to scare students and put them off attending University because University is one of the best life experiences you will ever have which will open up so many areas for your career, development, experiences and relationships…provided you do your work!

This just highlights how careful students need to be with their finances and to be strategic with how they spend their money. There are plenty of ways students are able to save money on everyday living expenses through student discounts, subsidized services and other life hacks.

The ever increasing university costs was one of the main reasons that Paperclip decided to provide UK universities with their own marketplace for free. Paperclip wanted to provide a community where students can buy, sell and swap all of their university essentials on campus…..for free!

Paperclip is not only free, students are able to find items that are on average 60% cheaper than buying new. Paperclip is also safe and secure to use as you are only trading with other verified students from your University or nearby university e.g. if you are in London and go to UCL, you can buy and sell with students from Queen MaryKCL and more.

Paperclip is live in over 30 universities, but if you want us to come to your university to provide you with your own marketplace, you can get in touch here.

Published by: Laurence in Musings, Perspective

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