University is expensive. That means your standard three-year Bachelor’s degree could put you in over £27,000 in debt. If you’re coming to study from overseas, or planning to go abroad yourself, it might well be even more expensive.
Whoever you are, whatever you’re doing and wherever you come from, the cost of a university education is going to affect what you do and how you do it. It’s more than worth researching about them before make your decisions.
If you’re studying abroad, things are more complicated, and they might change based on where you’re going, what you want to do and if you can nab a scholarship. Keep yourself informed and take a look at our international students page.
Things get even more complicated if you’re a student in England going to Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales, and circumstances might change based on where you study, what you study and when. Make sure you know what those circumstances are before you apply.
Scholarships and bursaries
Scholarships and bursaries are a great way of offsetting the cost of a university education, and of making student life actually miserable. In short, bursaries are payments made to students with limited income and a great deal of potential. Do really well in your A Levels despite coming from a single parent household, for example, and you might well eligible for a series of payments that top up your student bank account, making up for what your parents might not be able to provide, and allowing you to focus on your studies rather than having to get a part-time job.
What might actually constitute eligibility will vary from university to university, however, so it’s worth checking for yourself and seeing what you might be able to get.
Though it's definitely helpful, even necessary, that sort of broad stroke analysis might not be enough. There are always hidden costs you don’t think to consider.
If you want to be thorough, genuinely thorough, think about how much it might cost to sign up to the university wifi, think about printing costs, about transport, and work out a comprehensive food budget. It’s not all that difficult to do; universities are eager to ensure you’re as informed as possible about your choice, and make that information as easy to find as possible. It’s usually in prospectuses and on their website. If not, contact them directly.
The amount you feel like you can spend and the support you stand to get might be the difference between staying and going, between choosing a city or a campus. It’s sheer, unbridled practicality, and it’s going to have a major effect on where you go.
Next page: The Decision