Attending a university college in the UK is one of the best ways to continue your education and further your career goals. With many of the highest rated universities in the world based in the UK, students have an extensive and world-class choice for where to attend.
While university education is available to everyone, as long as the right qualifications are achieved to obtain a place, the cost of attending is a worry for many potential students. Free education in the UK ends when a student reaches the age of 18, which means that students, or their parents, must pay for the university tuition fees.
Thankfully, if you can’t pay the lump sum tuition in advance, there are many other avenues that you can go down to pay for tuition at a university or university college. Here are the best ways to fund your education, when attending university:
A route that the vast majority of students rely on is student finance, or student loans. This is a government run program that enables students from all walks of life to have access to higher education at the university of their choice.
Student finance comes as a package which covers the tuition fee of the university, which can be up to £9250 a year, and a maintenance allowance. The maintenance allowance awards a sum of money to cover the cost of housing and living within reach of the university. This amount can vary depending on where the university is located, and the individual needs of the student.
The maintenance loan is paid in three instalments during each term at the university, with the loan being repaid once the student is earning more than £1,750 a month. Then, 9% is detracted from the sum earnt above the threshold, until the loan and interest amounted is repaid.
If your student finance does not fully cover your cost of living, or if you want to increase your allowance each month, finding a part time job is one of the best ways to help fund your university college education. A part time job, between 10 and 20 hours a week, can bring in some extra income, without detracting too much from your study time.
The alternative is to opt for a flexible part-time degree, where there is more time afforded to complete the degree. This allows some students to stay employed and cover the costs of their education, whilst still being able to study for their degree.
There are alternative ways that you can receive help funding your college education, one of these is through a bursary. A bursary is a form of financial support that is available to UK students who have special circumstances or whose parents are on a lower income. This is applied for through the university that you wish to attend and unlike student finance, doesn’t need to be repaid.
Bursaries differ from university to university, along with the amount that is available. Some universities provide bursaries for specific subjects, disabled students, studying abroad, care, location, and specific circumstances. Certain occupations also provide a bursary to UK students, like the NHS and the Royal Navy.
Like bursaries, grants are also available to UK students in certain situations. This is generally a lump sum of money that is awarded for a specified reason. In a lot of cases, the student will be required to submit a grant application, which can be used to cover the cost of various education purposes. This could be additional research in a subject field or time spent studying abroad.
Along with university grants, there is the possibility of receiving grants from certain charities, businesses, and local councils. These provide grants for study in specific areas, and again, need to be applied for.
Scholarships are one of the best ways to help fun your education if you excel in a certain subject area or meet certain criteria. Earning a scholarship can be a great way to reduce the amount of tuition you have to pay or cut down the cost of living throughout your term at university.
There are nationwide scholarships that can be applied for, or awarded, as well as scholarships that are unique to certain universities. A scholarship can be awarded for almost all kinds of exceptional performance, from academic scholarships to those for music and sport. Some of the scholarships available in the UK, include:
- The Stationers’ Company’s Scholarships – For students intending to pursue careers in areas such as papermaking, newspaper production, and bookbinding.
- The Cordwainers’ BA Footwear Scholarship – Awarded to fashion students but exclusive to the University of Northampton and the London College of Fashion.
- CastleSmart Scholarship – Available to students studying any course, on the condition that a YouTube video is produced detailing why the student should receive the scholarship.
Higher education is no longer only open to the select few that can afford the tuition upfront. Now, there are many ways that you can help fund your education at college. No matter what course you decide to pursue, there is always the opportunity to make your college career more affordable.