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University costs put strain on parents

The high cost of university puts significant financial strain on parents, new research suggests.

In a YouGov survey of 2,325 British parents, three out of every ten whose children had gone to university claimed they had gone without spending money on big things in order to fund higher education. Sacrifices included saving money for a home, a car or money for their own hobbies.

The need to save for university has increased in recent years. Tuition fees have risen from £9,000 per year to £9,250 and grants have been eliminated for as many as half a million poor students. Accommodation is also a large expense with the average cost of living in university halls at around £4,500 per year. Even with help from their parents, students still rack up substantial debts during their time at university and can take years to pay them off.

Despite the expense, 45 per cent of British parents said they would still encourage their children to attend university. An additional 17 per cent said a price could not be placed on a university education. By contrast, only five per cent said they would actively discourage their children from attending based on how expensive it was.

The survey was conducted on behalf of financial firm Hitachi Capital UK. Managing Director Gerald Grimes said it was “fitting a large number of people with children think it’s important to save” for their children’s university because it was “one of life’s big milestones”. On average, he claimed, “parents whose kids have been to university gave them £2,000 a year to help them manage university life”.

These findings appear to support research published last month which suggested that nine out of ten parents have money worries. This worry was shared by a third of all children aged between eight and 15.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Andrew says:

    “The high cost of university puts significant financial strain on parents, new research suggests”
    And that needed research?
    We should be sending fewer youngsters into HE and giving those we do more support.
    Oh, and the application form should be anonymous; it should not show your race, your gender, what sort of school you went to, whether your parents went to university, or what they do or did for a living.
    Admissions should be on actual, not projected A-Level results, for the following autumn; so everyone takes a gap year. The need to come up with any money should be left as late as possible in that year so that those who decide not to go have not lost too much. The ones who decide not to go will correlate largely with those who now go and drop out, disappointed and in heavy debt.
    And now I suppose I had better don the heatproof underwear before they get to me with the flamethrowers because I am well aware how politically incorrect all that is.

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