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.