With the cost of living climbing and life getting more expensive, we’re all starting to feel the pinch – especially students.
With the average student reporting a shortfall of £395 each month BEFORE this crisis began, it’s expected that parents want to relieve some of their student’s burden if possible, so the student can focus on their studies and all university has to offer.
But how can you support your child when your own finances are under pressure? We have some ideas.
Support the student loan application process
The maintenance loan – that bit of money the government gives the student to cover their living expenses – is income-contingent.
This means the amount of money the student receives depends on the income of the household (i.e. all money coming into the home), so there are various figures and documents they will need to ensure they get everything they’re entitled to.
Be sure to have a chat with your student so that you’re able to provide them with all the information and documentation they require to access all the financial support they’re entitled to.
Have an honest conversation
If you’ve been able to set aside a bit of money to support your student, we can’t be encouraging enough when we say “speak to your child as soon as possible!”.
The best way for a student to have confidence in their ability to fund their education is to know:
- How much money they’re receiving
- Where they’re receiving it from
Sit them down and be open about:
- Any financial help you may be able to offer
- How you expect these funds to be spent (it’s ok to say you want the money to be used for food or transport if that’s how you feel!)
- How you will be providing the funds (monthly, lump sum etc.)
This will be hugely empowering (and also probably a significant source of joy!) for your student who is probably freaking out a bit!
Talk budgeting early
Far too many students arrive at university unprepared for the basic elements of independent living.
If you’re comfortable doing so, talk to your student about budgeting. Having money and using money well are not the same: increasing how much money they have has to come hand in hand with improving financial knowledge.
There is a great budget calculator tool here which can help your student.
If you don’t feel comfortable, or confident, to have the conversation, you can support your student by pointing them to Blackbullion where they can find lots of pre-university money management help.
Pay for food
The cost of living is, in particular, hitting energy bills, rent and food bills.
While the first two are significant expenses which may be difficult for you, as a parent or guardian, to help your child with, covering some (or all) of your student’s weekly food bill might be a very real way to financially support them without eating too much (no pun intended!) into your own weekly budget.
Food is also, most commonly, the expense students will reduce their spending on when money gets tight. It’s easier to skip a meal than to skip paying rent.
But not eating sufficiently while studying reduces concentration, increases mental health issues and can cause longer-term health challenges.
Providing some support – and making it clear that the money is earmarked for this purpose – may take a significant burden off their shoulders and help you feel confident they have the maximum chance of success at university.
Here at the Scholarship Hub, we are working with Funds4Uni to help families to support their students – by doing absolutely nothing different!
Funds4Uni allows you (and any extended family, friends etc.) to shop as usual but for the cashback to go directly to your student, giving them that extra bit of financial help.
For many families, finding an extra £50 or £100 each month may seem out of reach, but with Funds4Uni families can support their students to the tune of hundreds of pounds each year just by shopping as usual.
Encourage your student to work during the holidays and save
Covid knocked the bottom out of the student job market – but luckily, many of those jobs are now back.
In fact, restaurants, cinemas, retail outlets and others are reporting staff shortages – and students earning a wage could save significant sums to support their living costs while they study.
StudentJob UK is a great place for them to start their search.
Direct them here!
Many students don’t realise there are millions of pounds worth of scholarships, bursaries and grants available right here at the Scholarship Hub.
From master’s funding to funding for degree apprenticeships and even a scholarship for vegetarians, there is so much financial help for students available – and all it takes sometimes is a 10-minute application!