Whether or not a student should go to university, which may mean going into debt, is a complex and personal decision that ultimately depends on the student’s circumstances and priorities.
For some students, going into debt to go to university may be a necessary and worthwhile investment in their future, while for others it may not be the right decision.
Some people are lucky enough to have parents or guardians or some other support – like student grants – to pay their way through uni but most people rely on Student Finance and that means graduating with an average £45,000 student loan.
That’s a lot of money – so there are several factors you should consider when looking at your options.
Consider the potential long-term benefits of a university education. A university degree can open up many doors and provide access to higher-paying jobs and career opportunities that may not be available to those without a university education.
This can provide a significant financial return on investment in the long run, which can help to offset the cost of going into debt to pay for university.
On the other hand, going to university or pursuing a degree in a field with low job prospects may not be a good investment, and could leave students with a large amount of debt that they may struggle to repay.
Of course, you shouldn’t study something just because the financial returns are high but you should account for your earning potential when considering taking on a student loan.
Your financial situation
Consider your personal financial situation.
The maintenance loan provided by Student Finance is provided by the government to help students cover their living expenses while studying but for many students, it’s not remotely sufficient and The cost-of-living crisis, combined with inflation, is putting pressure on students’ ability to use this money for more than just rent. 91% of students are somewhat or very worried about the rising cost of living.
That means you must evaluate whether you will have enough money to cover your living costs, such as rent, food, and other necessary expenses, and how else you might save money as a student based on the amount of the loan you are eligible to receive.
This will help you determine whether you need to find additional sources of funding or make budgeting decisions to ensure you can afford to attend university.
Consider the availability of scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial support that can help you pay for stuff while at university without going into debt.
Securing a scholarship (and you’re here so you get it!) can be a great way to reduce the cost of university and minimise the stress and anxiety so many students face.
Ultimately, whether or not a student should go into debt to go to university is a decision that each individual student must make for themselves. It is important to carefully consider your own circumstances and priorities and your support system and to weigh the potential long-term benefits of a university education against the potential costs and risks of taking on student loan debt.