UK: Four out of ten current university students are now in full or part-time employment to help cover university costs, according to new research from Santander Current Accounts.
The findings reveal that students embarking on a three year university degree course now face a total cost of £50,411 but other than working, resourceful undergraduates are also making the most of cashback offers, charity shops and recycling sites to make university more affordable.
Tuition fees are now the biggest annual outlay, costing the average student who started university in 2012/2013 an eye-watering £8,1232 per year. In addition to this, the average university student also outlays a further £8,681 per year on all other living expenses.
The research found that students studying in London spend the most, outlaying an average of £9,760 per year on general living expenses, which is on top of the annual average £8,123 tuition fee. In contrast, students studying in Glasgow spend around 28 per cent less on their general living expenses, which currently average £7,020 per year.
The Santander 16 – 25 Railcard
The Santander 16-25 Railcard is available free of charge (usual price £30pa) to young people aged 16-25 in full-time education who open or switch to a new Santander Student account. Valid for 4 years, the card offers up to one third off rail travel across Great Britain, helping students to save an average of £136 per year.
Hetal Parmar, head of banking at Santander, said: "University education doesn’t come cheap, but university can be an important and useful stage of life. Students need to make their money stretch as far as possible and Santander’s free 4 year Railcard offer is there to help students do just that.
"Santander is a long-standing supporter of higher education. The Santander Universities programme began in 1997 and over the years we have donated more than £500 million in the shape of scholarships, travel grants and support for special projects, as well as through academic and non-academic awards.”
On an annual basis, students enrolled in Medicine and Dentistry courses tend to spend the most, with annual living costs averaging £10,229. Those studying Business and Administrative subjects spend around a fifth less, with yearly living costs for these students averaging £8,149.
Categories of expense
Aside from tuition fees, accommodation is the biggest expense, costing the average UK student £3,882 per year. Food (£1,132), travel (£886) and socialising (£691) are the next largest outgoings.
Despite receiving funding in the form of loans and grants, one in 10 (9 per cent) students has taken on a personal loan to cover costs and 15 per cent spend on credit cards.
Students saving money
In an attempt to save money, a quarter (26 per cent) of students say they sell items on eBay and 25 per cent shop in charity shops or use reuse/recycling sites like Freecycle or MySkip. A third (33 per cent) of students are regular users of cashback deals or group discount websites like Groupon and Student Beans and a quarter (26 per cent) say they stack coupons, which involves using multiple discount vouchers to reduce the price of a single item.
Buying reduced price food at the supermarket appears to be standard practice with 78 per cent of students doing so regularly. A further 83 per cent say they make use of discount cards like Student Cards or the 16-25 Railcard, which is now free to all customers who open a Santander Student Current Account.
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