Student finance

A university education in the UK should provide you with some of the best years of your life. Here you may enjoy a new sense of independence within a relaxed but structured environment; the new-found freedoms of living away from home for the first time; and the opportunity to explore new avenues of study and leisure pursuits, to forge life-long friendships with like-minded people, and generally to have a lot of fun – as well as, of course, to acquire a valuable degree in Higher Education.

But university education is not free, and there are some scary tales around – tales of graduates leaving university to start their careers with debts of £20,000 or so. It needn't be like this, provided that you

  • know what the cost of university life entails;
  • know what help is available in terms of grants and low-cost student loans;
  • know how to keep your spending within your means.

You don't want to leave university burdened by debt – but nor do you want to let money worries get in the way of having a great (and productive) time.

Useful websites

Student Finance England (entitlements to government funding): www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance
Higher Education & Research Opportunities: www.hero.ac.uk
Student Loans Company: www.slc.co.uk
Scotland: Students Awards Agency for Scotland: www.student-support-saas.gov.uk
Wales: www.studentfinancewales.co.uk
National Union of Students: www.nusonline.co.uk

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