There are lots of myths surrounding finance at university, the majority of which are not true. Read on to find out whether only rich people can go to university and if you can escape repayments by fleeing the country.
Only rich people can afford university
Student Finance gives all students the opportunity to go to university regardless of their background. All students can get a tuition fee loan to cover tuition fees and a means tested maintenance loan to cover rent and the cost of living. The size of the loan is dependent on your parents’ income, as it is assumed that your parents will help support you throughout university (if you are estranged from your parents charities such as Stand Alone offer information and support for funding university). Students from lower income backgrounds are eligible for higher maintenance loans and are often eligible for means tested bursaries and grants awarded by the university. Maintenance loans also vary depending on if you will be living at home or away, and if you are studying in London due to the higher cost of living.
Your loan will cover everything
Whilst the tuition fee loan will cover your tuition fees, the maintenance loans may not cover your expenses. If this is the case there’s some things you can do to help with costs.
Most courses leave students with enough time to get a part time job at their university/in the university town with universities offering students advice and support to help them find a job.
Universities and departments offer students scholarships for academic achievement at A-Levels/IB levels, these are a non-repayable form of cash gift. If you are on track to achieve high grades you should find out if you can apply for a scholarship.
Grants are non-repayable sums of money available to students.. There are thousands of grants available to students such as a grant for studying your degree in Welsh (Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol Scholarship at Cardiff University) or even for being a vegetarian or vegan (The Vegetarian Charity).
Repayments begin the moment you graduate for the rest of your life
You do not have to begin repaying your loan until the April after you graduate. You only have to make repayments if you are earning over £25,725 a year. If one year you earn £28,000 you will make repayments, if the next year you earn £24,000 you will not make any repayments. The more money you earn, the higher your monthly repayments are. The amount is automatically deducted from your pay before tax so you do not have to worry about keeping up with payments. After 30 years your loan is wiped off regardless of how much you have repaid.
If you move abroad you don’t have to pay back your loan
A common myth surrounding repayments is that you don’t have to pay back your loan by moving abroad. This is incorrect. If you are working abroad for longer than 3 months you have to notify the Student Loan Company and set up arrangements for repayments.
The loan is interest free
Interest will incur on your balance that will need to be paid back. This is factored into your monthly repayments.