The average student entering higher education will now leave university with debts of around 10,000. This is made up from a combination of student loans, credit cards and overdrafts. This figure however is set to sky rocket as Barclays predicts students graduating in 2010 will be facing 30,000 of debt.
Although some figures show that graduates can expect higher than average earnings, students may not actually be in well-paid jobs for a number of years after graduating leaving. Unfortunately for some, this premium in earnings may never even be enough to clear their accumulated personal debt.
The best way to avoid the struggle is to learn about and prepare yourself for each cost involved over the period of our course including the time it may take you to find a job afterwards.
Firstly, tuition fees - these pay for the actual course you want to take. Before 1999 the Government covered the entire cost. However now, a growing appetite for higher education forced the Government to change the system. This was also justified by claims that during the course of their working lives, a graduate could earn 400,000 more than a non-graduate.
However, not everyone has to pay tuition fees. If your parents' combined earnings are under a certain threshold they will not have to pay. From the threshold upward, the contributions operate on a sliding scale.
Although, regardless of their earnings, the maximum any family has to pay amounts to around a quarter of the entire cost of the course each year. This is estimated to be around 4,000 and the Government will still pick up the bill for the remaining amount.
As soon as you are accepted into a course you should apply to your Local Education Authority (LEA) to find out what sort of financial help you can obtain.