The English student finance overhaul in 2012 saw myths, panic and confusion. Part-timers make up 40% of students, but amid the debate over full-time fees, huge changes for this group were missed. Though their fees have also trebled, part-time students can now get loans too. This guide's got the need-to-knows for students in England...
The guide is provided by MoneySavingExpert.com and Universities UK and is crucial reading for anyone considering going to uni in 2014.
Teachers / Parents / Universities:
Feel free to print and distribute this guide. Also see the free teachers' uni fees booklet.
To find out how much it will cost, use our
FREE Part-Time Student Finance Calculator
Watch the video guide
Student Finance 2012 Video Guide
Filmed in front of parents and potential students at UCL, Jun 2011.
Listen to Martin explaining the changes on BBC Radio Five Live's Shelagh Fogarty show. Click on the player below to listen (13:15).
What's in the booklet
If you only read the headlines you’d think all
students were 18 years old, leaving home, drinking beer
and doing full-time degrees. Yet around a third of those who
go into higher education are studying part-time, aged 18 to over 100. I suspect there’s a huge variety in their choice of tipple too.
2. The basic facts
Student loans are a bizarre contradiction. Everyone talks about the price tag – yet the repayment system and interest charges mean that the figures bear little resemblance to the actual amount you will repay.
3. What funding is available?
There is a range of financial support out there for those who want to go into higher education. This falls into two main categories – Government support and money that comes direct from universities and colleges.
4. How repayments work
Of course while getting a loan is great, it's not a grant. So once you’re earning enough, you will need to repay it. But student loans are very different to other loans. They’re a unique hybrid, somewhere between a loan and taxation – so it’s important to understand exactly how the repayments work so you can think about their impact.
5. How much will it actually cost me?
This is the crucial question and it's one of the many fears that put people off going to university – the ‘how will I afford to live with this debt?’ question. You can also use the Part-Time Student Finance Calculator.
Key questions answered include 'Is university worth the cost?', 'What if I have a child?', 'Do I qualify for benefits?', as well as the issues around living and/or studying in Wales, Scotland and/or Northern Ireland.
7. Further reading
A list of key contacts to help with all aspects of student finance.