The radical overhaul to English student finance in 2012 caused myths, panic and confusion. With headlines still screaming about graduates lumbered with £50,000 debt, many sixth-formers would be forgiven for being scared. Yet this free "you can afford to go to university" school leavers' booklet is here to bust the myths.
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.
Click the button to see each of the video and audio guides...
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
It’s been a couple of years since we saw the biggest changes to how students pay for university in a generation. But this is still new territory and there are still widespread myths and misunderstandings, often focused on political argument. Yet what really counts for those considering university is the actual practical everyday impact on your pocket, and that isn’t nearly as harsh as many fear.
2. Before you go to university
Whether to go to university or not will be one of the biggest decisions of your life. And like all big decisions, it can seem pretty scary. You need to think about where to go, what to study – and if you can afford it.
3. While you're at university
Of course paying for the fees isn’t everything. As well as finding innovative ways to cook baked beans – and whatever you’re there to study – managing your money is one of the most important things you’ll learn at university, especially if you don’t want to eat those beans EVERY night of the week.
4. After university
This a long time away, but it’s worth understanding now. Once you’ve graduated (or even if you drop out) you may worry that you’ve got an enormous debt hanging over you. But don’t panic! You don’t have to repay a penny until you get a job and are earning more than £21,000 a year.
Key questions answered include: 'How does means testing work?', 'Will the student loan go on my credit file?' and 'If we've got the money, should we simply pay and not take the loan?'
6. Further reading
A list of key contacts to help with all aspects of student finance.