The life of Riley? You must be joking...

These days keeping themselves in beer is the least of many students' financial worries


What will I have to pay towards tuition fees?

What will I have to pay towards tuition fees?

The maximum parents will have to contribute towards tuition fees for 2000/01 is £1,050. Many will receive a grant towards these fees, set by the LEA. Families with annual income lower than £17,804 will not have to make any contribution. Thereafter contributions rise according to a sliding scale. When family income tops £28,505 the full fee must be paid.

A family earning more than £36,405 must add their £930 student loan contribution (see opposite page), making a total of £1,980. If they have other dependent children it will be reduced by £77 per child.

Students on postgraduate courses that lead to qualified teacher status (QTS), such as a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE), may be able to escape tuition fees. Those teaching a secondary subject with a shortage of recruits may get financial help.

Are there any other sources of financial support?

If you are undergoing workrelated training and cannot get funding through your LEA you can apply for a career-development loan (CDL). Between £300 and £8,000 can be borrowed to cover up to 80 per cent of course fees, with repayment deferred. You could also apply for company sponsorship. Oil and engineering companies, for example, may help out. Ask your college what is available or check its website.

Those facing severe financial difficulties can apply to their college for a Hardship Loan of £100 to £500 a year. Colleges also have an Access Fund for those in particular dire straits.

Most full-time students cannot get Social Security benefits, although single parents and the disabled may be exceptions.

Estimates suggest that up to 50 per cent of students do part-time work. Tales of students working as strippers, call girls and actors abound, but bar and shop work is more common.

The one piece of financial good news is banks are jostling for student business and some competitive banking packages are available (see table).

Where can I go for further information?

Details on student loans and tuition fees are available in the booklet Financial Support for Students 2000/2001. This can be ordered on 0800 731 9133 or by e-mail at info@dfee.gov.uk. It can also be seen at www.dfee.gov.uk/studentsupport.

The Student Loans Company has a helpline on 0800 405010 and a website at www.slc.co.uk. The NUS website at www.nusonline.co.uk (launched September 1) has details on education costs and how to budget. Try also www.student.co.uk. If you are interested in a CDL contact 0800 585 505 or www.lifelonglearning.co.uk.

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