Worry over university tuition fees, living costs, and debt 'doubles' among students in two years, The Student Room survey finds

Community director of the group says it is 'of great concern' that students are taking a step backwards – despite them being 'pragmatic' in 2010

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The Independent Online

Worry over the cost of university debt and living expenses has doubled among students – in just two years, a new survey has found.

The Student Room’s annual Options survey spoke with over 5,700 UK students about their thoughts and feelings on the changing landscape of education in the country.

19 per cent said they are seriously worried about the affordability of university tuition – up from ten per cent in 2013.

The cost of living was also a significant factor shaping students’ university choices, with a staggering 75 per cent now labelling it as a major issue.

More than half (53 per cent) said they will now need to work part-time to support themselves, while 36 per cent said they will be choosing specific universities which offer bursaries or other financial support.

Community director of The Student Room, Jack Wallington, described how it is “of great concern” that students are taking a step backwards – despite them being “pragmatic” when tuition fees first came into effect.

He urged degree-seekers to remain motivated and said: “Our message to students remains the same: potential applicants should not be put off a higher education when student loans will cover fees and primary bills, only being paid back in later life on a good salary.

“However, now more than ever, it is crucial for students to research their university choices in as much depth as they can to get make the most of the financial investment they’re making in their education.”

The survey was conducted just before the Government announced plans to scrap the maintenance grant, and more than half of respondents said the announcement would force them to seriously consider whether they could afford to go to university.

A further fifth of students said university is now entirely out of the question.

One student commented: “My maintenance loan will not cover the cost of halls alone in my first year and I will have to rely on a part-time job and additional funding from my parents.

“I think that something needs to be done for those who will struggle the most. I want to go to uni to enhance my career opportunities, but the financial stress that lies ahead of me is worrying me before I’ve even found out my A-level results.”

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