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  • Overpaying Child At Uni?
  • higgo
    Free Member

    One of my kids has started at Uni this year. She gets some maintenance grant from the government and I am expected to top it up to the figure she’d get if she got the full gov payment. She’s in halls for the first year and it seems to me that once she’s paid for the halls she won’t have a huge amount of money left over.

    She hasn’t gone straight from school and has worked before (retail and bar stuff) and is expecting to do ‘some’ work while at uni to supplement her income. Even so I’d like to give her some extra – if nothing else so she doesn’t need to get a job until she’s found her feet there. The question is how much?

    Facts:

    • Leeds
    • Total maintenance (gov +parental) = £9978
    • Halls = £7500 (these are not the most expensive!)

    While not loaded, I do have some savings and can afford to give ‘some’ additional support. I can’t be the only one with a youth starting uni this year or last few years. Or maybe you are that youth getting a bit of extra support from home? I’m just looking for others experience – do/did you provide more than the expected? How much more?

    p.s. daughter is being evasive on the subject, doesn’t expect any extra or want to be a burden but would obviously not refuse any extra.

    StuF
    Full Member

    Daughter going into her 3rd year, last 2 year’s we were giving her £200 / month on top of the her grant which is at the minimum. She works in a pub whilst at uni and has almost come out of each year with more cash then she started so we’re trying not to give her any extra on top of the grant and we’ll see how that goes. She is a politics student so doesn’t have many lectures so easy to fit in shifts around those rather than an Med / Eng student who have wall to wall lectures.

    devash
    Free Member

    When I was at uni (20 years ago mind) my parents said they would help out on an ad-hoc basis if I needed some extra cash but I found that as I only had 6-8 actual contact hours during term time, plus tons of holiday time, there was ample opportunity to pick up shop / bar work for extra cash to buy records and weed spend on course books and rent.

    finbar
    Free Member

    I hate to break it to you but they’re not getting grants, they’re getting loans… (I suspect you know this already!)

    Martin Lewis has a bit of a rant about the assumed parental contribution which is worth a read: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/students/student-loan-parental-contribution-tool/guide/

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    Bar Work? It’s all OnlyFans now!

    My daughters friend funded a year in Australia by selling feet pics! 😬

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Are there any bursaries at uni she could tap into?

    I think every parent tops up to some degree or other. If not on a monthly basis, with one offs, food parcels, treats.

    Bazz
    Full Member

    My daughter is just starting her second year, last year I had to top up her loan by £2000 just to cover her accommodation costs, that was halls, this year she is renting a house with four friends and I will be giving her £200 a month towards rent and bills. For food and social money she works in the holidays and saves up. If I could afford to give her more then I would but there is precious little spare in the household budget as there is and she’s pretty understanding about the situation and at least she is learning the value of money and the art of budgeting.

    ji
    Free Member

    I think a lot depends hugely on what course they are doing. Having had 2 at Leeds, one was able to fund themselves with part time jobs etc, but the other had a lot of contact hours and practical projects that required them to be in the university. They did a year in industry that  helped to top up their money at year 4 or a 5 year course.

    The apporach we took was a lump sum gift of around £5k (5 years ago now) that they could use to tide them over the difficult periods (and learn about savings, and sensible spending) and a regular conversation with them to go through their budget and check that they came to us first before their overdraft.

    We have then loaned additional sums as required with pretty flexible repayment as needed.

    Also £7.5k may not be the most expensive Leeds halls, but it is not the cheapes. Deciding on one of the closer halls comes at a price and the sooner your child learns this the better. Mine were all a 45 minute walk out in the first year, and saved rent accordingly.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    +1 on Martin Lewis/MoneySavingExpert view of things.

    We have assisted ours at £150 a month, plus we do things like buy them some clothes or a food shop through the year.

    TBF they have both worked and as such have more money than I did as a student. One has saved(!) for his house deposit through the year, the other travelled Europe, drank beer and rides a nice bike….

    IME being frugal through home cooking, cycling everywhere etc has been far more of a benefit than me finding more money for them.

    higgo
    Free Member

    Grants… yes, sorry, I know they’re loans now – I don’t want to give away my age but they were grants in my day (and we could ‘sign on’ and claim housing benefit in the summer too)
    OnlyFans – I hope not – I wouldn’t want our paths to cross on there!
    Bursaries – she may be able to get a little extra as a result of a disability and is looking into that herself.
    Halls Cost – yes, there are certainly cheaper ones too – she’s already planning to live somewhere cheaper next year but there are distinct advantages to her living closer this year (and that does come at a cost).

    I do realise I’m fortunate in being able to help her out with a bit extra but, without going into detail, the reason we have a little extra money in the house is unfortunate.

    edit: I’ll have a look at the Martin Lewis guide too
    also – she is pretty good with money already – she doesn’t drink at all or smoke/vape or need the right labels on clothes

    fossy
    Full Member

    My daughter has gone locally to Uni, so get’s the lower maintenance ‘loan’. She’s a ‘home bird’ so this suits her better, and seeing boyfriend. I top it up with £80 a month.  She’s no rent/food etc. Bought herself a laptop and a big graphics tablet (for the course) with her money, and it covers clothes/travel. I can imagine having a child in halls is expensive.

    vinnyeh
    Full Member

    Was wondering about this as well , we’ve paid for halls for daughter, thankfully less than mentioned above, and have suggested that the grant -she gets the minimum which works out at £20 per day for her term length- should be sufficient to cover everything else- food, clothes, entertainment etc. Is this realistic and fairish? She will have long hours and they’re not permitted to work during term, but want to strike a balance between enabling her to achieve, and financing a lifestyle.

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    I top my daughter up to the full amount of the loan / grant / whatever. She then does a bit of work while at Uni – student ambassador so doing Open days, etc., and also has worked fairly solidly in Winter and summer breaks at her old weekend job at the posh person’s supermarket, where they’re always glad to see her back and find shifts.

    She hasn’t struggled that much, has dipped into her savings a bit but isn’t a big party goer or drinker, and when they have gone out-out they usually started with a few drinks in their halls anyway. Fake Archers at £8 a bottle goes a long way, apparently, or unbranded vodka (well, Tesco / Aldi – not from some Black Country illicit still)

    That said – £7500 for halls!! She didn’t go for the absolute budget option and i know prices have risen somewhat but even this year her halls are £4680 – I think was a bit under £4500 last year. Sure she had to share a bathroom and there are far more modern / well appointed on campus, but that’s expensive!

    https://warwick.ac.uk/services/accommodation/students/cryfield-standard/

    Y2 now so in a house with 3 friends. That’s a different experience already (see other Uni accomodation thread!)

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    they’re not permitted to work during term,

    Who says this? A university?

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    not permitted to work during term

    You what? Standard Uni or something else…. never heard of that, in fact Warwick have their own employment agency (sort of) for campus jobs – bars, coffee shops, arts centre, etc., which is great because they understand and are built to facilitate someone phoning in at late notice with an essay crisis and do get pissed off like a ‘proper’ employer would.

    easily
    Free Member

    “My daughters friend funded a year in Australia by selling feet pics!”

    if anybody would like to see mine send me a fiver.

    TiRed
    Full Member

    We paid all maintenance for Son1 so as to minimise loan to fees, that included accommodation (typically we paid 3-400 per month for four years, more in Bristol) and living expenses (about £400 per month). He got a job during the summer months for the rest. We’re still topping up now as he is on an EU funded PhD, but his rent in Dublin is more than 75% of his PhD stipend!

    Universities are now foreign fee collecting landlords that do education on the side. He always rented in the private sector.

    eddiebaby
    Free Member

    <p style=My daughters friend funded a year in Australia by selling feet pics! 😬</p>

    Wearing stilettos? Asking for a friend…

    stealthcat
    Full Member

    Some universities don’t allow you to work during term time, but check the small print on that, as my university said “No term time jobs – unless you’re working for the university”. That meant that we could do bar work in a university-owned bar, or work in the SU, and things like that.
    I’m not sure whether the student who regularly babysat for a professor’s children was technically allowed to, but no one ever said anything!

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    Wearing stilettos? Asking for a friend…

    Pedal Pumping pics is where the money is apparently!!

    This is genuine BTW – my daughter was talking one night about her friend going to Australia. We asked how she was affording that as we knew her background – daughter casually said ‘oh she’s been selling feet pics for a year. Made loads of money”!

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Can we have some clarity on exactly what figures people are quoting…. as I have exactly the same question as the OP

    The OP seems to be saying he wants to give money on top of the Gov + Parent amount:

    Total maintenance (gov +parental) = £9978

    Whereas StuF seems to be giving £200 pcm on top of the minimum grant, which means the daughter is actually getting less than she “should” be

    last 2 year’s we were giving her £200 / month on top of the her grant which is at the minimum

    Is that correct @stuF?

    Bazz doesn’t state whether his £200 is on top of a nominal Grant + Parental, but I’m getting the impression it is not

    this year she is renting a house with four friends and I will be giving her £200 a month towards rent and bills. For food and social money she works in the holidays

    Jo, Matt, fossy. Am I right in thinking yours are getting less than the notional Gov + Parental?

    JonV tops up to the notional G+ P

    I was basically going to ask similar to the OP. I think we plan to give our kid £800 pcm on top of his minimum “grant” to take him to the notional value. My assumption was that there is no way an engineering student can live on that amount in Lunn’n and so we need to give him more.
    Agree/ disagree.

    PS. My questions/ quotes above intend no judgement. I’m just trying to understand what others are doing to educate my approach

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    JonV tops up to the notional G+ P

    I was basically going to ask similar to the OP. I think we plan to give our kid £800 pcm on top of his minimum “grant” to take him to the notional value. My assumption was that there is no way an engineering student can live on that amount in Lunn’n and so we need to give him more.
    Agree/ disagree.

    Correct on the top point. Actually a bit more but only because I can’t be arsed messing around with random numbers, I rounded up to the nearest sensible number.

    And then i just remembered, i then give an extra £10 a month on top of that (immediately breaking the keep it in round numbers ideal)  That came about when i visited on my way back from a trip and she made me a sandwich and i was horrified to find she was buying value cheese. Student or not, no daughter of mine is eating value cheddar, so I upped with a cheese surplus. These things are important (I know you don’t get much cave aged single herd cheese for £10, but it’s enough to stretch to decent supermarket now).

    On the second point – remember already that the ‘grant’ for a London Uni is already at £12,667, not £9706 and while the grant minimum is also higher so is the parent’s contribution expected to be. Up to you whether you feel that is enough or not. My only advice is that it’s easier to increase it if needed, whatever you give them will probably be spent anyway

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    And another also. I can’t find now due to some firewall issues at work but martin lewis did a really good talk about why the student loan isn’t really like a loan, it’s an additional student tax and is not as scary as being £45,000 in debt sounds.

    If you have the wherewithal to not need it then great, but you shouldn’t be raiding other funds just to avoid taking the loan. Watch the video, he presents really well (it’s a panel of 100 people so he can divide them as % to illustrate)

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    why the student loan isn’t really like a loan, it’s an additional student tax

    Yep, totally

    Been discussing this hugely with the missus. She wants him to use granny’s money to pay off the loan asap. I want him to use it for a house deposit

    theotherjonv
    Full Member
    larryduff
    Full Member

    My daughter’s annual uni costs are as follows –

    • Fees £9250.00
    • Halls £6725.00
    • Subsistence £2340.00

    funded like this –

    • Student Loan Fees £9250.00
    • Student Loan Maintenance £4650.00
    • Parental Contribution £4415.00
    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Subsistence £2340.00

    🤨🤔😟

    For 7/8 months?

    That’s like £100 a week isn’t it. How the heck are they supposed to ..etc

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    I wish I had that much but I spend it all on student loans and cheese.

    larryduff
    Full Member

    How the heck are they supposed to ..etc

    She is quite frugal – 2nd hand clothes, food shopping at Aldi…

    The halls are right next door to the uni and both are right in the city centre so no travel costs and if she does go anywhere she has a free bus pass (Scotland).

    She has no bills as the halls are all inclusive.

    higgo
    Free Member

    “Subsistence £2340.00”

    Yes, very similar to my daughter which when you look at overall ‘grant’ minus hall fees it come out a little under £2500 which is not a lot for the best part of a year. Hence me wanting to top it up a little.

    (and thanks for everyone’s varied comments – they all add something and I’ll reread later this evening when I’m not trying to work at the same time)

    tenfoot
    Full Member

    I have two at Uni this year. Son starting year 3 at Nottingham, and daughter a fresher at NTU.

    NTU student accommodation is £8500 for my daughter and my son’s accommodation is £6500. Going to be an expensive year as they get the minium maintenance loan. Fortunately my son doesn’t spend much and my daughter has been working over the summer, but we will still be topping them up.

    desperatebicycle
    Full Member

    My son’s about to start his 3rd year. You’d have to ask my ex what the loans/rental/fees what ever are! I just send the same as I always have since we split up – £220 a month. (direct to the son since uni). It’ll be so lovely when he finishes, all that extra cash to me mememe!
    Funnily enough he’s on holiday abroad with is girlfriend at the mo, so I seem to have done something right/wrong 🤔😂

    larryduff
    Full Member

    Yes, very similar to my daughter which when you look at overall ‘grant’ minus hall fees it come out a little under £2500 which is not a lot for the best part of a year. Hence me wanting to top it up a little.

    Mine is going on into her 2nd year now. Initially I, like you, wasn’t sure how much she’d need, but after the 1st few weeks we knew how much she was spending on average. I did also pay for lots of other things upfront to get her set up at the start – pots/pans, crockery, bedding etc… I’d never want her to be going short of anything, but she’s seems to be managing fine and always appears perfectly healthy whenever we see her. She has worked a bit this summer so has some savings as a buffer.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Jo, Matt, fossy. Am I right in thinking yours are getting less than the notional Gov + Parental?

    Yes.

    Our decisions were driven by conversations with out lads – and sitting down with a budget with them and going through it. We continue to monitor, as some costs (energy!) have risen significantly. We keep checking in, and both have confirmed it was lovely and really helpful to do things like a big shop at the start of term so they had a cupboard full of the basics for the term ahead, and we have agreed with eldest to buy him a new goretex jacket for birthday (etc).

    We do still insure them on our car and insure their belongings. We are guarantors on housing. We have paid for a big enough cottage on holiday for them to join us – but they both bought pint or ice creams one day…

    Ours worked the year before they went (full time, both earned over £25k) and continue to work part time (Tesco shelf stacking, Deliveroo and a Christmas at Gleneagles Hotel for a couple of weeks) with both earning around £6-10k a year each. This year we are not expecting eldest to work particularly as it is final year, but then he effectively finishes in 6 months (April) and has committed to Gleneagles Hotel again.

    We do have an emergency fund – it is there in case a computer dies or similar.

    While there neither have given up hobbies and significant social life, or travelling to Europe, so I don’t think they are as skint as I and mrs_oab were at Uni….

    At the end of the day, I have a real issue with Uni being ‘available to all’ and ‘not elitest’ yet requires significant parental input. Our family had to sit down and make some decisions around this, and that included the pressure for a longterm ill mrs_oab to have to keep working and the fact that post 18 there is to my mind a need for them to learn independence and the effort that takes. I see so many of their colleagues at uni who are given car, house, £400-800 a month and more – and funnily enough will finish uni having not had a job to put on their CV. While I could break my back and give the lads more, for me it needed a balanced and open approach. I *think* my lads will be appreciative of that, and what they have gained by having to be independent and frugal.*

    .
    .
    .
    .
    *I note eldest has been to the Alps for 5 summers on the trot, has nice bikes and can go to see GF in London regularly…hmmm

    higgo
    Free Member

    pots/pans – she’s taken what she wanted from the kitchen and I’ve got shiny new ones. Everyone’s a winner.

    poly
    Free Member

    Subsistence £2340.00
    🤨🤔😟

    For 7/8 months?

    That’s like £100 a week isn’t it. How the heck are they supposed to ..etc

    hopefully they are better at maths than you or are studying an arts degree 😉

    like many others here I top up from basic loan to the maximum Scot Gov offer poorest students as seemed they’ve done the maths.  We do also bits and bobs throughout the year whenever it comes to mind.  Grandparents are also fairly generous (not sure how much they throw at him but enough). He doesn’t seem to struggle but he does some tutoring, and doesn’t have a lavish lifestyle and worked all summer.

    one thing to consider is if you are going to give them a lump sum, a monthly allowance, weekly etc and if it’s 52 weeks of the year or just term time when away.  I gave my son option and he said split into 52 weekly payments then he knows there’s cash coming rather than doing something silly with it (he’s pretty sensible).  Friends give a lump sum to their son at start of each term then are surprised when the at the end of term he’s asking for extra!

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    pots/pans – she’s taken what she wanted from the kitchen and I’ve got shiny new ones. Everyone’s a winner.

    Most universities have a system to recycle last years pots / pans / crockery – we have always picked it all up for free via Student Union.

    larryduff
    Full Member

    one thing to consider is if you are going to give them a lump sum, a monthly allowance, weekly etc

    I split my contribution into 9 monthly payments, Sept till May. The Student Loan maintenance is split into 3 payments – one per term.

    higgo
    Free Member

    Yeah, it will be a monthly payment over ten months. She can fund herself over the summer. She’s asked me to ‘front load’ the first few months so she has less pressure to get a job until later in the year.

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Who says this? A university?

    My lad is at Cambridge and they have a “no term time” jobs instruction. Some ignore it, he does occasional bar shifts at the music faculty, but he does have lectures/contact time most days, sometimes Saturdays. They do have slightly shorter terms, so he has earned extra in the holidays when he’s home.

    Going into his final year, he’s paying £180 for a double room in college. Shared kitchen and shower. I thought that was expensive compared to previous years but looking at figures here, obviously not.

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