Student finance is a bit of a mess, let’s face it.
A two-parent family each earning even less than the average full-time wage in the UK renders their budding student child unable to get the Maintenance Grant provided for by the Student Loans Company.
Suddenly, the student needs to fork out for rent and living expenses using only their Maintenance Loan. Considering this payment is only around £3,500 a year, you can imagine things are fairly tight. Add in the fact that much of the student accommodation in the UK costs more than this loan alone… Suddenly, you’ve got a big deficit, one you have to plug yourself. To save on one of the biggest expenses of university life, some students are picking universities close to home and living with their parents.
It is an interesting notion isn’t it? The idea of living at home with the family cuts down on a vast proportion of the bill, among other things:
- From a student’s perspective, not having to spend so much money and tie yourself into a rental contract is great – suddenly you have a lot more flexibility. Parents will like it too – they won’t have to contribute so much to their child’s education and they won’t have to act as a guarantor for anything.
- Of course, the amount given to you by the Student Loans Company is far lower because you aren’t living in halls. This means that ultimately you’ll be paying back less when it comes to earning a full-time wage.
- For students that get homesick, living at home can serve as a welcome relief. It means that you get to see your family and friends relatively easily, without anywhere near as many issues as if you were on campus.
- Sometimes, you may discover that you don’t have much of a choice – I applied for a local university near my family home… Being four miles up the road, there was a great expectation that I live at home and commute to uni each morning.
That particular institution told me ‘well, you could find somewhere but you’ll have to turn up at Fresher’s Week and see what’s left.’ Not helpful.
Of course, it isn’t plain sailing for students or parents…
- Kids, don’t think you’ve rent-free living! I have yet to find an example of parents giving them somewhere to live without some kind of charge! Whether it is in the form of rent or doing chores, there is more than likely some kind of cost associated with living at home.
- You might feel a lack of independence when you’re living at home. You’ll discover that the curfew still applies and you can’t live how other students are – it’s far more disruptive to come back to the family home after a heavy night on the town than wondering back to your student flat!
- In those cases where you don’t always have a choice, you might find a bit of tension creeping in. Your parents will want you to spread your wings somewhat and, no matter how deep and hidden this is, they will be keen for you to get on with life. Staying at home for another year might not always be a top preference in everyone’s book!
Of course, the inverse may be true. Your parents want you to stay, but you want to leave and get out into the world.
You have to weigh it up, ultimately. Personally I was more than happy to move away and go off to university. Others may be less keen and enjoy some home comforts.
Drop us a comment if you decided to live at home during university – we’d love to hear how you’re getting on.