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How much will it cost me to go to university?

With the majority of universities charging £9,000 a year for tuition fees, it’s certainly not cheap to go to university.

But how much will it cost over the three years once you’ve taken other items into consideration, such as rent, food and other living costs?

The cost of University 2013*/14


Category Cost per year (Average)                Cost over three years (Average) 
Tuition Fees £8,354 £25,062
Accommodation £4,834 £14,502
Food £1,956 £5,868
Household Goods £316 £948
Insurance £42 £126
Personal Items £2,074 £6,222
Travel £1,524 £4,572
Leisure £1,310 £3,930
Total £20,410 £61,230


 With many students needing to cover their university costs with student loans, the above table shows just how much debt they could be leaving university with at the end of the three years.

For parents who want to save up for their children’s education, you’d need to save at least £117 per month for the first 18 years – if you’re just wanting to cover their tuition fees – and a huge £283 per month if you want to cover all their living costs.

However it may be an idea to encourage your offspring to take a job while at university to help cover all the additional costs.

Of course there are plenty of ways to live on a modest budget during University – many students choose to live at home whilst they study which would cut down dramatically on accommodation costs.

If you are living away from home then it’s worth looking at other areas you can cut down on – why not use websites such as Freecycle to furnish your student pad –  maybe even look for a free or cheap bicycle on the site so you’re saving on travel costs.
If you’re living in shared accommodation, sharing the cooking – along with the cost, could help towards the money you pay on your food bills.

Usually within the vicinity of your university, there will be plenty of bars and restaurants offering discounts for students, so you should be able to save  money on a night out – plus signing up for a NUS card could help toothey usually have an initial cost of around £12 a year but offer discount s on hundreds of products and services so you could soon make that back.

There are a number of student bank accounts available for new and existing students to help you manage your money while at university – you can see our article here about the best student bank accounts around at the moment, including any incentives that they are offering, one of which is an free NUS card for three years, to help with your saving.


Has the cost of University put you off going?  Are you currently at university and living on a budget?  Do you have any tips you can share with us?    Please feel free to leave your comments in the box below!


Post by Heather Collin

The above post is intended to be informative but does not constitute advice – financial, legal or otherwise. Any opinions given are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of SO Media or the Mitchell Farrar Group.


*Average costs provided by the National Union of Students – full article can be seen here

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