Education Planning

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Research shows that having a higher education degree improves job prospects and future earnings, but having to pay for that education adversely impacts on graduates’ financial and life decisions. Student debt means future sacrifice for your children. We can help you plan towards that milestone of university in your children’s lives and ease their debt burden as they enter adulthood.

Will my child be classed as a home student at a UK university?

Focussing on the UK, costs vary depending on classification as a “home” student or an “international student”. Being British does not automatically qualify somebody as a home student. In fact, unless you have lived in the UK for three whole years before the first day of university, you will be classified as an international student. This means a strong likelihood of increased tuition fees. International students are also not eligible for loan or grant support from the UK government (although other financing could be available).

How much does university cost in the UK?

Tuition fees vary by university and degree qualification. International student degrees have started as low as £10,000 per year, but could increase to £38,000 for top-end medical degrees. The average annual cost for an international student has been estimated to be £12,000 ($15,000). For a three-year undergraduate course, this means an average total tuition fee cost of £36,000. Add on a year of postgraduate study and this rises to £48,000. The total could be up to £152,000 for medical degrees.

The Higher Education and Research Bill introduced through Parliament in 2017 allows universities to increase their tuition fees year-on-year in line with inflation until at least 2021/21; after this they may be able to increase based on quality in line with the Teaching Excellence Framework. The average rate of inflation in the UK over the last 10 years has been 2.06% per annum. This means that whilst the current average total cost is £48,000, in another 10 years it could be as much as £58,857.

How much does my child need to support their cost of living in the UK?

As well as funding tuition fees, students will also need to be for accommodation, utilities, food, books, entertainment, and other miscellaneous spending whilst at university. The UK Government expects students will need approximately £1,015 per month to fund their cost of living, which works out at £12,180 per year of study (this figure is the minimum required for a non-Brit to qualify for the UK student visa). For studying in London, the figure increases to £15,180 per year of study. Therefore, a four-year period of study in London will require £60,720 saved for expenses. Inflation also needs to be factored in for cost of living. To have £60,720 worth of expenses in 10 years’ time, £74,454 needs to be saved.

What can I do about this?

Taking an average tuition fee and cost of living outside of London, the total average cost for a four-year course could be £96,720 ($121,000), before allowing for inflation. By sitting down with one of our Financial Planners, we can help you understand what will be required for you children to go to university without the burden of debt hanging over them, and how you can save to help them achieve that. Contact us to learn what you may need to save for your children and how you can achieve that goal.

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