With university fees set to treble over the coming years it comes as no surprise that potential students are being driven more and more by financial considerations.
The Association of Investment Companies (AIC) recently published some survey data that showed that 21% of tomorrow’s students intend to choose a lower fee university and 23% of parents are going to encourage their children to select and lower charging university place.
Apart from the eternal educational benefits, going to university will also have long term financial implications. 49% of students now expect to graduate with in excess of £20,000 of associated debt compared to only 34% last year. 13% of students actually expect to leave university with over £30,000 of debt.
In an effort to limit the accumulation of debt a minority of future students (17%) are planning to spend some or all of their university time based at their parental home, with 8% saying they were happy to do so and 9% said they would prefer not to.
When viewed from the parent’s side 19% of them said that it is very likely that their children would live at home and a further 19% said that it was fairly likely that this would be the outcome.
Some of those surveyed question the value of a degree, with 18% of parents saying that degrees are not worth as much as they once were, with a further 8% are encouraging their children to opt for some form of vocational training.
Only 14% of students think that their parents will fund the whole university bill. And the level of debt expected is having an impact on postgraduate study decisions. 12% of students do not plan to pursue postgraduate study purely on financial grounds, with a further 14% saying they will have to delay postgraduate studies until they have the money to do so.
The Communications Director of the AIC, Annabel Brodie-Smith, said: “With tuition fees adding to the already considerable expense of university, families are clearly looking at ways to save money. Not surprisingly parents feeling the pinch are keen for their children to live at home and to attend lower cost universities. For young people, living at home will be a constraint on enjoying some of the best years of their life but a way of reducing the financial burden.”