The Truth About Uni | Finance

The Truth About Uni | Finance

It’s been 2 Sundays since the last edition, so it’s time for the third instalment of the Truth About Uni Collab I’m doing with a bunch of other student bloggers, revealing our open and honest opinions about different aspects of University.  This week is a topic I’m ready to have a bit of a rant about: Student Finance.
Compared to some places like the USA, England actually has a pretty good student finance system.  The government pays for each year of Uni for you (£9000-9250… yeah the prices rose this year so that was… great), and you get a little bit of extra money to live off of (for food, accommodation, etc), paid to you in termly instalments.  Yes, this money is all essentially a loan, but it’s paid back a little bit like a tax: taken out of your pay-cheque before the money even reaches you, only after you start making over £21,000 a year, then all is erased after 30 years.
I understand that to some this may seem lenient and great, and don’t get me wrong I’m not taking it for granted, however there is still a lot wrong with the system, so I thought I’d go into it.  Some may be particular to me or people in similar situations to me, and some are general for anyone going to Uni.  So without further ado, here are my issues with the student loan:
The Cost of University
Yes, £9000 is a lot of money, but I was initially understanding given the amount of buildings and maintenance you have to do and the fact Uni of Bristol’s libraries don’t do late fees.  However, when you consider how much time I actually spend at Uni, it’s kind of ridiculous.  As a humanities student (read more about my course here) I have 7-9 hours a week, and these only take place 22 weeks of the year.  That means I’m essentially spending £9000 for 176 hours of teaching, which works out to £51.13 per lecture/seminar.  Though some of my lecturers are amazing and I learn so much, some of them are… less useful and I most certainly wouldn’t willingly pay £51.13 for them.
I’m in no way bashing my Uni or its hours here – I think that the hours I have are well suited to the hours of extra work I have to do.  However, in the 3 years I attend University I will have racked up £18,000 of debt on University fees alone, which when I really think about it is ridiculously expensive for something that schools push on teenagers with the message that its vital for a good future.  Surely something that is so vital to life shouldn’t be given such an expensive price tag?  Is that not a basic form of extortion?  Starting this year, Uni’s can now raise their fees to £9250 a year, because the Government believe that the more we pay, the better the quality of teaching will be…  Perhaps the less you charged, the better the morality of the students would be… but hey this is just one persons opinion.
The Maintenance “Loan”
A few years ago, the money used to be a grant, meaning that you didn’t have to pay it back.  In my opinion this makes a lot more sense; we’re Uni students, we’re supposed to spend our time focusing on building our futures instead of earning money, and most of us live away from our parents, therefore we don’t really have the time or means to cover our living costs.  However, being the lovely people that they are, the government have now made the maintenance grant a loan instead, adding to the amount of money we all have to try and pay back once we’re in the working world.
The Criteria for the Maintenance Loan
This has to be the one that irritates me the most.  You see the amount you get for living costs is judged based on your parents collective annual income.  I understand where they’re coming from with this, but I feel like they need to further examine the criteria/how much they give.
You see, I wouldn’t class my family as poor at all; my parents make enough to ensure that we all live comfortably, however they are in no way rich enough to may my way through University… and yet I apparently fall into the highest bracket, meaning that I get the smallest maintenance loan that they give.  This loan is supposed to cover my rent and give me money for food and books, but the money I receive covers just over half of the rent for my accommodation.  If I had to rely solely on this money I wouldn’t be able to live, and yes, my parents are helping me cover the rent because they have no other choice, but they’ve had to do some serious saving and moving things around to be able to help me out.
I should not be judged based on my parents income.  I know people with parents that are paying for their rent and letting them use their loan for food and supplies as well, and yet they receive more a good £4000 more than I do with their loan.  If you ask me, this does not seem like a fair system at all?  My parents annual income is not a reflection of my financial situation, and it really irritates me how this part of the system is run.
So, there you go, these are my (somewhat angry, I know) thoughts on the current Student Finance system.  Like I said (briefly), it does have its benefits, but hey at the end of the day I’m gonna be left with a mountain of debt, so I reckon I have the right to point out the downsides of the system.
Tell me your opinions in the comments, I’m happy to engage in some friendly debate! and check out the stories about Becky, Kate, Tori, Sophie, Saffron, Anna and Jen and their experiences of Student Finance!
Lots of love,
Jas xx



  1. April 16, 2017 / 11:06 am

    I’ve heard about the increasing college fee in the UK! I’ve heard it tripled a couple of years ago!? Which is insane! Our government did the same with changing the maintenance grant into a loan. They say it’s part of investing in the education… well I don’t agree with this!
    All right before this turns into a rant myself 😛 LOL Loved reading your post this week!
    xoxo Annaleid

    • April 16, 2017 / 11:08 am

      Yeah, a few years ago it used to cost £3000 so it really has increased! I don’t believe maintenance should be counted as “investing in education” at all! Haha feel free to rant as much as you want, and thank you!
      Jas xx

      • April 16, 2017 / 9:45 pm

        Haha I totally agree with your statement!! Investing in education should be helping students not giving them a huge student loan!
        xoxo Annaleid

  2. April 16, 2017 / 1:56 pm

    I like how you’ve gone into detail about student finance, I didn’t go in that far!
    It’s a shame about how much they allocated you, I’ve always thought that was messed up. The system needs to change, and also the fees for tuition. It’s ridiculous the government are never going to see all of that money again!

    • April 16, 2017 / 2:11 pm

      Thank you, I really wanted to rant about it and thought I couldn’t do that without explaining haha
      Yeah, the maintenance loan is a bit unfortunate, and the fees are honestly ridiculous right now!
      Jas xx

  3. April 16, 2017 / 8:27 pm

    Wow this post!! Applaud to this! I can literally understand and agree with you. It actually is a bit stupid for me when I think about it. I sometimes find that my lectures/seminars aren’t useful at all. Not all, but there have been the odd few and I think, wow am I really paying £9,000 a year for this? Great post! Can’t wait to read more lovely x
    sami |

    • April 16, 2017 / 8:34 pm

      I also agree, wasting an hour in a lecture/seminar that seems pointless is disheartening anyway, but when you think about how much you’re actually spending on that hour it’s ridiculous! Glad you enjoyed this and could relate to it!
      Jas xx

  4. April 16, 2017 / 9:06 pm

    I really want to go to uni when I get to that stage and it was so eye-opening to read a post like this. Thank you so much for sharing!
    -Olivia Xxx

    • April 16, 2017 / 9:08 pm

      Thank you! Uni is so much fun, but the money can be a bit annoying… This is part of a whole series in which I give my honest opinion about different aspects of uni, so if you’re considering going to Uni it could be worth checking out 😉
      Jas xx

  5. April 16, 2017 / 9:32 pm

    I really want to go to uni but the cost of it is so expensive! Like you said , they encourage us to go but you have to pay loads and some of the lectures aren’t useful! Great post xx

    • April 16, 2017 / 9:33 pm

      Yeah, If you ask me the finance side definitely needs a lot of improvement, however don’t let that put you off, uni is a great experience! Glad you enjoyed it, it’s part of a series that may be useful especially if you’re thinking of going to uni!
      Jas xx

  6. April 16, 2017 / 10:10 pm

    This was a really interesting read! Xx

  7. April 16, 2017 / 10:42 pm

    I didn’t go to Uni but in Spain is really expensive as well. Great and interesting post, Jasmine! X

    • April 16, 2017 / 10:44 pm

      Oooo I’ve never really heard about uni in Spain, that’s interesting! Thanks Jeff!
      Jas xx

  8. April 17, 2017 / 9:31 am

    I’m also similarly frustrated with the maintenance provision! When I did my undergraduate degree (I’m currently doing my masters), my parents were judged to have too high an income for me to get a loan. I live on a farm, so while the income is very large around harvest time when the crops are sold, this is not disposable income, this money is ploughed straight back into the business (on essential machinery maintenance, on buying seed to plant the fields for the next year, on paying our labourers) so the figure that they make is not reflective of how much money they are able to put towards my education! Argh!
    Abbey 💓

    • April 18, 2017 / 3:18 pm

      See, the system is not very well thought out! They need to understand that a figure we put forward is not reflective of whether our parents can afford to put us through Uni or not. They have no idea where that annual amount goes once its earned by our parents, or what they could be paying off (or in your case investing their money in).
      Jas xx

  9. April 17, 2017 / 9:13 pm

    I’m Canadian – when I was in university I did an exchange with UK students. This was back in 2000 – so before this system. But I knew it had changed. Thank you for taking the time to describe it. This was educational for me (without paying 50 pounds to attend the session!)

    • April 17, 2017 / 9:15 pm

      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it! How was your exchange? They always look so interesting!
      Jas xx

      • April 17, 2017 / 9:16 pm

        It was great – I interned with a British MP at Westminster while taking a course on British politics. The UK students were from Leeds so they did that as well – and we all interned with Canadian MPs in Canada before that (while doing a course on Canadian politics).

          • April 17, 2017 / 9:29 pm

            It was a pretty unique experience, yes. The stuff going to university is, in part, all about.

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