The feel of joining the university after completion of high school is quite fulfilling because deep inside you know you have made it, you did your best and you deserve it. Besides, it is not everyone that gets to join the university and you are thus the envy of many. By the time you finish studying, you will be a professional in the niche that you decide to specialise in, but before you finish, one thing is going to make your life very difficult “Money.”
Unless you come from an affluent family where the flow of money is consistent then you will have to create your own safety net pretty fast. The pocket money from your parents can run out before you know it unless you have money managing skills. However, you could try to find means of raising that extra income so that you don’t become a bother to your guardians.
International students suffer the worst when you get the invitation to join a university in the UK it is all excitement and joy until you get there and realise it’s you against the world. Living in the UK is not going to be easy and you, therefore, have to find means of attracting extra income, fret not because we will give you tips for generating money while studying, and tips for saving the money that comes in on a monthly basis. In general, we will give you tips for managing money for student.
Finance for students from the National Budget
So before we start managing money, let us first determine how you are going to get financed. There are a number of ways that you can make money in the UK, to cater to your student-related costs, and the government is more than ready to help you achieve higher education with little stress when it comes to money matters. Did you know that there are student funding programs like waiving fees, scholarships, and loans?
The above are resourced from the national budget, but will largely depend on where you are taking your studies. The following are some of the places that you should seek help from in case you feel financially strained, the Student’s Finance Wales, Student’s Finance Northern Ireland, and Student’s Awards Agency for Scotland. Getting financial assistance from the above institutions is also not a walk in the park.
You must be eligible! That means that there are a number of factors that determine your eligibility, don’t worry though, because the funds have been designed to cater to the many different student profiles. The first profile is the type of course that you are taking, your residential income, your age, physical disability, and nationality. Students studying at British colleges and are of age 16 and 19, could access the Education Maintenance Allowance.
Students in Northern Ireland and Scotland of ages 16 and 19 can get bursaries to help fund their studies. Disabled students who incur additional costs to their disability can also be provided with educational funds. International students are also catered for by the universities, where they are given loans with an interest rate, which is rarely high.
Personal funding schemes in the UK are not standard and neither are they consolidated therefore, every country runs its own scheme for students. We will, therefore, look at some of the categories but remember your personal circumstance is a large determinant of whether you qualify to access the funding categories. So when you make it to one of the below categories then you stand to benefit from bursaries and loans.
Dance and Drama Awards, Residential Support Scheme, 16 to 19 Bursary Fund, Learner support, Care to Learn and Advanced Learning Loan. There is also the Residential Bursary fund and the Residential Support Scheme that helps students in the UK cater for their accommodation. The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA), can be accessible by students in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, but should be of ages 16 to 19.
Students in England are provided for with bursaries but should be of the above-stated age.
So you now know where you can access cash that will help cater to your study-related needs but then how much are you going to get and will it suffice or do you have to look for another source of income. Well, worry not as we will let you know how much you are going to get and if it doesn’t suffice your needs then we will give you tips for making extra income.
What amount of funding are students eligible for?
Remember earlier we talked about categories of eligibility, they, however, don’t come with a standard amount thus it will vary depending on the category. For example, those under Education Maintenance Allowance will be able to access up to £30 per week, to help you in your day to day activities, and if you reach the goals that have been set by your education provider then you will get two bonus payments of £100.
You must have noticed that only the young students who are still learning how to survive on their own have been covered by the funding schemes. So where does this leave the older students? In England, a special support fund is released for students of ages 60 and above. Besides, the good thing with the funding schemes is that even if you request for money to cater to your households need you will pay back, not immediately though but after you have graduated and are earning above £25,000.
Other sources of funding
There are other viable sources of funding that can see you through college or a university education apart from the funding schemes provided by different learning institutions. For example the private organisations, there are companies in the UK that opt to fund students but on condition that you will work for them after graduation. Information on the above can be sourced from International Education Financial Aid, International Student Loan, and the International Scholarships Database.
We also have international organisations that help students fund their education, with this; however, you will have to be very fast because the competition is cut-throat. The Fulbright Commission, for example, gives aid to students, not only in the UK but around the world. Others include but are not limited to, World Council of Churches, World Health Organisation, the United Nations, the Soros Foundation and the AMIDEAST, you must, however, be in your home country at the time of application.
Most people when joining universities tend to think that the responsibility lies squarely on their parent’s hands remember when you finish studying even if it is abroad your home country will benefit one way or the other. You might go back and get employment or you might get employment abroad and send money back to your country. The reason why your home country is more than willing to support you as you further your education in foreign countries.
Don’t be surprised that this fact is rarely apparent, well believe it or not your local government or the home-based companies that are also large scale do sponsor students, and all you need to do is find the right channels. To make the work easier as we are in the digital era the above information can be sourced from websites.
Working for your home country is not a bad thing even if you have studied abroad, so when you request help from the different companies or the local government be prepared to go back and offer service after graduation.
There are also scholarships that students can access, and there are also so many scammers in this sector. So you have to be very alert that you don’t land in the hands of con men. For starters, legit institutions offering scholarships do not ask for money during the application, so when you are asked for money that is enough red flag for you to run. Scholarships are not guaranteed, so don’t be deceived to give out cash on the promise that you will get the scholarship.
Lastly trust your instincts and do thorough research, otherwise for the free scholarship resources check this one’s out, Education UK scholarship, International Scholarships, and International Education Financial Aid.
Managing Money for Students
When you first get to the university or college, of course, your head is filled with excitement, and as you venture into the new world, your desire to discover will most definitely get the best of you. Money that you came with might run out sooner than expected and until you hit rock bottom then the little excitement bubble will not bust. So now that reality has hit home and you have been able to get financial assistance how well can you manage the cash?
Bank overdrafts can be a deadly trap if you are not careful, remember this is money that you can spend on anything you want but it would be best if you kept it for emergencies. Also as you go about getting a student’s account, choose one that will give you a good deal on the overdrafts because once you graduate you will be charged interest on the overdrafts.
There is a lot of sense in keeping tabs on money that you spend, and the best way is to be accountable for everything that you spend your money on by documenting. Keep the receipts after purchases; if possible use the free money managing worksheets from Google to keep track of your expenses. From the documentation and receipts check on what is not essential and cut it out, put the extra cash in a savings account, and remember this is a weekly process.
How do you cater to the essential costs, this are the bills that might land you in trouble with the law and should thus be first in your lists of expenditure. For example, the council tax, accommodation fees, contents insurance, and university tuition fees among others. There are also the Utility bills, and mobile phone, TV and internet costs.
A student’s budget is subject to the limited funds coming in on a monthly basis, so the aim here is to have more left after allocating money on essentials and variables like food, clothes, travel, books, and fitness among others. Poor money management skills will distract you from your studies, so things like credit cards should be carefully utilised. The latter just like the bank overdrafts should be used for emergencies, and remember to pay them when the time comes so that you don’t get charged.
Most of the set books will be provided in the school library, but there are some books that you will have to buy. The new ones are not any cheap, therefore, you could check online for second-hand copies that are normally cheap, or check-in your college or university.
If your apartment is not located very far from your school then you can invest in a bicycle. The benefits with this option are many, first you won’t have to worry about fitness, and second, you will save money that you could have otherwise used to get a train ticket. Also, check on bike recycling schemes and get a good one at an affordable price, there are bike hire schemes that you could borrow from, but when you decide to buy a second-hand bike just ensure that the vendor is legit so that you don’t end up with a stolen bicycle.
Mobile Phone bills
Having a social life involves keeping in touch, but don’t get carried away. As you are now of age, you will get a mobile phone bill at the end of every month, it might be hefty or lean depending on usage. Now to stay on top of things first ensure that you got the right contract, then from the previous month evaluate your average use for data, texts, and calls, the gathered information will then help you to find an affordable tariff.
Getting accommodation when you are starting out on your higher education might not be as easy as just paying rent, because there are so many subtle aspects that if not checked out will milk you dry. Unless the university or college has provided you with accommodation, you have to ensure that your deposit is protected and find a place that is affordable.
Rent in the UK varies with the area that you are living and where the university is located. Some areas are much cheaper when compared to others; also consider proximity from the school to home, so that you don’t end up using more money for transport than the amount you are paying for accommodation.
Internet and TV
If you are lucky to get accommodated in the university then you will get access to WiFi, but if you are renting outside the campus, then you will have to sign a contract for the setup fees but be sure to get broadband that will enable you good loading speeds. Having a television is also tricky in the UK and the best way to get around this hurdle is to get a package that will cover both your TV and broadband needs.
And don’t forget to get a TV license, but if you are a UK resident, your parent’s TV license could cover you, if you are using your laptop unplugged. Lastly, you will need to have insurance for some of the expensive items that you own, but if your parents have insurance then you might be covered. Insurance options are many in case you are not covered by your parents such as Gadget and Contents insurance among others.
Money does not come easy in the UK especially for students, and funding from home is barely enough especially for international students. Therefore, find one suitable method of funding that will sustain you through university, from the methods discussed above and then manage the money well so that you don’t end up with unprecedented debts.