Eight out of ten university students worry about making ends meet financially, reveals poll

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23rd October 2019 11:48 - Education

Eight out of ten university students worry about making ends meet financially: A poll of university students has found that 79% worry about their finances and whether they can make ends meet during their time in higher education. 

The National Student Money Survey, now in its sixth year, polled 3,385 students across the UK to learn more about how they manage their finances and how they fund their living costs.

More than half (53%) said that worrying about their financial situation results in their diet suffering, while four in ten (41%) said it causes sleep disturbances. More than a third (35%) said it has an impact on their grades, with the same amount (35%) saying it causes their relationships to suffer. Unsurprisingly, 57% said that financial stresses while at university impacts their mental health.

Eight out of ten said their university social life suffers because of financial worry. 

Maintenence loan shortfall

The survey went on to ask respondents if the student maintenance loan goes far enough to help with student living costs, with six in ten students (62%) saying it doesn’t.  

The results revealed that while students faced average living costs of £807 per month, the maintenance loan only works out at £540 per month -  a £267 shortfall. 

How students fund their university living costs

Looking at how students finance their university stay, the survey revealed three quarters (74%) fund their living costs from a maintenance loan, while slightly less rely on their parents (75%). Two thirds revealed they have a part time job to help cover costs (67%) while just under half (49%) use an overdraft and the same amount rely on savings (49%). 

Grants and funding are an income source for 43%, while 31% said they rely on their possessions and 22% said their friends. 

Some students also cited credit cards (14%), gambling (4%) and adult work (which has doubled since last year to 4%), as well as self employment (4%), payday loans (3%), drug trials (2%) and cryptocurrencies (1%).

Also revealed by the survey was that six in ten students have never devised a budget, while 77% said they would have liked to have had a better financial education prior to going to university. 

When asked if their university offers good value for money, the majority (55%) said 'no';, with just 45% answering ‘yes’. Just over half (52%) are confident that after they graduate they will be able to find work.

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