University is expensive. Wherever you go it will cost a fair few thousand quid to get yourself through your degree. On top of the typically £9,000+ tuition fees (so, over a 3 year course, that’s £27,000) there’s rent, food, entertainment, textbooks, travel, drinks, water, electricity, gas, wifi, memberships and the odd unexpected expense (for example, my windscreen wipers stopped working the other week and ended up being a few hundred quid to fix).
I was inspired to write about this topic when I saw a league table relating to the price of a degree at different universities. According to the table, Warwick is in the cheapest 10 universities in the UK from which to get a degree. I assume this is largely down to the comparatively low cost of rent, food, and drinks at Warwick. But it got me thinking, if a degree at Warwick is one of the cheapest degrees in the UK (on average), then how are people at other universities managing to finance their studies?
Most people, it would seem, get themselves a loan to cover tuition fees, then a big ‘maintenance loan’ or grant - but these hardly seem to cover all the costs associated with university living, I know many barley cover rent.
So how can you afford to get by financially at university? Especially if you’re not lucky enough to have unlimited access to the bank of mum and dad!
Just a quick disclaimer at this point, all of my suggestions pertain to Warwick University, I have no idea about money making options at other UK universities.
Lots of students have part time jobs. I know what you’re thinking: ‘I can’t have a part time job because I’m not around for half the year during the holidays’. Fair play, employers tend to prefer candidates who are available all year, but not all. This is especially the case with larger firms with multiple branches. It is entirely possible, for example, to work in Boots part time in Leamington Spa, and then work in a branch closer to home during the holidays. I’m using Boots just as an example here, I’m not particularly well versed on their employment policies, but you get my point…
Alternatively, what about a part time job you can do from anywhere? There are a plethora of online positions which may only require you to pop to a meeting every month. The rest can be done from the comfort of your local Starbucks… or pub.
Paid internships are another option for the particularly talented student. There are a growing number of really rather well paid internships, especially in the banking and finance sectors. Students can earn several thousand pounds for a few weeks work over the holidays. Not only this, but it doesn’t half look good on your CV!
Unitemps is another option for the financially challenged student. Positions are often available for students to work at university - meaning you’re only needed during term time! University bar work, club work, ‘welcome service’ work, are all relatively well paid, and are designed especially to fit in around your studies.
Be creative. All of the above suggestions have an earning cap. If you really want to push the boat out, and have a chance at living the uni life in style, then being more creative with your money making efforts may be required. Starting a business or a project will likely be a million times more risky than a simple part time job, but the possibilities are quite literally endless! Perhaps this isn’t the wisest of options for those really in need of cash to live on, but if you’re looking for something extra, this could be the way to go!
I’m sure there are a thousand other methods of generating some form of income during your time at university (if you can think of any more, please comment below) but these are the ones which I’ve seen in action/had some experience with over the last year and a half or so.
Best of luck with paying your way through university!
That’s all for now,