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Professionals from all over the world gather in the UK to share their knowledge and experience. Thus, studying in the UK becomes the top priority for thousands of students. No matter what country you come from, the UK welcomes the best students of the planet to get an education in the country. This is an investment in your future.
While the United Kingdom has the best universities in the world, top education requires big funds. There are many establishments in the UK that are affordable for some of the local citizens. However, for some international students and the local ones as well, the price may be still too high. That is why student finance in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland is a highly developed structure.
The Kingdom has many universities that are free to set their own prices as well as the public ones that don’t have a common tuition tag. The prices also vary for local students and international guests. On average, student finance in England requires the most payment from the local youth – about £9,250 maximum per year for an undergraduate program. In Wales, the price is a bit lower – £9,000. In Northern Ireland, the maximum is £4,160. Scottish institutions have the best offers for local students and people from the EU. The undergraduate degrees are free for them. Such an offer is the result of the existence of the Students Awards Agency for Scotland. However, despite including EU students to the free offer, the rest of the United Kingdom is left without such privilege. The Welsh government also works on Welsh student support according to which citizens need to pay only £3,900 when studying anywhere in the Kingdom.
When speaking of tuition prices for international students, the numbers go way higher. In the whole UK, prices for them only start from £10,000 and can reach up to £38,000 for the top universities. And these are the prices only for the undergraduate studies. Post-graduate education costs about £11,000-£32,000.
There are many kinds of financial help a student can get in the UK. One of the most popular of them is student loans. Unlike loans in other countries and other kinds of loans, you start repaying these ones only when you reach a certain amount of earnings. The interest rates are usually based in the Retail Price Index plus a certain percent of the loan money.
Another option students get is free money to cover tuition fees that don’t have to be repaid: scholarships, bursaries, and grants.
Another kind of student financial aid is presented by bursaries and scholarships that can even be awarded alongside loans. This is completely another kind of financial help. Unlike loans, this is a kind of money that doesn’t have to be paid off. This help is usually awarded by universities and private charity trusts. Though these two support options are rather similar, they have minor differences in the way they are awarded. Mostly, scholarships are merit-based and are given to people for academic or sports excellence. Bursaries, on the other hand, are given to students for personal reasons, mostly poor income, and other financial difficulties. There is also an option both for local and international students of a free waiver where all tuition fees are forgiven but they can’t add extra cash as in scholarships.
The main attraction of such types of financial help as scholarships, awards, and bursaries is the lack of repayment. Admittedly, they may not cover the whole price of studies in some cases, but they are always more efficient than having a loan when you just delay the payments and get those interest rates as a bonus. Student finance in Wales, for example, can save a student the trouble of overpaying RPI plus 3% of tuition cost. Most students around the Kingdom try all kinds of scholarships before applying for a loan and leave it as the last resort.
All of these programs and loans require an early application before the start of courses. Thus, a student starts their studies already knowing their financial status. The scholarships are already awarded and loan offers are closed. Early application also presents the chance to choose the ones with the best interest rates that are often issued with governmental support. Loans can be issued by private companies as well, especially considering the more lenient deadlines, but they are more expensive. An online student finance calculator can estimate the final sum for you.
However, when an unexpected change happens in the middle of a course, most UK universities have a special hardship fund prepared just in case. An applicant has to prove that financial change is indeed unexpected and couldn’t be predicted before the start of a term. Most establishments have a set limit of a few thousands of dollars for a student in need when the crisis happens long after the student finance deadline.
In such a case, banks also offer special accounts for extra money whenever a student may need it. They are more affordable than long-term loans in case the borrowed sum is shortly returned to the card. Student bank accounts often set an arranged overdraft of 0% interest that is unique to this type of client plans. Most banks offer the best terms to students.
The difficulties a student faces during student finance application are directly connected to the specific program they choose. Each of them has different requirements meaning that there is no universal eligibility standard. Though, there are a few criteria that are checked most often. Such requirements include family income for a need-based case (low household income usually varies between £25,000 and £35,000), the highest academic/sports/arts excellence for merit-based awards, credit history for student loans.
There are many other student finance forms for people not getting scholarships or loans. One of the most popular options is working part-time. As students have almost half of a day free, most opt to find a job for a few hours a day to finance their studies, accommodation, or leisure activities. Usually, the neighborhood closest to campus tend to hire more students and offer more part-time jobs.
Another way to make money is selling your notes to younger students or helping them with college tasks. In general, students tend to sell all unnecessary stuff to free more space in their dormitories while filling a wallet little by little.
Some get into freelance for the opportunity to manage working time on their own. Others sell their crafts or services.
So, even when you don’t have a student finance account or a scholarship to help with your financial situation, there are countless ways to earn extra money.