What are the benefits of going to University?
Going to university can benefit you in a number of ways.
By picking the right course you will enjoy the depth of study and develop your knowledge and thinking about the discipline you are interested in.
Many graduates say they do not regret going to university or college, and describe it as one of the best experiences of their life.
Not only can university offer an environment rich in social and cultural experiences, but can also help further your career prospects by gaining valuable new skills sought by employers, which will open more doors to better jobs.
Getting a university qualification means you are less likely to be unemployed than non-graduates.
There are now around 50,000 courses available at universities and colleges across the UK, so there's bound to be something that appeals to you.
There are different flexible options for studying a higher education course: full-time, part-time and online distance learning, so learning at this level can be flexible to your needs.
Tuition fees are charged by universities and colleges to cover key elements of your course and academic life, as well as core services related to students’ wellbeing and experience on campus.
Universities and colleges can charge up to £9250 a year for full-time students. Private college and universities may charge more than this.
Student loans can include a Tuition Fee Loan and a Maintenance Loan to help with your living costs. Tuition Fee Loans, to cover the full cost of your course, are paid directly to the course provider, and you won’t have to pay it back until after your course, when you’re earning above £27,295 a year. Maintenance Loans can be applied for at the same time, lending you money at the start of each term (or monthly in Scotland). How much you get depends on your household income, where you study, where you live, and how long for. Students can apply for grants if they’re eligible for certain benefits, disabled, or need help with childcare costs.
All full-time undergraduate students are eligible for student finance, provided they meet some basic criteria:
Residency – you’re a UK national or have settled status, normally live in your home country, and have been living in the UK, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man for three years before the beginning of your course.
- Your university or college – you’re studying at a recognised publicly-funded university or college (or a private institution studying a course approved for public funding).
- Your course – you’re studying a recognised full-time course e.g. a first degree, a foundation degree, a Higher National Diploma (HND), or an initial Teacher Training course.
- It’s your first higher education course – you can still get some funding if you’ve studied a HE course before, but it will be limited and you’ll have to make up any shortfall.
Both Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans must be paid back once you graduate and you’re earning above a minimum salary. Repayment systems vary from country to country.
You have to apply for student finance for each year of your course – not just your first year. This is to guarantee you get the support you’re entitled to throughout your studies.
It can take up to six weeks to process student finance applications. Make sure you apply early – even if you have a conditional offer – as you can amend or cancel your application if your plans change.
You can find out more about student loans here: Student finance for undergraduates: Overview - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)