How Much Money Should Parents Give University Students?

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How Much Money Should Parents Give University Students?

You’ve just finished sixth form or college and are excited about leaving home to start a new chapter at University, but in the back of your mind is the daunting question – how will I manage University education financially?

Most students wonder whether they can fund it themselves or if they will need help from their parents. The topic of financing University comes with the common question to both parents and students – how much money will I need to live? This conversation is a must-have between both students and parents to enable them to decide on a budget which they are both comfortable with.

Tuition fee loans

When it comes to university finances, the biggest amount is the tuition fee. Parents who are able to pay the full amount can do so for their children, but usually students will need help in the form of a loan. You can apply for tuition fee loans which are available to all UK students provided you meet some basic criteria, and the amount required is different depending on the course undertaken at the university, but will always cover the full amount. The loan goes directly to the university, and you as the student will get nothing in your account. This loan becomes repayable once you have finished your studies and start earning above the minimum threshold amount.

Where am I going to stay and what will it cost?

The next thing to consider is getting a place to live, either on campus or nearby. Students in Nottingham have a lot of options when it comes to accommodation. Students from Nottingham University who prefer to stay near campus often stay in Lenton, which is popular but the costs are typically higher than other areas further away from campus. Students from Nottingham Trent University often stay in the city centre. Staying near the campus usually is more expensive in rent than if you live further away, but you then must take into account transportation costs of getting to and from university. If you want an area where renting is slightly cheaper, then look for places in the outskirts of the city like Beeston. This way, you can minimise your total living cost and reduce the need of asking for money from your parents.

To get up-to-date information on the best deals on properties to rent, visit for all of your student accommodation needs. We’ll help you find a place to stay within budget in no time at all – we’re Nottingham’s go-to student lettings provider.

Maintenance loans

Students need money for their day to day living and activities on and off campus. Some parents can provide for their child’s living costs, but most can’t or want their child to experience having to fend for themselves. You can apply for a maintenance loan from the government, the loan money will help you pay some of the expenses like rent, bills, food and any other cost. You can use the money as you wish as it is deposited directly into your account. The amount you receive depends on your family’s household income – the loan relieves some financial strain from parents, but is usually not enough as it only covers a fraction of the true living costs.

Managing the maintenance loan and what to do if it’s not enough

After getting a maintenance loan, you should make a budget that shows how you are going to spend the money, including taking into account rent, bills and food to estimate if it will be enough to cover all living expenses. If not, then you are advised to talk to your parents so that they can chip in where they can, as well as exploring the possibility of getting a part-time job, or working flexibly online, to help fund living expenses, or to give you a little extra cash to live more comfortably.

How much is the maintenance loan?

The student maintenance loan is calculated depending on the family’s household income. Students from low-income households tend to get more maintenance loans compared to students from high-income households. It is assumed parents with higher incomes can help financially support their child to cover all their living costs fully – however this is often not the case. Students from low-income households can get up to £9,203, which is the highest maintenance loan to be given by the government if you are joining university in 2020.

The amount parents are willing to contribute depends on many factors. Some parents may see a student at university as a grown up and want them to experience fending for themselves, while others are willing and financially able to help where they can. It is important to have a conversation with your parents so that they know how much your living expenses are in comparison to your maintenance loan amount and whether you’re entitled to any other student benefits.  

How do I ask for money?

Asking for financial help from parents whilst at university can be a difficult subject as you may feel you have become too old to do so, but in case of emergencies or if you desperately need the money, it is something you may have to do. Since most parents assume that the maintenance loan is enough to cover everything, you will have to explain to them that it is often not enough to cover rent alone.

You can also get a part-time job to supplement the loan and to show your parents that you don’t expect them to give you money every time you ask for it. By showing that you are willing to work to get money, if you have to ask your parents for any extra they will more likely understand it’s for a very urgent or important reason.

Parents will often be more willing to support you if you show them that you are taking your studies seriously, and that all of your money is not just going on new clothes and nights out. Let them know the benefits of furthering your education and your plans after university – show them that you don’t just go to university for the fun, night outs and drinking and show them you are taking it seriously to better your future. If they feel like it’s an investment which will pay off in the coming future, they may be more willing to give you extra financial support.

Pound notes and coins

It’s vital you get your money sorted for uni life!

Where can I get extra financial assistance?

If your parents are not able to help support you financially at university, there are other sources of income you can consider to help finance the remaining living costs that your maintenance loan doesn’t cover.

You can get a part-time job during your free time. You have to find one suitable that allows you to balance your study time so that you don’t end up missing crucial lectures or exams. A lot of students apply for part-time jobs at university which allows less financial support from their parents.

You can take part in the other extracurricular activities at university like sports which can give allowances to students and can even win you scholarships.

Scholarships, grants and bursaries

In addition to loans, there are several other funding options like scholarships, bursaries and grants. Most people believe that these are only given to the disadvantaged, but some scholarships are open to everyone regardless of their background and capabilities.

Student Money – you and your parents.

University education is a costly experience that requires both the effort of the student and parents. Parents should willingly help their children through university if they are able to and the need arises – or in case of emergencies. Even though the maintenance loans are available to all, parents should have an understanding that it often cannot meet all of their child’s living costs and that extra financial support is sometimes required. Students who need extra income can get part-time jobs to cover some of the extra costs to minimise involving parents unless it’s a very urgent matter.

  • Author: Adam Kirk
  • On: 16th November 2020

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