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News: University: the good news and the bad

Exams are over and young people all over the country are breathing a sigh of relief. But, with less than a month to go before the A-level results are published, many parents will be frantically raiding their savings accounts in preparation for the flurry of cheques they will need to write to fund the next stage of their offspring’s education.

The cost of university varies across the country, but typically, the cost of living for students studying a three year course will be £16,146 for those studying outside London and £20,358 for students studying in the capital– over 20% higher.

Breakdown of living expenses

Outside London

Inside London

Weekly

Weekly

Rent

56

79

Entertainment

38

38

Food

29

33

Extras

15

24

Total

138

174

Source: The National Union of Students – estimated average student expenditure for academic year 2005/2006 of 39 weeks

But, the good news for parents is that they might not be expected to foot the entire bill. Research conducted by Lloyds TSB student banking shows that three quarters of students going to university this year plan to get a job to help fund their studies and over a fifth (22%) are thinking about living at home in order to save money.

Marcus Banks, Lloyds TSB student banking said: "Students are expected to go from having no experience of managing their money and no debt whatsoever to having to deal with multiple bills and escalating expenses."

"To help students prepare for this burden, parents should take time to talk to their children about the importance of budgeting and the financial options available to them during their time at university."

"Starting out on the right foot is essential, as budgeting from day one can help avoid more serious financial problems in the long run."

To help parents manage the transition from school to university, Lloyds TSB has produced a parent’s guide to student life. For a copy, simply call into a branch of Lloyds TSB.

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