Considering that the cost of going to university has tripled over the past 20 years, it’s no wonder that prospective students have to think long and hard about whether a degree is really worth the investment. For those who decide it is, they can often be met with a nasty shock when they actually arrive at university, and can often find unexpected expenses around every corner.
Books are crucial to most courses, but if you’re planning on skipping on this expense and borrowing from the library, think again. Most universities will only have a few copies of each book, and split between all the students on your course, the chances of you bagging a book before anyone else are slim.
Some universities will subsidise the cost with book tokens for the university book shop, but many will not. If you’re doing a heavy reading course like English, expect to spend around £300 per year on books. The university probably won’t warn you about this expense at open days for fear of putting you off the course, but it’s definitely something that you need to factor into your budget.
Your 40 week accommodation contract might be easily affordable during your first year, but what about when you move out into the ‘real’ world of rental properties? You might get a shock when you’re asked for a deposit of £200 – £1500, and unless you’re prepared, finding the money to secure your new accommodation can be impossible.
Travelling to and from university in your first year isn’t likely to cost you anything, as many halls of residence are within walking distance of campus. If you’re in a big city though, you might have to move further away and use public transport to get into lectures during your second and third year. If you’re going to university in London, you’re probably going to need to budget £40 per week for travel.
You’ll rely heavily on your laptop throughout university, and if it breaks it’s likely to have a huge impact on your studies, even if it’s only out of action for a few days. If you can, try to save up before you move away and buy a new one that you know will last you the full duration of your course. Student bundles like the ones from SCC Trade will save you money as everything is included, so that’s always a good option if you’re strapped for cash.