There are few of us who aren’t feeling a pinch in our pockets in the current climate. But for university applicants who may never have managed a budget or taken out a loan before, managing finances must feel like a minefield.
HSBC is working with The Student Room to demystify student finance and help young people access the resources and funding they need. We asked Annette Whalley, Senior Education Consultant, to tell us why this Student Finance awareness campaign is so important:
What do you hope to achieve from this campaign?
We are working with The Student Room to help support new students in managing their money once they get to university.
With the current rise in the cost of living, students might be facing additional money pressures and concerns.
Between managing the Student Finance process, debt worries, insufficient funds – and lots of demands on cash reserves through Freshers’ Week and the first month of university – many students may feel they are already struggling with their finances just a few weeks into their degree.
We want to do all we can to ensure nobody is held back from enjoying university life by the amount of money they have.
How are you helping young people to understand and access student finance?
We are working with hundreds of youth groups, schools, colleges and universities across the UK, offering free financial education sessions to help develop money skills. The sessions are needed now more than ever with the rising cost of living and student maintenance loans not covering basic needs.
These challenges mean that making smart decisions about budgeting and spending are essential in helping students to avoid or minimise financial difficulty.
Alongside the workshops that we provide, there are quizzes, videos and downloadable resources available online to support young adults with their financial wellbeing. Those cover topics such as understanding debt and borrowing, budgeting for moving out of home and how to avoid becoming a target for fraud.
They can be found at: www.hsbc.co.uk/level-up
What do you think the main misconceptions about student finance are?
It’s easy for students to feel daunted by the large sums of money accumulating onto their student finance balance each term. However, it’s important for them to remember that they will only begin to pay this off once they are employed in a job after graduation – at a rate that is calculated based on their income.
So, if a student is earning less than the threshold (currently £27,295 a year / £2,274 a month) then they won’t be paying anything back until they earn more.
If their salary is over the threshold, so for example if they are earning £2,829 per month, this puts them £555 over and their payment would be 9% of this each month (about £50).
The key thing is to map out their finances before putting in a Student Finance application. That way students will know how much they are likely to need each term.
Student maintenance loans will not cover all of a student’s living costs, so understanding how much they can supplement this from savings, family or a part-time job is important. This will help them decide between applying for the basic maintenance loan or a higher amount.
Even at the maximum level, students will still need additional funding, so it’s worth planning finances early and looking for additional scholarships, bursaries and grants that might be available.
Where can students find more support or information about funding for their studies?
There are lots of sources of information to support budgeting for university and managing student finance. Here are some of the sites that we would recommend:
Why have you chosen The Student Room as a platform to educate students about this topic?
We recognise that there is a lot going on for many 16-18-year-olds as they plan this next step in their lives – exam results, subject and career choices, as well as which university to attend, are all front-of-mind.
Through working with The Student Room we hope that we can help prospective students plan ahead for university life and minimise the debt and worry associated with this chosen career path – without them having to hunt out the information that they need.
This period of life can be challenging enough, so hopefully, through this partnership, we can make things a little simpler and be there to support students when they need it.
Partner with The Student Room
If you have an important message that young people need to hear, we can help you reach and engage your target audience. The Student Room is the UK’s biggest and best-loved online student platform.
Get in touch:
0800 999 3222