The real cost of a year at university

997-cost-going-out-300Sometimes I wonder if I got lucky when I was a student back in the olden days.  No tuition fees, cheap halls of residences, council grants – and no tablets or smartphones around to spend it on.

Today’s students appear to have it a lot harder, if research from the NUS* is anything to go by.

£23,187 was the estimated average student expenditure for the 2013/14 academic year, making it something for which parents (and students) might want to start budgeting for well in advance.

The total broke down into various categories:

£65: insurance costs – the lowest figure, which suggests maybe not every student has chosen to cover their contents.
£396:  laundry/cleaning – for this ‘old school’ student, it’s a surprisingly high figure – though maybe much of that is going on service washes!
£997:  going out/leisure – it’s good to see that gigs, clubs and student nights out still figure highly.
£1,956: food and drink – an average of almost £40 a week means it’s not only the lower end of the supermarket scale students are shopping at.
£2,169: travel – some of this will be commuting fees, especially in major cities, though there must be a lot of trains and coaches home and visiting college pals.
£2,839: books, clothes and so on – some expenditure has to go on studies at some point. And  keeping up with the latest post-retro college fashions can be a pricey challenge!
£6,340: accommodation – especially in major cities, this is something my generation couldn’t have imagined would be such an expense, though the quality of student residences has probably improved …
£8,425: and finally, the bulk went on tuition fees, a cost which this writer didn’t have to bear back in the pre-internet days!

*NUS estimated average student expenditure for the 2013/14 academic year

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