The ability to finance higher education is now becoming one of the main factors behind the decision on whether a student has the opportunity to further their education to degree level. Higher education is a long-term investment for parents and the costs can be prohibitive.
For example, a three-year course in Marine Biology at Plymouth University can cost as much as £10,000 each year. Accounting and Finance at University of Bath is the same amount over four years and a five-year course in Medicine at Durham University could result in fees up to £50,000.
According to recent figures from the UCAS admissions service university applications from UK students for courses starting in the autumn are down nearly 9%. A recent survey by parenting website Mumsnet revealed that nearly three-quarters of the 1,000 parents questioned feared that they would be unable to provide financial support for their children through university. In Jersey the States will fund up to £9,000 towards tuition fees for those families with a gross income of less than £26,750, although the student will be responsible for the first £1,500 of the tuition fees. The States will also provide a grant of £5,300 towards living costs. For those with a household income of around £52,000 the student will receive no grant towards living expenses but will still receive the full funding towards tuition fees. As income increases further, the States contribution towards tuition decreases until an income between £89,000 and £90,000 when the States contribution will be zero.
The Jersey Education department is yet to launch a student loan facility. In light of this fact, Close Finance in close consultation with the department has created an alternative for parents - the University Loan. The new product is a bespoke loan package that is designed specifically to support parents who want to ensure their children have the opportunity of a University Education.
The University Loan provides a more cost effective solution than many other types of finance; for example an equity release may be considered and whilst this is an option the value of the funding required could be difficult to determine at the outset. Plus the total repayable of an equity release agreement will almost certainly be higher than that of the Close Finance University Loan.
The facility offers variable draw downs in recognition of the fact that circumstances may alter from year to year. Close Finance’s solution isn’t exclusive to tuition fees; parents can borrow for living expenses too.
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