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Student Debt

Student Debt

Student debt associated with University. Are students aware how much debt they can end up with at the end of their degree?

I remember receiving my GCSE results, delighted I had good enough grades to allow me to take my A levels. I chose what A levels I wanted to take (generally the subjects I enjoyed the most); English Language, Geography and Psychology. At 16 I wasn’t thinking too much about what I would ever want to do with my qualifications.

I loved sixth form and felt I’d made a brilliant decision to continue my education. The time eventually came when I was encouraged by my tutors to start my application to University. University seemed so adult and I was never sure it would be for me. However, my friends were applying and my teachers appeared to be obsessed with getting every student to university. So I applied and landed a place at the University of Lincoln.

I loved university and my A level tutors were right; I did have the most amazing 3 years! What any tutor failed to mention during the application process they so encouraged, was just how much debt a student can end up with!

Some students have parents willing to pay for everything, fees, living costs, books, social activities. On the other hand, there are students with no financial support. Students who have to borrow money to cover fees, take out student loans to cover living costs, take advantage of ‘cheap’ student overdrafts and work jobs whilst studying. I always thought the horror stories of only being able to afford to eat beans on toast 5 nights a week were merely a joke. They’re not!

The devastating thing for many graduates is that they finish university with huge debts on their backs. Student loans don’t affect your day to day finances as such but the credit cards and huge overdrafts that are automatically provided with your student bank account will be a burden. In the current economic climate when jobs are few, living costs are high and the chance of achieving a place on a graduate scheme is like trying to win the lottery…. is it such a good idea to encourage youngsters to go to University?

By Natalie Simpson

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