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£25 billion bill for university starters

£25 billion bill for university starters

Category: Money

Updated: 20/08/2009
First Published: 20/08/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
Thousands of students will be put through the emotional shredder today as they find out whether their A level results are good enough to get them on their chosen course.

Some will no doubt be disappointed with their news, but with numerous places available through clearing, there are still countless opportunities to take up the university experience, albeit perhaps not at the preferred location.

Those lucky enough to bag a place will have little time to prepare themselves, unless of course they are planning on taking a gap year.

Students that begin in September have a number of decisions to make before the start of the first semester, not least which account best suits their needs. And, with The Children's Mutual estimating the combined bill of all new university starters at as much as £25 billion, shopping around for the most suitable account is of paramount importance.

The average student is estimated to need some £42,000 to fund their three year course – more if it is an extended course or one that includes a foundation year. Much of this will be covered by a combination of loans, bursaries, grants, part time jobs and, for a lucky few, the bank of mum and dad.

However, some students will still experience a shortfall along the way, even those with good budgeting skills.

At times like these, access to an interest free overdraft facility can help plug the gap. There are a number of student accounts available from the High Street's banks and building societies that offer just that.

Financial Institutions are keen to attract students as many have the potential to go on to take up well paid positions in lucrative industries. As such, interest free overdrafts of up to £3,000 are available from year one on the basis that student loans are paid into the account.

Incentives are also included in many student accounts, with discounts on computer equipment and books, as well as railcards, amongst other things, up for grabs.

However, these should be viewed as an added bonus, not a deal breaker – most important is signing up for an account which best suits a particular set of needs, and will provide important financial help if and when it is most needed.

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