One of the most discussed topics in the UK media at the moment with regards to young people is the recent tuition fee rise. It has sparked a number of debates, with many young people claiming that they can no longer afford University in England, and that it is not fair that the fees have been raised. However, there are many reasons that you shouldn’t worry about the fees, and that you should still go to University as you would have done before.
The first thing to bear in mind is that this has happened several times in the past. Think back a number of decades, and University education was free. Then a fee was introduced, and it has got gradually higher. There were many protests when the £3,000 fees were announced, and they were very similar to the ones that happened when the news arrived that fees could potentially be trebled for some courses. However, once people were used to paying this amount, it was largely forgotten about. In a couple of years time, people will simply accept that this is how much you pay for a course, because it will have become the norm.
There is no need to think that you can no longer afford to go because, by and large, you will pay the same as what you pay upfront now: nothing. The government will still allow you to take out tuition fee loans for the entire amount, meaning that there is not a single penny that you have to pay upfront. Yes, the cost of living is rising, but that is the case for all people, not just for students, and you get the money to cover that, too.
With regards to the loan, it can be scary to think that you may be borrowing over £12,000 per year; more than what many people earn. However, the crucial point to remember is that the repayments of this loan are very reasonable. In the old system, you would have had to pay them back from when you were earning £15,000 however, in the new system, this has been changed so that you can earn £21,000 before you have to pay back as much as a single penny. Even after that, you only pay 9% of your income above £21,000 to the Student Loan Company, so if your income was £21,900 per year, you would only be expected to pay £100 annually; a very small amount if you’re on such a high wage. In addition to this, the majority of people will never pay back their loan, because, after 30 years, the debt is written off as if it never existed. This means that you don’t have to worry about being in debt for the rest of your life, because this just won’t be the case. Putting it simply, if you’re earning enough to pay back your loan, then your degree was worth the money.
A major influence in the decision about whether to attend University is the state of the current job market. It is a well known fact that there aren’t many jobs around at the moment, and this means that the jobs that are available have more people fighting for them than ever before. If you do not have a degree, then you a major step behind many who do, and there are many jobs asking for degrees now that wouldn’t even have thought about doing so just a decade ago. Of course, it is also vital that you get experience within the workplace that you would like to break into, however by going to University you get the chance to make contacts who would be able to help you with things like this.
Other than anything else, University is a fantastic place to experience life. If you go straight from Sixth Form, it will most likely be the first time that you have lived away from home. This is a good chance to be able to stand on your own two feet whilst knowing that you have lots of support; something that isn’t always available in the “real world.” It’s no secret that most students have a great deal of fun, too, and this means that you’re not only investing in your working life, but also in your personal life and wellbeing.
Yes, the debt can seem a little scary, but as soon as you realise that very little has changed in real terms, you should come to the conclusion that a University education is still worth pursuing, and that it could help you to improve your prospects in the long term.