If your child is about to reach university age, you may be both nervous and excited for them. Leaving home is a big deal at this tender age. Sure, you’ll see them in the holidays, but you’ll miss them every day in between. And they’ll miss you. After all, you are their rock. You’ve provided everything they’ve ever needed to get them to this point. But your job is not over yet!
University is expensive. The cost of education goes far beyond the tuition fees. There is a lot you need to know about where your money is going to go once your son or daughter starts their first term. It’s not easy to support a child through this stage of their education. You may need to rearrange a lot of your own finances to help make ends meet.
Accommodation is expensive. You may have to pay for a full year in advance, or, at least, a substantial deposit. Student halls and other rooms can add up to more than you expect. There are laundry fees, meals, internet or cable services, and even security fees to consider. Your child may need new bedding to take, and even some furniture or small appliances. Don’t forget new clothing and shoes too!
Stationery and computer equipment may also be on the shopping list before they head off to university. You might even need a new suitcase to pack everything. Finally, there is the cost of travel to the campus. Everything for this first semester can add up to a huge financial headache for you. Student loans can help, and if you’re in the US, the Obama Loan Forgiveness scheme may make this option more attractive.
Many students need a break during their first term. It can be overwhelming to have so much independence in such a big place as a University campus. They may bring home their laundry and devour the contents of your fridge while they’re back too! Often, they’ve found that they need a bigger allowance to make ends meet. Clubs and socials can be a drain on the cash they have. Not all students can take on a part-time job as well as study.
There may also be a longer period of time that your child chooses to take out from studies. The gap year is a popular concept for young students looking to explore more of the world. Travelling can certainly give any parent sleepless nights. But when the travel bug hits, it’s best to go along with it. After all, an interest in the world we live in is a good thing to encourage.