University – addressing the challenge of covering costs

Whilst awareness and popularity of alternative options for further education, such as apprenticeships and vocational courses, has increased in recent years, so too have the number of university applications.

Figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) revealed a new record for English UCAS applications last year, with 39.5% of 18-year-olds applying.

Closely matched were Scotland with 32.7% (not including Scottish further education college undergraduate applications) and Wales with 32.9%. Northern Ireland’s rate was the highest at 46.9%.

UCAS also reported on the increase of applications from those in the UK’s underprivileged areas:

“In England, the number of young people applying from the most deprived areas has increased 6% to 38,770. In Scotland, young applicants from the most deprived areas have grown by 3%. In Wales, applicants from the most deprived areas remained at 1,3901”.

Building a nest egg

The steadily increasing cost of university life has often made headlines, with the need for students to cover the price of tuition and living expenses (assistance in the form of grants and bursaries are available in some cases UK-wide and for those eligible in Scotland).

So, it makes sense to plan ahead. A good place to start is by opening a Junior ISA (JISA) as early as possible in your child’s life. If added to regularly, it will soon build up and provide a healthy lump sum to draw upon. In the 2019-20 tax year, £4,368 per child can be contributed.

Talk to us to ascertain the best options for your circumstances. We can advise on JISAs and other savings and investment products, to help provide for your loved one’s financial future, whatever they decide to do. 

See our Key Guide Investing for Children for useful information.

1 UCAS, July 2019