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Is university worth it?

graduate worth itGet the facts on the costs and benefits of university.

The cost of higher education

The cost of higher education varies – how long your course is, how much government help you’re entitled to, where you study and whether or not you get some paid work during your student years are all factors that will affect how much your degree will cost you.

It’s worth doing some research to find out exactly how much help you can get and what you have to pay. The Student Calculator can help you to work out your entitlements, your other income, and how much you will spend. The amount of money you’re entitled to from the government will vary according to individual circumstances, so do your research carefully and 

It's also important to understand exactly how the fees and loans system works. You won't have to pay tuition fees up front: the tuition fee loan covers them in full. You won't have to start repaying your loan until you have graduated and are earning more than £21,000 a year, at which point you'll pay back 9% of anything you earn over the £21,000 threshold. That means that if you take a while to find a job, or you don't earn as much as you expected, you won't be struggling to repay the debt: if you're not earning, you don't have to make any repayments. However, once you're earning more than £21,000 you'll get less in your pay packet overall.

Financial benefits of higher education

We hear a lot about student debt and tuition fees, and while it’s true that you probably will leave higher education with some debt, it’s important to bear in mind that in the long term, graduates tend to earn a lot more than people without degrees.

Estimates for exactly how much vary, and it will depend on your specific degree, but the average is thought to be at least £100,000.

Graduates are also less likely to be unemployed than non-graduates, and have a wider choice of careers.

Other benefits of higher education

The benefits of higher education aren't only financial. You'll also gain valuable knowledge, skills and experience - not just through your course, but through societies and other extra-curricular activities. It's also an opportunity to experience a new place, meet new people and learn to live independently.

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