Going to university is one of the biggest investments in your future you'll make.
It's a good idea to learn as much as you can about costs and money management before you arrive - from your tuition fees and student loans to your accommodation and living costs.
Here you'll find all the information you need for your level of study, plus details of UCA's financial support and helpful links to blogs about managing your finances.
There are lots of financial factors you need to consider when you start university, and during your time as a student. We're here to help you! So read on for our top hints and tips for managing your day-to-day finances.
Alongside tuition fees, your course will come with others costs that you'll need to budget for. Now, these costs will vary depending on the course you'll choose, and we'll let you know what essentials and recommended materials and equipment we think you should have in your course welcome guides ahead of your arrival.
As a guide, you should expect to need the following:
- Materials relating to your course (like drawing materials, fabrics, crafting tools, computer equipment)
- Printing costs
- Money for trips
- Costs associated with your final degree show or an external showcase event, such as Graduate Fashion Week
University involves a lot of juggling - your studies, your social life and your finances. All of them are important - but keeping on top of your money and spending wisely will make a huge difference.
Here are our top five tips on how to manage your money:
1. Jot down your budget – know exactly what you’ve got coming in and going out.
2. Find out what you can get for free – check out websites like Save the Student for regular student freebies.
3. Shop smart – grab a student discount card and look for discounts, both on the high street and online.
4. Save on travel – get a 16-25 railcard to save a third on rail fares and check with your local authority for travel-saver deals.
5. Steer clear of commercial finance – things like credit cards, store cards and loans tend to carry higher interest rates than student loans, usually around 20%.
There is also a huge amount of useful info for students on the Money Saving Expert website. It tells you all you’ll need to know about tuition fees and loans, as well as giving essential information on budgeting, borrowing, and bank accounts. An essential read for anyone thinking of starting a degree.
And if you need to speak to somebody, we have friendly and knowledgeable specialist advisers at each of our campuses who can help with fees and funding in general.
Part-time work is an essential part of student life for some. Not only can you earn a bit of extra cash but it can make your CV more attractive to prospective employers in the future.
If you work during term time, we recommend that you work a maximum of 15 hours a week to get the work/study/social balance right.
Work on campus could include:
Off-campus, you could look at:
- Local jobs
- Seasonal work
- Transferring your job from home
- Temping agencies
Our careers service has a list of part-time jobs, many of which provide opportunities to practice the skills you're learning on your course.
Explore our finance blogs
Read our latest blogs on finances, from budgeting and saving money with smartphone apps, to what to buy before you arrive.