Students rely on bank of Mum and Dad

Published by Hannah Nemeth on 03 June 2014.
Last updated on 03 June 2014

Student and parents

Four out of five students constantly worry about money while at university, according to a new study.

The average student in 2014 spends £735 a month but the average maintenance loan only covers £458 of living costs each month, which means students have a shortfall of £277, according to student advice website Save the Student.

Only one in six students has a part-time job, while nearly one in five (18%) rely on their parents to bridge the gap in their spending. However, one in three students feel their parents don't give them enough financial support.

High street banks also play a role in providing student overdrafts, with 12% of those polled using their overdraft facilities.

Universities and wider student funding support just over 10% of students with living costs.

More worrying is the fact that some students turn to credit cards and payday loans for extra money. Some 3% of students would take out a credit card, while 2% of those polled said they would contact a payday loan company.

In a financial emergency, more than a third (37%) of students would turn to their parents for help, while a quarter would go to their bank and one in 10 would ask friends for a loan.

Worries about money has a broader impact on students' welfare, with almost a half claiming that money worries adversely affect their studies and the majority believing it causes their diets to suffer.

Thorny issue

Jake Butler, editor of Save the Student, said: "It's a thorny issue of how much parents should contribute to the shortfall, and it entirely depends on individual circumstances. Ultimately I don't believe parents should have the expectation put upon them.

"However, with hearing daily horror stories of students living on the breadline, I feel it's still important that parents are made more aware of the situation their child at university may be in."

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