Considering returning to education? Ways to take the financial sting out of it

It’s never too late to re-educate…

If you’ve reached your later years and didn’t go to university in your youth, you may be worried that you’ve missed the boat. It’s a well-known fact that students are not amongst the richest people in the country, so you’d be forgiven for worrying about the financial strain it could put on you and your family.

However, if returning to education full-time is something you really feel passionate about it, then there are ways around financial concerns. We’ve put together a few ways that you could cost-effectively become a student. Read on to find out more…

Student loans

Most students up to the age of 25 rely on their parents’ income to determine how much financial help they’ll get. If you are over 25, are married or have been supporting yourself financially for three years or more, you’ll be classed as an independent student, so your loan entitlement could differ from that of dependent students.

As a student living in England, you will be entitled to the same type of grant as younger students. This grant, known as the Maintenance Loan, is allocated to students to cover expenses such as accommodation or course study materials.

However, your loan will be determined by your own household income, including your partner’s income.  Use this handy student finance calculator to get an idea of what you could be entitled to.

Consider going part-time

Doing a degree part-time obviously doubles the length of your course. While full-time degrees take three years to complete, studying for a degree part-time can have financial benefits, especially if you’re already employed full-time.

Part-time students only attend lectures and seminars occasionally and are naturally given longer to complete their work, which might be a plus for you if this is your first foray into education in a number of years. With most courses offering evening alternatives, a part-time degree should be easy to work around your current employment.

There is also the other option of going part-time at your place of work if this is possible. This will increase your loan entitlement and decrease the length of time needed to complete the degree.

Think about applying for a scholarship

Universities are quick to realise the hardship some adults may face financially when returning to university. However, universities are also often keen to acknowledge the determination that a mature student is likely to have. After all, you’re potentially giving up a lot in an attempt to further your education and hopefully better your future.

That’s why schemes such as the Mature Student Scholarship and the Access Entry Mature Students Bursary are on hand to help. Worth up to £3,000, these bursaries could really help to boost your income during your return to education. Read about scholarships that could be available to you.If you are set to temporarily relocate in order to attend a particular university, you can also help yourself to reduce moving costs by using a quote comparison site like Compare the Man & Van.

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