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taking a year out

PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:25 pm
by xx_Stacey_Anne_xx
i decided that i wasnt going to go to uni till next year for several reasons, one is because i really cant afford it and 2 i wanted to move in with my boyfriend and best friend. but now im so excited bout uni i really wanna go this year, im only 18 so i know there is no rush
any opinions or advice would be well recieved
thanx
x x

Re: taking a year out

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:36 pm
by crumpetsandtea
Hi,
My honest opinion is (without knowing anything about your finances that is) that if you can afford to go to move in with your boyfriend and best mate then you can afford to go to uni. Although I would be excited about moving in with my boyfriend and friend, in the grand scheme of things you would be wasting money on rent, food and bills just for the sake of moving out, and you've got all the time in the world to do that too.

If you are worried about not being able to afford uni then draw up a budget of what loan/grants you are entitled to, what your accomodation costs are and then if you really aren't sure how to afford it, then in this year out, stay at home, get a job and work your socks off and save a few pennies, that's what I had to do before I went to uni. If you move out this year you will just be throwing money down the drain you could put towards your education.
Also, how would your friend feel about moving in with a couple? I know personally I couldn't think of anything worse than to live with a couple, I'd feel like a constant gooseberry!

Check on the student loans company website what financial support you would be entitled to on your family's income. Generally, if your household income is below £50k you are entitled to some extra support. If its below £30k, the universities have to give you a non-repayable bursary, its on a sliding scale so it ranges from £100-£1000 but this can also be a big help. Talk to your parents and see what contribution they are willing to give you. My mum and dad weren't able to help me at uni, but I got a job and still managed ok. If you do get into financial difficulty whilst at uni, the students union are always more than willing to help, and there are hardship grants available if you get in a pickle.

Hope that helps!

Re: taking a year out

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:15 pm
by dipsydoodlenoodle
The problem with hardship grants in my personal opinion is they don't always go to those who need them most. I had a friend at uni who never worked, she's quite posh, her contact was her single mam, she has twin sisters (therefore she qualified for EVERYTHING) and her dad who doesn't live with her earns a 6 to a 7 figure sum a year (He did get a 5 figure sum for doing ONE job). So she got loads of money from him, she never worked yet she always got the hardship. My parents couldn't really afford to help me that much when at uni, I got a job - worked LOADS, I couldn't afford to move out so I lived at home; because I lived at home I didn't qualify for anything. Whilst the grants are available don't think they'll always be there for you. Thankfully I never applied nor needed one so I don't know 100% how they work.

Re: taking a year out

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:41 pm
by spacegirl
dipsy that one always got me too, i never qualified for financial support as my parents were just over the threshhold (but only just, my dad's a mechanic and my mum works part time in tescos), and couldt afford to pay me through uni even though a friend of mine who's parents were divorced, her mum was a doctor and her dad a barrister her fees were paid and she got grants every semester! but anyway, i paid my own way, got a good part time job in 1st year that funded me the whole way through. it was hard at times when it came to exams and i was working while everyone else was in the library, but if you manage your time then it is possible. as for a year out, i would definitely advise taking one, I took one and worked as an au pair for the year and it was brill. I would only take a year out if you have some sort of project, like time abroad or a year's work placement. if you take a gap year just with the intention of moving out, you'll probably find a job and find it hard to go back to uni, especially as you would have to cut your hours, less money etc. if you want to move out then go for it but go to uni now or else it might never happen!
you're only 18 and you're right there is no rush but don't let yourself lose this opportunity by getting settled into a job. you have plenty of time to move in with your boyfriend and friends, better to think in the long run what's best for you

Re: taking a year out

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:27 am
by dipsydoodlenoodle
spacegirl wrote:dipsy that one always got me too, i never qualified for financial support as my parents were just over the threshhold (but only just, my dad's a mechanic and my mum works part time in tescos), and couldt afford to pay me through uni even though a friend of mine who's parents were divorced, her mum was a doctor and her dad a barrister her fees were paid and she got grants every semester! but anyway, i paid my own way, got a good part time job in 1st year that funded me the whole way through. it was hard at times when it came to exams and i was working while everyone else was in the library, but if you manage your time then it is possible. as for a year out, i would definitely advise taking one, I took one and worked as an au pair for the year and it was brill. I would only take a year out if you have some sort of project, like time abroad or a year's work placement. if you take a gap year just with the intention of moving out, you'll probably find a job and find it hard to go back to uni, especially as you would have to cut your hours, less money etc. if you want to move out then go for it but go to uni now or else it might never happen!
you're only 18 and you're right there is no rush but don't let yourself lose this opportunity by getting settled into a job. you have plenty of time to move in with your boyfriend and friends, better to think in the long run what's best for you


Yea my parents were just over the threshold too. The only way they are over is because my dad's job give an "estimate" of earnings which is always over what they get - he works in a factory on 3 shifts, obvioulsy the night shift pays more than the two day time ones...they always estimated earnings using the night shift wage. My mam works at a well paying place but the specific department she works for earn about 2-3K less a year than the other departments.


Stacey-Anne, if you do take a year out to work, you probably won't go to university, you will get used to the routine and get used to the money. I'm not saying it's definately the case but it is likely. I've known people take years out and go to uni, I've known people who have worked for 3-4 years, decided they needed something better than working in a supermarket and have gone to uni and I've also known people who have worked, liked the money and never went to uni. Ultimately the choice is yours. Personally I never took a gap year because I know I would not have gone to uni in the end.