How to achieve financial security as a mature student? Good question. It’s something that we have often considered ourselves since we decided that teaching was no longer for us. But how would we be able to afford it? After all, we have mortgages to pay and dependants to take care of.
You may not feel particularly old, but if you started your degree or course after having turned 21, then congratulations, you’re classed as a mature student! If you love to study but are worried about the financial impact of swapping full-time work for a degree, you don’t have to be. It’s easy to stay on top of both your studies and your finances. Read on to find out how.
Check your eligibility for a loan
As you’ll likely already know, whether or not you’re eligible for a full tuition fee loan depends on various factors, the main ones being your age and how your course is run.
However, it’s important to point out that the over-60s tend to receive limited funding for this kind of loan. If your course qualifies, you could be granted an Advanced Learner Loan.
For more information, ask your university or college for a Learning and Funding information letter. Eligibility criteria for funding also apply to maintenance loans, and if this is your first degree, you could be entitled to one.
Find funding alternatives
We found out that if you’re not eligible for government funding or the amount you’re entitled to not enough to cover your essential and daily costs, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road for you.
You could always look for other forms of funding. It may be, for example, that you’re eligible for a bursary or scholarship from your university or college. This typically depends on aspects like your educational background and household income — you can work out your eligibility by visiting your institution’s website or by calling the student financial support team.
To explore more funding options, why not head to the Student Advice Centre on campus? Or you could ask fellow mature students about how they handle their money. They may be able to help you weigh up the pros and cons of other types of financial assistance out there.
Use student discounts
You’re a student — so, how about taking advantage of the big discounts available? With a TOTUM (formerly NUS Extra) card you’ll be able to save heaps on meals, trips out, clothes and even your food shop! In addition, you could secure a railcard for less.
You’ll need to hop onto the NUS website to grab yours and to discover all the reductions on offer, you may also want to download the TOTUM app.
Student living doesn’t have to be a financial strain. Follow our tips, and you needn’t worry about how you’ll make ends meet — you can concentrate fully on your degree instead.