Saving for university can be daunting, given the prices of higher education. However, our university savings accounts are designed to give you or your child the best chance of success through university.
Looking to apply for a university savings account? Sign up here.
University costs in the UK
In the UK, the cost of tuition is currently capped at £9,250 a year, so you can expect the average university course to cost this amount. Most courses are three years long – so the entire cost of your university tuition is usually around £27,750.
Some courses, such as medicine and dentistry, are longer than three years, so costs will vary accordingly. Equally, if you choose to do a master’s degree, you can expect additional costs on top of that.
If you’re a resident of Scotland undergoing your first degree at a Scottish university, your tuition will generally be covered for the first five years. However, in both Scotland and England, there’s the cost of living to think about on top of your tuition – the cost of accommodation, food, books, daily travel and more.
How long do you have to save?
If you’re a parent, you have time to plan your savings. Many parents begin depositing a monthly sum into a dedicated account early in a child’s life. This account is earmarked for university and will go untouched by the child until they turn 18.
If you’re a student, you’ll want to get saving as soon as possible. Eligibility for most part-time jobs begins at 16 – so opening a dedicated savings account as soon as you have one is smart.
Tips for saving money at university
Saving money whilst at university can be difficult, but it’s certainly possible! Here are some tips for making the most of your money at university.
- Track your spending
- Use an online banking app to manage your spending.
- Be smart with shopping
- There are plenty of ways that you can save money on your weekly shop – try these tips to save on your shopping.
- Plan for transport
- Planning for transport in advance can save a significant amount of money, especially on a night out! Avoid expensive taxis where possible, but be sure to be safe!
- Use student discounts
- Get a railcard
- Travelling home or visiting friends will be a whole lot cheaper if you’ve got a railcard – a worthwhile investment.
- Buy second-hand
- Course books can be pricey – try to find them second-hand online or contact former students to buy used copies.
- Split the bills
- Make sure you arrange a fair deal with your housemates to split the cost of bills and utilities.
- Steer clear of credit cards
- Credit cards might sound lucrative, but it’s easy to fall into debt if you’re not careful. Steer clear of credit cards unless you know exactly what you’re doing.
Dealing with debt as a student
Dealing with debt as a student can be daunting, particularly as you’re living away from home for the first time in your life. If you’re dealing with debt, here’s some tips to stay in control.
- Take action as quickly as possible, and don’t panic. Bad news doesn’t age well – be sure to inform the people in your life quickly, and you can get the support you need.
- Strategically pay your debt – take care of the highest interest payments first.
- If you’re in debt to multiple lenders, a debt consolidation loan could be right for you.
- Seek help. Your university is likely to have plenty of resources which can be used to help support you here. Citizens Advice can also help you with advice and guidance.
- Budget for the future – make a plan and budget going forward to ensure you’re in more sustainable financial habits.
Frequently asked questions
You can be sure that your money is in safe hands with us. We are Regulated by the Prudential Regulatory Authority and Authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulatory Authority, which means that we operate to the same standards as any bank or building society. We are here for you and we always put the needs of our members first.
Instead of receiving annual interest on your savings, members receive a share of our annual profits, known as a dividend. The dividend is paid annually after the annual general meeting. Please note there is no guarantee a dividend will be paid each year.
You can start saving from as little as £1 per week and save any amount up to a total amount of £35,000. Deposits can be made at any local branch or collection point by cash or cheque. You can even set up a standing order or direct debit to make regular payments into your savings account, direct from your bank account. We have arranged with some employers that staff can pay into their savings accounts directly from their wages. Call us to find out if we have a scheme with your employer. If not, we will be happy to talk to your employer about setting up a payroll scheme with them. More information is on our Payroll page.