Is university worth the debt? Watch

Anonymous #1
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I have been accepted into two Russel group universities for physics. My firm is a top university in London, and my insurance was a lower Russel group university however the course also includes a placement year & integrated masters.

Basically...if I went to my firm I would be around £50-60k in debt but I would have a degree from a very respectable university.
If I went to my insurance I would have way less debt (as I would be living at home as well) around £30k (course is 5 yrs but uni offers bursaries/ scholarship). My degree wouldn’t be from a “top” university but it would still be a Russel group uni and I would have an integrated masters as well as experience.

So, having considered all this would it be worth going to the London uni and graduating with all this debt? Will I ever be able to earn enough to pay it off? It may be a very selective and top uni but it’s not exactly oxbridge, I don’t know if it would be stupid for me to go there just because of the reputation that this university holds.
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Spud14
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DO NOT VIEW IT AS A DEBT.

I recommend listening to Martin Lewis discuss it.

It basically becomes like a little bit of tax (9% of any ratings over £22,000 per annum) and allows for access to higher jobs.

Don’t let the fear of debt deter your future
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Jacktheslipper
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Depends on what you want to do later on in life, a physics degree at a russel group uni will definitely pay for itself though
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Neilos
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It's not real debt, so go wherever you want and forget about it.

Besides, for most people, £30k of student debt is the same as £60k of student debt.
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ajj2000
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(Original post by Spud14)
I recommend listening to Martin Lewis discuss it.
this.
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Spud14
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(Original post by Neilos)
It's not real debt, so go wherever you want and forget about it.

Besides, for most people, £30k of student debt is the same as £60k of student debt.
Exactly, since its cancelled after 30 years and most people never pay it in full
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SuperHuman98
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Doesn’t matter. You should go to the top uni. There will also be opportunities for bursaries/scholarships if you are eligible
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ajj2000
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I have been accepted into two Russel group universities for physics. My firm is a top university in London, and my insurance was a lower Russel group university however the course also includes a placement year & integrated masters.

Basically...if I went to my firm I would be around £50-60k in debt but I would have a degree from a very respectable university.
If I went to my insurance I would have way less debt (as I would be living at home as well) around £30k (course is 5 yrs but uni offers bursaries/ scholarship). My degree wouldn’t be from a “top” university but it would still be a Russel group uni and I would have an integrated masters as well as experience.

So, having considered all this would it be worth going to the London uni and graduating with all this debt? Will I ever be able to earn enough to pay it off? It may be a very selective and top uni but it’s not exactly oxbridge, I don’t know if it would be stupid for me to go there just because of the reputation that this university holds.
Which university in London compared to which local RG uni? Any top university should offer an integrated masters. What are the bursaries and scholarships your local university offers? I'd be surprised if they are as good as UCL or Imperial (unless its Edinburgh - which it cant be given the size of the loans). How would you fund living in London? How large would your student loan for living costs be?
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by ajj2000)
Which university in London compared to which local RG uni? Any top university should offer an integrated masters. What are the bursaries and scholarships your local university offers? I'd be surprised if they are as good as UCL or Imperial (unless its Edinburgh - which it cant be given the size of the loans). How would you fund living in London? How large would your student loan for living costs be?
London uni - UCL

Local uni - Cardiff
I could get a scholarship from Cardiff of £3000
However for London I’ll be receiving a maintenance loan from sfe wales of around 11,500 per year (about 3000 of this would be a grant so I’d have to repay around 8500 of it from each year). That should cover the majority of it but I also plan on working during the summer holidays / or even term time if need be.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Spud14)
DO NOT VIEW IT AS A DEBT.

I recommend listening to Martin Lewis discuss it.

It basically becomes like a little bit of tax (9% of any ratings over £22,000 per annum) and allows for access to higher jobs.

Don’t let the fear of debt deter your future
Hmm I see, I’ll have a look thank you!
I just started panicking because someone asked me if I was sure I wanted to go to the London uni because of the debt and cost and it just got me thinking...
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Spud14
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There are higher living costs to bear in mind, but the student loan should not be viewed as a debt
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ajj2000
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(Original post by Anonymous)
London uni - UCL

Local uni - Cardiff
I could get a scholarship from Cardiff of £3000
However for London I’ll be receiving a maintenance loan from sfe wales of around 11,500 per year (about 3000 of this would be a grant so I’d have to repay around 8500 of it from each year). That should cover the majority of it but I also plan on working during the summer holidays / or even term time if need be.
I love Cardiff - that makes it tougher! What is the scholarship for Cardiff based on? Academic grades or family income? If family income have you checked UCL bursaries?
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username4911280
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Several things I'd like to point out.

1) As mentioned, you shouldn't view this as merely debt. This is the chance for you to go to a world-class university and get a great career.
2) I'm willing to bet you're likely to earn more money out of KCL then out of Cardiff, so really it's a good investment.
3) Reputation is not a stupid reason to go to a university. That reputation (whether people like it or not) opens doors and provides more choices. If there's one thing you want coming out of uni - it's choices.

I would go to UCL and stop worrying about the debt. You have a fantastic opportunity and to turn it down for a lower uni because of the student loans is silly.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by ajj2000)
I love Cardiff - that makes it tougher! What is the scholarship for Cardiff based on? Academic grades or family income? If family income have you checked UCL bursaries?
It’s based on academic grades, I’ve checked UCL and I don’t think I’m eligible for any bursaries sadly.
Cardiff is lovely, I feel at home
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artful_lounger
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Student loan debt isn't really "debt". It's invisible debt, essentially. At no point will you have bailiffs coming to your door demanding repayments (unless you move abroad and try to evade repayment), and it's doesn't get counted when determining your credit rating (as I understand). All that happens is you have a small amount go out of your paycheque at the end of each month, depending on how much you earn. For me it's usually about £15-40 depending how much I made in the month (my hours vary a lot). It's a percentage of your total earnings, so you'll pay less if you aren't earning as much, and you don't repay anything until you're earning over the threshold.

It's functionally just an additional outgoing from your monthly pay, along with your income tax and NI contributions (plus any pension contributions you make). There is practically no way for your student finance repayments to negatively affect you, unless you are living far outside of your means. By the time you're making significant repayments, you'll be earning a lot of money so you won't even notice it, and at the lower ends of the scale the amount repaid is so small as to not be noticeable anyway. No matter what if it's not paid off by the time you retire it gets written off anyway, and likewise if you earn under the threshold for a long period of time (like 15+ years I think) it gets written off as well.

While there are financial considerations to make with respect to going to uni, the potential debt is not one of them. You should instead be considering the cost of living for when you are at uni, which in particular for London unis can be quite high (hence students studying in London get a higher maintenance loan). However many students study in London, from a wide range of economic backgrounds, so in most cases with good budgeting, working in the summer, and potentially bursaries which students from low income families are often eligible for, you should be able to make do. The important thing is to start planning a budget sooner rather than later, then stick to that. You'll also normally have a student overdraft in case anyway (which are normally interest free for the duration of your studies, although student accounts can vary).
Last edited by artful_lounger; 1 month ago
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username4911280
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Student loan debt isn't really "debt". It's invisible debt, essentially. At no point will you have bailiffs coming to your door demanding repayments (unless you move abroad and try to evade repayment), and it's doesn't get counted when determining your credit rating (as I understand). All that happens is you have a small amount go out of your paycheque at the end of each month, depending on how much you earn. For me it's usually about £15-40 depending how much I made in the month (my hours vary a lot). It's a percentage of your total earnings, so you'll pay less if you aren't earning as much, and you don't repay anything until you're earning over the threshold.

It's functionally just an additional outgoing from your monthly pay, along with your income tax and NI contributions (plus any pension contributions you make). There is practically no way for your student finance repayments to negatively affect you, unless you are living far outside of your means. By the time you're making significant repayments, you'll be earning a lot of money so you won't even notice it, and at the lower ends of the scale the amount repayed is so small as to not be noticeable anyway. No matter what if it's not paid off by the time you retire it gets written off anyway, and likewise if you earn under the threshold for a long period of time (like 15+ years I think) it gets written off as well.

While there are financial considerations to make with respect to going to uni, the potential debt is not one of them. You should instead be considering the cost of living for when you are at uni, which in particular for London unis can be quite high (hence students studying in London get a higher maintenance loan). However many students study in London, from a wide range of economic backgrounds, so in most cases with good budgeting, working in the summer, and potentially bursaries which students from low income families are often eligible for, you should be able to make do. The important thing is to start planning a budget sooner rather than later, then stick to that. You'll also normally have a student overdraft in case anyway (which are normally interest free for the duration of your studies, although student accounts can vary).
All of your posts are always so thorough and well researched. Thank you for making TSR less of a scum pile.
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ajj2000
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(Original post by Anonymous)
It’s based on academic grades, I’ve checked UCL and I don’t think I’m eligible for any bursaries sadly.
Cardiff is lovely, I feel at home
Lots will tell you otherwise - for me its very close. I think you have two great options in life. I'm not sure I'd base my decisions on student loans (I might well if I were in Scotland) for primarily mathematical reasons in that I don't think it often makes any real life difference. Any idea what you might look to do after university? That can make a difference.
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ajj2000
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
left wing people/students are prats aren't they? they love tax & spend and then suddenly when a tax of about £0-250 a month is called debt OmG dA ToRieS r DeStRoYiNg Us!!!!
I remember when a higher rate of tax was brought in and top rate went to 50%. We heard that all the bankers would leave the country, and how terrible and unfair it was and how it would destroy innovation and risk taking. Now loads of graduates will be paying 49% tax. For the young we have become a high tax country without a high tax infrastructure.
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by ajj2000)
I remember when a higher rate of tax was brought in and top rate went to 50%. We heard that all the bankers would leave the country, and how terrible and unfair it was and how it would destroy innovation and risk taking. Now loads of graduates will be paying 49% tax. For the young we have become a high tax country without a high tax infrastructure.
the reason for the high "tax/debt" on graduates is that they are the primary beneficiaries (giving them an advantage in the job market over non-graduates), whereas normal taxes (to fund public services) benefit everyone fairly equally
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ajj2000
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
the reason for the high "tax/debt" on graduates is that they are the primary beneficiaries (giving them an advantage in the job market over non-graduates), whereas normal taxes (to fund public services) benefit everyone fairly equally
I'm dubious about this. If graduates are the beneficiaries they also pay higher amounts of tax apart from student loans - both at marginal rates and absolute values. My concern is not so much the morality as the impact of higher tax rates. Paying 50% of what you earn is a hell of a disincentive to save for additional training, move for a promotion or progression opportunity, benefit from a bonus.

Edited to add - all major parties are making noises about raising income tax to pay for the NHS (which is a code for adverse demographics).
Last edited by ajj2000; 1 month ago
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