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    Hello, I don’t know if I’ve created this thread in the right category but anyway I’m just wondering if I could gain some advice and opinions on something? Sorry this will be a bit long…..

    Basically I’m 19 years old, left sixth form and live with family. I’ve been having problems at home ….well..really for as long as I can remember..but they’ve been worse the past two years. After my first year of sixth form I had to take a year out due to health issues and after finishing my second year my plan was to take a gap year and to apply for University for 2016 this September, move out my family house, learn to drive,get a part time job etc and plus things like work experience, voluntary work etc. The reason I wanted to move out is …well because of problems at home and I feel my health issues are mainly because of this, and that they won’t get any better unless I’m away from home.

    But now I have another problem, which is that since the government have scrapped maintenance grants for uni, (starting from 2016), that means that in 2016 I won’t be able to afford to go to uni, and I’d be better off with a maintenance grant.(and also since I gained CCD in my A Levels, I’m not sure whether Id be accepted to uni too if I applied through the "normal process".

    I was told that it was worth trying to get a place through Clearing for September 2015, which I have done and I have earned a place at a local uni. I’m due to start in three weeks, but I’m really worried about cost, and going to uni this year would mean I won’t be able to afford to do other things, like learning to drive and possibly moving out, especially also because I’m from a low income family. If I went uni this year, I would also need to get a part time job in order to support myself (and save up for fees), however I’m worried because of my health, whether Id be able to cope with Uni studies on top of a part time job and health issues.

    Also I’m in WRAG for ESA which means I need to do work related activity to qualify for the benefit, (which is fair enough) but haven’t yet completed any (my plan was to do so, I was in the process of completing a CV/cover letter and filling out applications for work experience) and I don’t know whether I’d be able to do any on top of uni/health issues and I don’t know what to do regarding this?

    I don’t know whether I’m rushing into going to uni (my mum and sister think I am) and am going to damage my health or whether I’m making the right decision....I would really like to have a career in Educational Psychology and doing a Psychology degree ideally is the main key to this. I’ve thought about other options like at a local college there is an Apprenticeship in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools which leads to being a teaching assistant and this I guess has aspects of educational psychology and compared to the degree route it would be soooooo much more cheaper (but obviously I wouldn’t be as qualified and wouldn't be able to be a psychologist)and I’d be saving so much more money. As well as this I’ve considered all thethings that I could use like 35000 pounds for (if I didn’t spend that on unicosts), like buying a car, towards buying a property, towards travelling(travelling is another dream) etc.

    I’m sorry I know I sound over dramatic and I understand I’m probably not the only student going through this, but I’m really stressed out and don’t know what to do. But I do know for a fact that I don’t really want to be stuck at home for another year or few years because I’m definitely not happy at home and would really like to move on and be independent. And Psychology at University is what I’d really like to do.

    Sorry for the really long post, there are other things I could mention too (but I’ve ranted too much so Ill stop) and I would really really really appreciate some advice -_-
    Thank-you
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    Honestly I would say leave it a year. It's not a nice decision to make but you're much better off going next year and being able to enjoy uni and do better than rushing to get through this time and hating it because it's not right for you, or even having to drop out. Going next year means you can save some money this year and do other things and try and get better, so ultimately be better off- my understanding of the maintenance grant changes is that it still exists, just as a loan and you'll pay it off at the same rate as your tuition fees etc, ie only once you're earning over £21000. For this you'd be better asking in the money and finance forums though, I hope I'm right as it affects me too! On a more serious note though, your health is more important and you don't want to risk making yourself worse for the sake of rushing into something too soon for potentially no real benefit (if you have to drop out), especially if you would need to work while you're there as this adds extra time and pressure.


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    Hi, thanks for the reply and I really appreciate the advice

    I can completely understand what you are saying, and yes my health is more important but its just if I started uni next year, I'd have to save more money, and the difference between the loan and grant is that the grant you don't pay back, but the loan you do have to pay back (therefore if I had the grant, I wouldn't have to save/pay back as much), plus, if I had a year out, Id be spending money on others things like driving lessons, moving out, possibly travelling and buying a car and that would more likely than not take up the savings I have already and possibly money from work (and therefore not much to save for uni - so is it worth going uni in another years time?).....and like I said I cant really be guaranteed a place because of my grades (CCD) (unless I just detered my entry?) Also theres also a possibility the fees will rise next year (and if that happens I'm completely doomed)-_-

    Sorry I know I sound immature, but I'm just really concerned about cost..and my health...and living at home. Although I have rethought about my health again, and in some ways I feel maybe going uni this year will potentially help to improve my health - when I came back to Year 13 after a year out, I thought I wouldnt be able to cope being on timetable (I had an option of studying external too) but I did so much better than I hoped and expected, and even came out to be more independent. So maybe I shouldnt underestimate myself??? :/ (although Im thinking Im overestimating myself) .......I dont know

    Are you starting Uni next year? And are you also from a low-income family?

    Again thanks for the advice
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
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    I see what you're getting at, you'd probably end up with some left over though depending how much you worked, and you'd be able to drive etc which is a big advantage! What I meant with the health is that te danger is if things got bad then you might have to drop out, so you'd be in a worse situation, or get a worse grade but that maybe doesn't matter so much. Deferred entry could work well if the uni you have a place at is where you want to go. In terms of owing more money the idea is you pay it back only when you afford it, so it's more the living costs and things you need above the loan that you'll need the money for straight off while you're there. I really hope tuition fees don't rise though!

    You don't sound immature at all. If you think you could manage it this year ten by all means go for it, although I know myself it's really hard to tell if you'd be able to or not especially with all the 'what if...'s.

    I'm about to take a second gap year also for health reasons, I had been going to go regardless but it was becoming clear I'd struggle even keeping going for the first few weeks, and I don't want a repeat of year 13 where I made myself much worse by pushing through. That's probably where I'm coming from tbh in saying the same thing to you, you might be different though obviously. I'm lucky in that my family isn't low income though, I'd get a maintenance grant (this year...) but at the lowest rate.

    I hope it works out if you do decide to go!


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