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    I have decided to apply for Physics 2017 entry and I am concerned over living costs. I've read from the Oxford website that students are usually in Oxford for 6 months of the year but it may be better to budget over 9 months to cover the full academic year (£9,020-£13,240). What does this mean?!

    Using the student finance calculator I have discovered I am only eligible for a £4,000 maintenance loan, surely my parents aren't expected to provide a further minimum of £5,000 are they?

    Thank you.
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    It depends largely on the circumstances. If your college provide accommodation, your living costs will be cheaper because you are only allowed to live in college accommodation in term time (6 months a year), and therefore only pay for that time. Private rents tend to be much more expensive, and you have to pay for the whole year. Some colleges provide accommodation for all 3 years, so if it's something you're worried about, it's worth looking only at colleges that do this, and it will save a lot of money and you'll only need to budget for 6 months, not 9. I've personally found my yearly budget at Oxford to be much less than this - but I do get a good bursary from my college, and don't splash out on clothes or personal items at uni.

    Similarly, look at the provision of food in hall - some are more expensive than others; if college provide good kitchens you can cook and have much more control over your budget.

    The long vacations at Oxford are great for finding work - I've worked a few vacations to top up my budget.
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    (Original post by jacklfc99)
    I have decided to apply for Physics 2017 entry and I am concerned over living costs. I've read from the Oxford website that students are usually in Oxford for 6 months of the year but it may be better to budget over 9 months to cover the full academic year (£9,020-£13,240). What does this mean?!

    Using the student finance calculator I have discovered I am only eligible for a £4,000 maintenance loan, surely my parents aren't expected to provide a further minimum of £5,000 are they?

    Thank you.
    I'm still not sure why Oxford gives living costs for 9 months on their website because as an undergraduate, you definitely do not need to do that. I probably spent on the order of £5000 (probably quite a bit less less) in my first year. It's possible that I was fairly frugal but I'd have thought that £6000 is definitely more than enough, there is no way you will be spending anything close to £9000.

    This may change if your college doesn't offer accommodation for all years of your degree and you have to get a 12 month private contract but certainly for any year you live in college, there's no reason to budget for more than 6 months.
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    (Original post by roflcakes1)
    It depends largely on the circumstances. If your college provide accommodation, your living costs will be cheaper because you are only allowed to live in college accommodation in term time (6 months a year), and therefore only pay for that time. Private rents tend to be much more expensive, and you have to pay for the whole year. Some colleges provide accommodation for all 3 years, so if it's something you're worried about, it's worth looking only at colleges that do this, and it will save a lot of money and you'll only need to budget for 6 months, not 9. I've personally found my yearly budget at Oxford to be much less than this - but I do get a good bursary from my college, and don't splash out on clothes or personal items at uni.

    Similarly, look at the provision of food in hall - some are more expensive than others; if college provide good kitchens you can cook and have much more control over your budget.

    The long vacations at Oxford are great for finding work - I've worked a few vacations to top up my budget.
    Thank you, that's really helpful. If you don't mind me asking what sort of places did you work in vacations?
    Also, if I apply to a college that has accommodation for all 3 years of my course and I don't get into that first choice college, is there a way of expressing a preference or a reason to why the college I am allocated to must have accommodation for 3 years also?
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    I'm still not sure why Oxford gives living costs for 9 months on their website because as an undergraduate, you definitely do not need to do that. I probably spent on the order of £5000 (probably quite a bit less less) in my first year. It's possible that I was fairly frugal but I'd have thought that £6000 is definitely more than enough, there is no way you will be spending anything close to £9000.

    This may change if your college doesn't offer accommodation for all years of your degree and you have to get a 12 month private contract but certainly for any year you live in college, there's no reason to budget for more than 6 months.
    Thanks a lot.
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    (Original post by jacklfc99)
    Thank you, that's really helpful. If you don't mind me asking what sort of places did you work in vacations?
    Also, if I apply to a college that has accommodation for all 3 years of my course and I don't get into that first choice college, is there a way of expressing a preference or a reason to why the college I am allocated to must have accommodation for 3 years also?
    I was fortunate enough that my college recruited in the vacations for admin work (most colleges run conferences or similar in the holidays, hence why they kick students out of the accommodation), but it's luck depending on what your college can offer. I do tutoring now, but I wish I did it during university because it's not too much hard work and it can pay very well, but it's quite inconsistent if you really need the money. I have friends who used temping agencies.

    No to your last question, it depends on what college has space for you.
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    I'd agree that if you have college accommodation and are happy to live frugally, the figures on the Oxford website are pessimistic. £6k a year is quite feasible.

    But I would add that in practice not many terms are just 8 weeks long - most colleges require you to take up residence from some time in 0th week each term. You will sometimes also have to (or want to) stay up into 9th week. So budgeting for three 9-week terms is perhaps more realistic.
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    (Original post by OxFossil)
    I'd agree that if you have college accommodation and are happy to live frugally, the figures on the Oxford website are pessimistic. £5-6k a year is quite feasible.

    But I would say that in practice not many terms are just 8 weeks long - most colleges require you to take up residence from some time in 0th week each term. You will sometimes also have to (or want to) stay up into 9th week. So budgeting for three 9-week terms is perhaps more realistic.
    Thanks for the advice.
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    Some good posts above.

    The concrete thing you can check now are your accommodation costs. That will give you an idea what your remaining budget will be.

    For most people the £9000 figure is way overmark. The people who write it are a) not students and perhaps out of touch with student life or b) writing this figure because it's what they then ask international students to prove they have before they start.

    I think, depending on your personal spending habits and college prices, that ~£6000 is more realistic. Big range on this though.

    You will probably need more that £4k though. The holidays are long. I did: pre-Christmas employment with the royal mail, and a couple of medical studies including a very lucrative vaccine trial (loads of moral value in doing this too highly recommended). Some people secure highly paid summer internships also.

    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    I'm still not sure why Oxford gives living costs for 9 months on their website because as an undergraduate, you definitely do not need to do that. I probably spent on the order of £5000 (probably quite a bit less less) in my first year. It's possible that I was fairly frugal but I'd have thought that £6000 is definitely more than enough, there is no way you will be spending anything close to £9000.

    This may change if your college doesn't offer accommodation for all years of your degree and you have to get a 12 month private contract but certainly for any year you live in college, there's no reason to budget for more than 6 months.
    Medics are required to stay for 8 months or so one year but I agree it's weird they publish that.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Medics are required to stay for 8 months or so one year but I agree it's weird they publish that.
    A few other degrees (such as Chemistry) also have extended terms in their final year but still as you say, it's a special case.
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    The living costs calculations are a bit mad at both ends, really (the university and student loans). I only got the minimum maintenance loan and that wasn't enough to cover 27 weeks of college accommodation; I don't know how people cope if they have to rent privately for a whole academic year. And yet, as everyone here has already said, the university's £9k estimate is ludicrously high.

    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    A few other degrees (such as Chemistry) also have extended terms in their final year but still as you say, it's a special case.
    On this point, my college was keen to impress on all of the fourth year chemists that financial support beyond the maintenance loan was particularly avialable to them, as it was recognised that the longer terms created particular financial strain.
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    If you cook frozen food from Tesco yourself, I'm sure you will be fine.
 
 
 
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