How can i afford to go to the Uni of Cambridge?

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Benvoliho
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Hi,
I have an offer to the study at Cambridge for this year and im really worried about living costs. I get the minimum loan and it doesn't cover my rent and my family sit in the "stretched middle" group, where the extra cost of covering my living costs will take a toll on my family as the expectation by the government is that their supposed to be able to help me (which isn't fair but don't get me started) As its Cambridge, I won't be able to work either, which is where most students in my position at other universities would make up the difference and help their parents out, but I can't. I've had a part-time job over the 2 years I was at college and have been saving since I was 16,but my budget for rent, food and having a life there will be tight, never mind the expenses of travelling every term. Money is becoming an issue in me deciding whether Cambridge is for me, but when I talk to people about it everyone tells you Cambridge has a number of grants and things they can give to students, but its always so vague? and the issue is, I'm not low income so most likely not applicable for many of the bursaries etc, but I am in a position where student finance does not work for my family especially when I cant work. if anyone has any experience with money issues at Cambridge or advice it would be appreciated
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ReadingMum
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you can't work during term time but you do get long holidays as a result of the short terms so you could try for work then. It is a difficult position to be in if your parents can't help you (when SFE expects them to).
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Benvoliho)
Hi,
I have an offer to the study at Cambridge for this year and im really worried about living costs. I get the minimum loan and it doesn't cover my rent and my family sit in the "stretched middle" group, where the extra cost of covering my living costs will take a toll on my family as the expectation by the government is that their supposed to be able to help me (which isn't fair but don't get me started) As its Cambridge, I won't be able to work either, which is where most students in my position at other universities would make up the difference and help their parents out, but I can't. I've had a part-time job over the 2 years I was at college and have been saving since I was 16,but my budget for rent, food and having a life there will be tight, never mind the expenses of travelling every term. Money is becoming an issue in me deciding whether Cambridge is for me, but when I talk to people about it everyone tells you Cambridge has a number of grants and things they can give to students, but its always so vague? and the issue is, I'm not low income so most likely not applicable for many of the bursaries etc, but I am in a position where student finance does not work for my family especially when I cant work. if anyone has any experience with money issues at Cambridge or advice it would be appreciated
Your parents can at least give you the money they are saving by not feeding you or doing your washing or heating your room.
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Gregorius
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(Original post by Benvoliho)
Hi,
I have an offer to the study at Cambridge for this year and im really worried about living costs. I get the minimum loan and it doesn't cover my rent and my family sit in the "stretched middle" group, where the extra cost of covering my living costs will take a toll on my family as the expectation by the government is that their supposed to be able to help me (which isn't fair but don't get me started) As its Cambridge, I won't be able to work either, which is where most students in my position at other universities would make up the difference and help their parents out, but I can't. I've had a part-time job over the 2 years I was at college and have been saving since I was 16,but my budget for rent, food and having a life there will be tight, never mind the expenses of travelling every term. Money is becoming an issue in me deciding whether Cambridge is for me, but when I talk to people about it everyone tells you Cambridge has a number of grants and things they can give to students, but its always so vague? and the issue is, I'm not low income so most likely not applicable for many of the bursaries etc, but I am in a position where student finance does not work for my family especially when I cant work. if anyone has any experience with money issues at Cambridge or advice it would be appreciated
When we took my daughter to Cambridge for an offer holders day a few years ago, us parents were taken on one side for a meeting about money - and the "stretched middle" issue was explicitly addressed. The very clear message that we parents were given was that "if your child has won a place here, we (the college) are not going to let money prevent them from taking up and maintaining their place".

Yes, there are schemes (that vary by college) to support students, beyond the well-publicized bursaries.

Oh, and Cambridge is inexpensive as universities in this country go.
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artful_lounger
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Something to bear in mind is while you may not be able to work during term time, terms are short and breaks between them longer than most other unis, and you could potentially work during the breaks. Typically you will have three 8 week terms, with 6 weeks in the winter and spring breaks and then the long vacation over the summer. Caveat is you will quite likely be set work over those periods, but it still gives you potentially a good amount of time each break to work part-time and save some money.

You also will usually be able to indicate the rough price band of the room you want to apply for in college, so you can pick the lower bands as necessary. You may also be able to elect for rooms with access to kitchen facilities and save money making your own food. Something also to be aware of is that the colleges subsidise the cost of renting a fair bit usually, so you will spend much less than Cambridge market rent rates living in college. Some colleges may also have cheaper accommodation than others, so you may want to look at the various options to get an idea of the average cost for each college and choose your college on that basis.

Also you will probably be able to get a student overdraft on your student account, which can help bridge the gap if you are running low at the end of term to pay for transport home etc. You can also get a reduced price national rail card as a full time student, which can considerably reduce travel costs, and some student accounts include one for free as a bonus.
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Peterhouse Admissions
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I would strongly recommend emailing your College when you have your results. Explain your financial situation and make sure you explain it on any accommodation forms you fill in (doesn't have to be detailed on accom forms, but explaining that you can't afford more expensive rooms).They're not going to be able to do anything this side of results day but afterwards they should be able to get back to you and give you some advice and support.
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CambridgeMama
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I really do get your situation, and I know of other people in your position who have taken up their places at less esteemed universities than Cambridge and they and their families have managed by various means.

I know it may seem difficult right now, but you will manage, I am sure, with a bit of focus and determination, and you would not have gained an offer from Cambridge if you did not already have those abilities.

Have you heard about a book called The Guide to Educational Grants? It is published yearly
by the Directory of Social Change. There is a good chance your local library will have a copy in the reference section, I think there is an online version too, but I am not sure. It has the details of a very large number of often very obscure charities that will offer one-off, or ongoing grants to people for vastly diverse reasons, could be to do with where you live, what your parents did or do for a living, what your faith is or gender or what subject you intend to study, there are even grants just for being a vegetarian. Usually these grants are not means tested.

There is lots of help for young people in education, there is also the Princes Trust, turn2us, the scholarship hub, moneysavingexpert.com and other information resources on the web. There are many charities that exist just to give educational grants to people exactly like you. The University of Cambridge also has plenty of support to offer depending on your course, but it’s worth having a look here too: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....ancial-support .

I wish you the very best of luck with your results and your onward journey at university.
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