djak14
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#1
Can anybody give insight to what it's like to go university at a later age?
I'm 24 with two children, currently studying an access course and considering Law and Criminology at university.
Also, if anybody has gone onto university whilst being on UC could you give insight on how benefit changes due to student finance? I'm worrying I won't be able to afford to go to university. Thanks!
0
reply
ashyk001a
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 month ago
#2
It depends on the course, but uni is ok. Don't expect to like everyone including lecturers. Books are expensive but covid has made more available online in uni libraries. Check finances first as we did have a couple leave due to knock on effect of benefits. All the best
1
reply
Keele Postgraduate
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#3
Report 1 month ago
#3
(Original post by djak14)
Can anybody give insight to what it's like to go university at a later age?
I'm 24 with two children, currently studying an access course and considering Law and Criminology at university.
Also, if anybody has gone onto university whilst being on UC could you give insight on how benefit changes due to student finance? I'm worrying I won't be able to afford to go to university. Thanks!
I went back to university at 33 and I was really worried that it wouldn't be the same as my undergraduate experience. I was doing an MA course and most of the other students were straight from undergraduate (so were mostly 20/21) so I was very worried that I'd feel old and wouldn't fit in. I was also worried that, with living off campus and having a family life outside of university, I wouldn't be able to take part in any of the social events that help students get to know each other.

Honestly, I really needn't have worried. Regardless of age, students experience the same struggles with workload, classes, assignments etc. So I found I had a lot in common with my fellow students, despite the age gap in some cases. There were also more mature students at Keele that I had expected - and plenty of them were fitting university around work/family/childcare commitments so there were social events specifically designed for those students, such as family-friendly weekend events.

I also think being that bit older made me a better student. Because I was having to juggle my course with part-time work and family life, I was determined to make the most of my study time! I found the Open University's Good Study Guide really helpful in that respect - there's some good tips on how to manage home/study/work life, as well as on how to get set up for study if you've been out of full-time education for a while.

As ashyk001a has said, books can be expensive but most set texts will be available from the university (or your local) library, or you can often get them second hand from other students/online. Most university tutors are aware of financial precarity for students so do try to put many of the course materials - such as journal articles or extracts - online for you, or to use open access/free resources. There are also often bursaries and hardship funds you can apply for if you do find yourself struggling.

I'm afraid I don't have any experience of the impact that being a full-time student has upon UC or other benefits - the only thing it allowed us to do was apply for a Council Tax discount as my husband became the only qualifying adult in the household. You may find that the university you're applying to can give you some advice on this however - most universities have a finance team as part of their Student Services/Support.

Hope that helps!

Amy Louise
1
reply
LilBlueBug
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 month ago
#4
(Original post by djak14)
Can anybody give insight to what it's like to go university at a later age?
I'm 24 with two children, currently studying an access course and considering Law and Criminology at university.
Also, if anybody has gone onto university whilst being on UC could you give insight on how benefit changes due to student finance? I'm worrying I won't be able to afford to go to university. Thanks!
Hi

I went back with 5 kids in my late 30's, graduated over a year ago and now doing teacher training. You're going to be closer in age to the majority of students there. The biggest difference will be your caring responsibilities and how that works out is dependent on University. My uni had a huge MSA which had excellent support and recognised the challenges mature students faced. Check out the Uni you are interested in to see how they approach older undergrad students.

There is an impact on student finance if you are on UC. I haven't experienced it personally but I know the NUS have highlighted that student parents are unfairly targeted. UC count the student loan as unearned income and reduces UC accordingly. You can't usually do the benefits calculators like Turn2Us but I would reccomend speaking to somewhere like citizens advice.
I do know student parents managing some are doing better than others. The most recent one I spoke to had one child and was living with their mum while working.
0
reply
djak14
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#5
Thanks for your replies everyone! I am determined to go to university and better myself. I think I’ve wrapped my head around most things. I have a very supportive family who live close by and willing to help with childcare, I’m just worried about the money aspect of it. I will probably look into part time work but I feel guilty leaving them as it is. I wish the benefits system would help individuals that are willing to work hard at trying to make a better life for themselves, instead of penalising them in a sense.

Will just keep my fingers crossed that it works out okay for me
0
reply
Bilbo1987
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#6
Report 1 month ago
#6
(Original post by djak14)
Can anybody give insight to what it's like to go university at a later age?
I'm 24 with two children, currently studying an access course and considering Law and Criminology at university.
Also, if anybody has gone onto university whilst being on UC could you give insight on how benefit changes due to student finance? I'm worrying I won't be able to afford to go to university. Thanks!
Hi there!!!

Mature student here too. About to sit my exams after my first year.

I am 33 here and coincidently studying Law and Criminology also, its been a blast.

I cant speak to what its like with having kids but maybe give insight into the other side of things. Firstly, as someone said, you are closer to others age than most other mature students but I really think that age is really just a number. I am friends with mostly mature students but those who are on the younger side act far older than most their age.
I am going to speak of my first and last term because the covid terms were a nightmare but Ill get back to that. Firstly, you are less distracted by the typical "fresher" lifestyle. I am Irish, I love a drink but found myself being more social with the locals rather than students. Most of my friends in Uni are older. Its good because I dont have many hanging on to me for help. Maybe not being part of a study group is bad but I am better at using my own approach. You know you have responsibility elsewhere and living somewhat of a life compared to 18 year olds goes a long way.

One thing I notice is lecturers connect better with older students. I suppose relating to them on a different level against to the younger students helps. I had a rough year and it was good to know I could contact them and not have to beat around the bush.

I know from friends who have kids, arranging some time to yourself is very important, especially during exam time.

With COVID though, as a mature student, it was really really hard. I value face to face. Print outs of lectures, eye contact, back and forth without lag etc....
It will hopefully be back to some sort of normality when you choose to go but that has been a really big issue for me. It took me two months to get focused and even now I feel waaaay behind compared to the younger students who are so used to being home and studying. I treated Uni like my office job. Doing that from home sucked.

Personally I did terrible in secondary school and never thought I could go to Uni. I had a decent career in IT and could have made a good living out of it but going back to education is the best decision I ever made.
1
reply
tinygirl96
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#7
Report 1 month ago
#7
Plan carefully. Do research.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Have you experienced financial difficulties as a student due to Covid-19?

Yes, I have really struggled financially (77)
17.91%
I have experienced some financial difficulties (124)
28.84%
I haven't experienced any financial difficulties and things have stayed the same (162)
37.67%
I have had better financial opportunities as a result of the pandemic (54)
12.56%
I've had another experience (let us know in the thread!) (13)
3.02%

Watched Threads

View All