The Student Room Group

Worried about son who wants to move out, will he be able to afford it?

Son has applied for a degree and wants to move out as opposed to staying at home...he wants to experience the whole uni thing, but we live 5 miles away! Pretty expensive , our household income isn't very high...so I'm worried about the financial side of things, and whether he will be able to afford it even with the living costs loan. I'm even considering taking out a loan to help him!
Advice appreciated, thanks.
Reply 1
Original post by Jennybaby
Son has applied for a degree and wants to move out as opposed to staying at home...he wants to experience the whole uni thing, but we live 5 miles away! Pretty expensive , our household income isn't very high...so I'm worried about the financial side of things, and whether he will be able to afford it even with the living costs loan. I'm even considering taking out a loan to help him!
Advice appreciated, thanks.
There is no correct answer to this and the decision is ultimately up to you but here’s my take-

With 5 miles I’m guessing commuting to uni would take like half an hour? If living at uni makes little/no difference in time commuting to classes, then this is a luxury and not something that will be beneficial for his education (it might not have adverse effects, but is still not beneficial). The biggest thing about moving out to live at university is learning to be independent- this will not be the case if you are paying for his accommodation (which is not necessary). If it’s something he really wants, then he should understand the draw backs; either living on a budget or that alongside having to work while studying.

As a mother I understand your instinct is to take care of your child and provide the best, but in this circumstance the best might be to allow him to make his own decisions, taking into account the REAL circumstances. If you let him know earnestly it’s not reasonable for you to put yourself in debt for something which will not benefit his education, but he is welcome to live at home with you or if he wants to move away you will support him in that decision (just not financially). He might even realise he’s grateful to be able to live at home!
Well, students get a maintenance loan which has a means tested part as well, based on household (parental) income. So if your household income isn't that high, he will get a higher maintenance loan anyway :smile:

Living nearby also means at least some costs will be saved for going home out of term time too! If he does find the maintenance loan doesn't quite make ends meet (which isn't unusual) he can look for part-time work (which is quite common for students to do).

Plus if after first year it becomes completely untenable he can always look to move back after having experienced some time living away from home and developing established friend groups and similar.
I empathise with this as a student’s parent. My child has a full maintenance loan due to low family income, although they live in a different city.

They have paid work part-time in the term and almost full-time in the holidays. They can’t do what some wealthier friends do. That’s life, unfortunately, it’s unfair.

My thoughts:
I suggest your son talks to a university finance advisor, because there may be extra bursaries or scholarships he could apply for to boost his income.
Make sure you’ve claimed maximum entitlements from student finance.

Having said that, yes, there are advantages to youngsters learning to live independently and manage bills etc, but not at the cost of putting yourself in a difficult financial position for the future.
Could you help him in one year of the course rather than all the years?

Offspring may not always think about their parents struggling to help financially and the implications of that long term.
Reply 4
Thanks all for your replies, I really appreciate it.

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