“A standard factor stated by college students proper now could be: ‘Sorry I can’t, I’m skint,’” says Grace Armstrong, vice-president for welfare at Northumbria College’s college students’ union. Whereas college students have lengthy been financially stretched, the price of residing disaster is a significant concern, with the growing prices of hire, meals, utility payments and, for college students on some programs, the price of supplies, placing strain on budgets.


Just about everyone seems to be feeling the pinch, with analysis suggesting that mature college students have felt the impression particularly. However there are issues that college students can do to assist handle these prices, from discovering out in the event that they’re eligible for monetary assist schemes to accessing free meals on campus. We spoke to workers and college students from Northumbria College for his or her recommendations on methods to manage – and to learn how the college is doing its bit to help.

Max out your use of uni amenities
A giant value for the time being for a lot of college students is vitality payments. Whereas most halls of residence have heating, lighting and wifi included in rental prices, college students renting from non-public landlords normally pay their very own payments, which may work out expensive and tough to handle. An efficient technique to maintain these prices down is to spend extra time on campus making use of the well-lit, heat areas on web site. Northumbria is encouraging college students to take advantage of locations such because the library and break-out areas, a lot of that are open 24/7 in time period time.

Reuse and recycle
Recognising the recognition of pre-loved every part – low cost, cool and good for the planet – Northumbria college students’ union runs a swap store the place college students convey their garments and swap them for others. “It’s arrange like an precise store,” says Armstrong. “There’s no stigma round utilizing it.” College students and workers additionally donate high quality garments, making the swap store an particularly good supply of things when the seasons change, and for stocking up on winter woolies – because the climate will get chillier.


Verify different funding you may be entitled to
Scholarships, grants and bursaries are key methods to save cash on a giant scale, and Northumbria has a variety obtainable to college students. The awards may be linked to particular programs, or recognise expertise in fields corresponding to sport or design. Some are primarily based on family revenue, others on the tutorial achievements of scholars.

The assist may be within the type of money funds or a big low cost on tuition charges. “Now we have a raft of scholarships throughout completely different programs,” says Kelley Evans, who’s answerable for charges and scholarships at Northumbria College. “The awards have completely different eligibility necessities. You probably have a family revenue of lower than £40,000, you could be eligible to be thought of for a scholarship. Some scholarships and bursaries must be utilized for, whereas college students with good grades could also be mechanically thought of for others. We strongly encourage college students to analysis which scholarships and different assist could also be obtainable to them because it might be price a whole lot, in some instances, 1000’s of kilos.”

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There’s a variety of funding obtainable to assist college students of their research within the type of scholarships, grants and bursaries

Quite a few employer-funded grants are additionally obtainable by the college’s Larger Schooling With out Obstacles initiative, which goals to offer individuals with the potential to go to college the chance to realize their objectives. These are sponsored by donors and primarily based both on family revenue or awarded to proficient college students. Launched in January 2022, in its first 12 months the scheme raised £2m to assist greater than 500 college students throughout the college.

Northumbria has collated a listing of the funding obtainable to undergraduates, and in addition gives a 20% low cost to returning college students. “College students who select to proceed their research at postgraduate stage, both instantly after graduating or who’re returning to review after spending time working, are awarded a beneficiant low cost,” says Evans.

Decide up a free breakfast
As college students turn into extra conscious of what they’re spending, a lot of them are in search of methods to save cash. “Numerous our social areas are stuffed with individuals bringing their very own lunch and utilizing the microwaves we have now round campus to heat it up,” says Armstrong. Typically, college students will usher in meals and share them with their associates, or convey an additional portion in case anybody desires it, she says. “There’s an open tradition round speaking about cash and sharing. It’s about creating a way of neighborhood, and college students attempt to assist one another out.”

In collaboration with the scholars’ union, the college is doing its bit too by providing a breakfast membership from 8am to 11am daily, the place college students can seize a free bowl of cereal or some toast. Anybody who will get peckish through the day, can head to their nearest Cereal Bar to select up a free snack.

Earn whilst you study
Half-time work is a helpful technique to acquire expertise, whereas build up your CV and checking account on the identical time. At Northumbria, there may be a web-based emptiness board, the place college students can discover alternatives, and arrange alerts, for part-time work each inside the college and the native space. The college does advocate that college students work not more than 15 hours every week whereas finding out.

The college additionally employs college students as paid interns. “It’s a unbelievable technique to acquire expertise,” says Northumbria’s tutorial registrar, Maureen McLaughlin. “We provide paid placement years and 100-hour internships throughout many areas of the college – you possibly can work with the IT crew you probably have the related abilities or as a advisor, sharing your experiences with our tutorial and assist groups to make sure our companies are inclusive for all college students, for instance. There are additionally informal employment alternatives too, corresponding to serving to to assist open days or working as a content material creator, documenting your experiences at college for our social media channels.”

Planning a price range
Generally managing your cash is usually a problem, particularly for these changing into answerable for their payments and funds for the primary time. To assist college students with budgeting, saving and managing their cash, Northumbria College gives all college students with entry to Blackbullion, a monetary wellbeing software that provides guides, hints and classes on the right way to develop monetary abilities. For these struggling to make ends meet, particularly in case you are from a low-income background, the college is there that will help you. Hardship funds can present assist throughout a spread of prices, from meals, hire and utility payments to laptops and wifi. There are additionally emergency funds, ranging from £20, to pay for primary provisions for a number of days. “We are able to additionally assist with journey prices for these residing exterior of the town centre and needing to commute,” says McLaughlin.

Woman packing a box with clothes
Some college students make a bit on the aspect by promoting undesirable garments. {Photograph}: FilippoBacci/Getty Photographs

Have a aspect hustle
Many college students are arising with new methods to earn cash. Promoting undesirable garments on platforms corresponding to Depop or Vinted is a well-liked, simple manner to usher in further money. Some college students full paid surveys or share adverts on their social media accounts in return for small funds, which may all mount up.

Others are utilizing their very own pursuits to make some cash. “I do know college students who’ve arrange vegan companies or promote jewelry,” says Armstrong. “I’ve a craft enterprise – it isn’t a variety of effort and it’s one thing I get pleasure from doing.”

Check out diploma apprenticeships
Diploma apprenticeships, which Ucas is including to the appliance course of from 2024, are an effective way to earn a wage, enabling you to spend most of your time working at an organization whereas additionally finding out for a qualification. Many even have the choice to do a top-up qualification to get a full diploma. Specialist programs, such because the police constable diploma apprenticeship at Northumbria, are designed with employers to make sure they’re offering the abilities that business is in search of. On the police constable diploma apprenticeship, you’ll practice as a uniformed officer, incomes a wage, and finding out in the direction of a funded diploma.

For plenty of college students, though funds could also be robust for the time being, assistance is on the market if you understand the place to look. So be careful for alternatives to save lots of your self cash and, on the very least, get your time off to begin with a free breakfast.

For extra data go to Northumbria College’s clearing hub

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