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Last Updated: Monday, 22 September, 2003, 15:37 GMT 16:37 UK
Savings gap for college parents
Students
Students are leaving with more debts than ever before
Parents are failing to save for their children's university courses, says a survey.

And they are underestimating how much a three years degree course is likely to cost.

Money problems also mean that students are taking term-time jobs, with another survey saying that more than half students are now working.

This is affecting their studies, as over 40% say they have missed lectures because of their jobs.

With students returning for the new university year, a survey suggests that many parents are failing to prepare for the financial pressures ahead.

The survey, from the Abbey National bank, found a third of parents are not yet saving for university costs - which the bank says is now going to be about 22,500.

Unprepared

This figure could be bad news for many parents - as the bank's survey says that a third of families are under the impression that they will only have to pay less than 10,000, with another quarter expecting to pay less than 20,000.

Only a tenth of parents are aware that the full cost is likely to be in excess of 20,000.

These figures apply to students now starting university - and the financial outlook is even tougher for those with young children - with forecasts that by 2020 university expenses will have reached 34,000.

In another survey, from NatWest bank, it appears that the number of students with part-time jobs is increasing - with 53% reporting that they are working, up from 48% last year.

This increase in work reflects the deepening levels of debt - up to an average of over 8,000, with more than a quarter of students owing more than 10,000.

Without working, three-quarters of students say they could not be able to financially survive through university, although 43% said that they had missed lectures because of their jobs.

And the survey found that six out of ten students believed that the current tuition fees system is not fair.




SEE ALSO:
Fees worry parents - and ministers
13 Sep 03  |  Education
University fees 'equal two beers'
04 Sep 03  |  Education
Graduates 'facing huge debts'
13 Aug 03  |  Business



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