Two thirds of parents expect to spend over £17,000 to support their future student

24 September 2018

  • Parents who believe they will have to support their child through university, expect to spend over of £5,700 annually

  • And two thirds will use this money support accommodation costs and items essential to study

Parents expecting to send their children to university believe it will cost them on average, £17,165 over the length of the average degree course1, the latest Lloyds Bank Spending Power Report has revealed.

Ten years ago, this would have been enough to cover the total cost of tuition fees at every university in the UK, with some change left to spare. Now, two thirds (66%) of parents who anticipate sending their child to university expect to support them financially while at university. On average, these parents think they will have to spend £5,721 annually on their student offspring, which is actually less than one year’s tuition at many institutions today.

Just over one in ten (14%) parents are not anticipating helping their child financially while at university.

What parents are paying for

The amount is potentially as large as it is because parents feel they will have to support on all aspects of university life. Just under two thirds (65%) believe they will have to support with accommodation costs, and a similar number (64%) on items essential for study. Over half (58%) said they anticipate supporting tuition fees and even support their travel to and from their child’s travel to and from their classes (52%). However, just under one in four (23%) are prepared to fork out for luxuries.

For parents earning over £35,000, just over one in four (26%) will be prepared to help with luxuries compared to just 17% of those earning under £35,000. For these lower earners, over two thirds (68%) would spend the extra money on items essential to their child’s study.

Robin Bulloch, Lloyds Bank, said: “The costs associated with going to university can mount up quickly, and often it’s unexpected costs that rack up the bill making it essential to take some time to consider the many expenses that may arise and budget for how these will be afforded.

“Whilst it’s great that some parents are able to support their children through this, students in the coming years should also look at the wide array of bursaries and grants on offer to help support their studies.”

Spending sentiment more broadly

Families more generally are reporting muted confidence in their own finances, preferring to squirrel money away rather than spend. Almost a quarter (23%) think they will have much more or somewhat money in six months’ time, with 78% planning to save this extra income against 37% planning to spend.

The need for families to save the change could be a direct result of continually high living costs. An analysis of Lloyds bank own data has shown that year-on-year change in consumer essential spending rose 3.1% in August. Fuel spend rose sharply year-on-year by 10.4%, and Gas and Electricity spend rose by 6.3%.