Is Being a Student at University Value for Money?

Tuition fees trebled to £9,000 a year last September which has put a lot of people off university. Compared to 2010, the number of working class boys on higher education case fell in 2012 by 1.4 per cent; working class girls’ places actually rose 0.9 per cent according to the Independent Commission on Fees.

Graduation Caps

To add to the financial woes, 64 out of 122 institutions place to raise their fees by up to £900 this year say the Government’s Office for Fair Access. This will have many prospective students considering more than ever: is it actually worth it to go to university?

A degree increases your pay grade going into a job – initial salaries for graduate-type jobs increased by 11 per cent between 2005 and 2010 from £19,423 to £21,574 after adjustment for inflation, according to an analysis for the Complete University Guide. In London, the average graduate salary is around £25,000 a year.

However, this same report noted that the gap between non-graduate and graduate earning potential had fallen significantly during this time.

A Warwick University survey found that students who graduated in 2006 earned 22 per cent relatively to students who had earned a degree there a decade earlier.

Still, 96 per cent of those asked said they would do another degree if they had the chance, suggesting that students aren’t completely losing faith.

The report says that graduates still have a significant earnings advantage and pay rises will be more – this means that, over the course of a lifetime, you’ll still be better off than those without a degree.

So, as long as you work hard and achieve a respectable grade on your chosen course, it seems that university is still a worthy endeavour for most people. There’s all the life experience it offers too – something that money can’t buy.

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Jenny Marsh

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