With A Level results out tomorrow (19 August 2010), the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) annual survey suggests that students starting university can expect debts of almost £25,000 by the time they graduate.
With the government contemplating reducing funding for universities, the financial strain on students is likely to increase and the average student starting university in 2010 is expected to graduate with £24,702 of debt.
A long term debt sentence
Once again this year, students are proving more realistic than their parents when it comes to paying off their university debt with 34% of students predicting they will graduate with over £20,000 of debt compared to 19% of parents.
49% of students estimate that it will take them over 10 years to pay off their debt and 8% believe they could be in debt for over 20 years. With such a debt sentence upon them, some 18% of students said that they would put off or postpone doing postgraduate studies due to the extra debt entailed.
The worry of unemployment
55% of students are worried that they will not be able to find a job on graduation, due to the effects of the recession. With the worry of debt levels on graduation, some 32% of students have said that they would prioritise a higher paid job over their career vocation to help pay off their student debt and, of the 27% of graduates who would consider taking a gap year before university, 11% would do so in order to help their financial situation on graduation and 9% would do so to put less of the strain on family finances.
Parents are still prepared to make financial sacrifices for their children to help them through university. 23% of parents questioned said they would sacrifice their annual holiday, 21% a new car, 13% home improvements or extensions, 13% early retirement and 12% moving to a bigger house.
But is it worth it?
Meanwhile, new research from YouGov reveals that over half (52%) of British adults think that too many young people are studying at university.
Younger generations are more likely to think that more students should be granted a place at university, with only 44% of 18-29 year olds saying that too many people are studying at university compared to 61% of those British adults over 60 years old.
This year, 160,000 school leavers are likely to miss out on a place at university.