Would you like to be a student?

So, would you like to be a student?

Yesterday it was announced that University applications have fallen by a reported 9%. This is pretty unsurprising. Applications from mature students has fallen more dramatically. In the age group that I was when I applied last year (25-29), it has fallen by 21%. This figure rises to nearly 28% for applicants who are over 40.

The reason I applied last year is simple. I couldn't afford to apply this year.

When I finish University, I will have student debt of nearly £12,000. This is a lot of money. If I applied to start in 2012, when I finished University, I would have debt of nearly £40,000. So by going this year, I save myself £28,000.

Is it just me, or is that ridiculous?

I fully appreciate that you do not have to pay it back until you reach a certain salary level, and even then, it is at a percentage of what you earn, not a lump sum. But still. When I graduate I will be 32. I will have ten years on most graduates. That means ten years less than them to pay it back. I also have financial commitments. Mortgage, children, husband, car etc. Lumping a huge student debt into this would just be too much.

I am lucky to attend a top ten University. Students starting this September won't be so lucky. They are paying the highest fees. £9000 where I attend. I even feel slightly guilty that students starting this year will be paying £9000 for exactly the same education as me, but I pay £3500 a year, all because I started the year before them.

If I hadn't had the opportunity to apply last year I know that I would not have gone to University. I most certainly would have been priced out of the market. I don't know why mature students would apply now. If it were me, I would be sticking with the Open University.

As for my children, I have already begun saving just in case they decide to go to University too!

Statistics from the UCAS website http://www.ucas.com/about_us/media_enquiries/media_releases/2012/20120130