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Information for parents

This page contains information for parents about supporting your child’s next steps. Many of our students are also parents and we can support you throughout your studies too.

Expectations of student life

Choosing the next steps after school or college can be a confusing time for you and your child. Many parents feel unprepared to advise their children, as maybe they didn’t go to university, or can’t remember how they made their decision, and things are very different now. In this short article we will help to point you in the right direction.

Opportunities for students

When conducting your research, make sure you take a close look at the ‘value added’ elements: work experience, internships, soft skills development, accreditations, and work-related opportunities that are embedded in the course description. Additionally, research the provider’s Careers and Student Support services pages on their website and investigate the opportunities that are available outside of the curriculum. Have a look at their alumni – where are their graduates now?

Student life

There are many influencing factors when choosing where your child will study, including course, location, student support, student life and often where their friends or family are going – or even went previously.

It is also important to consider what skills, training, and experience your child will acquire whilst studying for their degree. A degree is a great asset, but without real-world, practical skills and training, will your child graduate prepared for the world of work? With fees at over £9,000 per year, you need to feel reassured that your child will be well-prepared to enter the workforce at graduate level.

What to consider

There’s a lot to consider when your child is thinking about studying a degree. You should be aware of the following when looking at higher education providers.

Look at the statistics

DiscoverUni is a website full of useful information about university choices. Run independently by the Office for Students, the website enables you to look at what students say about their course and provider, and also how they have fared in securing employment post-graduation.

Financial aid for students

Studying is not cheap, it’s not only the course fees to consider but also the general living costs. London isn’t a cheap place to live either, but we do provide additional financial support for our students, including a Travel Bursary, free laptops and a Hardship Fund for those who fall on hard times.

Student loans

Most domestic undergraduate students will be eligible to apply for a Student Loan through the Student Loan Company (SLC) via Student Finance England (SFE). You must ensure your child applies for their loan as soon as possible, as it can take up to 6 weeks to get the loan in place.

An online student loan application takes around 30 minutes to complete and students can apply a maintenance loan as well as a loan to cover tuition fees. You must provide all evidence SFE ask for as missing documentation can really slow down the process. This short video is helpful.

Repaying student loans

Student loans aren’t like other loans; they are not based on you or your child’s current ability to pay, but on what they will earn when they graduate. Nothing is payable until earnings are over £25,725 per year, and then they are payable at 9% per year of anything over that £25,725 threshold.

Applying for scholarships

Scholarships, bursaries, and grants are all forms of financial awards that are given to support students and are not expected to be repaid.

These awards are varied and are given for many different reasons, not only for academic excellence. Here at Bloomsbury Institute, we provide travel bursaries, which are awarded to all domestic loan students giving them unlimited free travel in London’s travel zones 1 – 6. Other organisations may give awards for sporting or performance excellence, or they may have charitable scholarships available.

This site offers a database of scholarships and surprisingly many are not over-subscribed- some struggle to award at all.

Part-time work whilst studying

Most providers will have a Careers Department, which will not only provide support in long-term career goals but also in acquiring part-time work whilst studying. They may also provide flexible work opportunities within their own Ambassador scheme. This usually involves supporting new applicants at Open events or supporting the organisational at external events. This can not only provide an income source, but also an opportunity to get to know other likeminded students, and be part of a tribe which helps your child settle in.

At Bloomsbury, we ensure that classes only take place three days per week; this enables our students to support their studies and gain experience through part-time work.

Practical preparation

Most young people have never had to think about practical ‘living’ skills. Consider how well your child has mastered these key skills.

Managing their own finance

Students receive their maintenance loan in 3 instalments, usually at the beginning of each term. Encourage your child to budget effectively. Each term they should detail their various income sources i.e., loans, money from parents, part-time work, and savings, and then list all their outgoings. They can set up ‘bills’ accounts and then divide the rest into general living expenses. Many newer banks have made this much easier such as Monzo and Starling, but there are also apps that can help you track your finances such as Money Lover, Cleo, and also HyperJar.

Looking after themselves

Do they know how to cook? How to shop effectively and avoid waste? Do they know how to do their own laundry without making everything look the same colour? Make sure they have the skills for taking care of their own healthcare – register at a Doctor/Dentist. Ensure that any repeat prescription is re-directed through their new doctor and speak to them about the importance of mental well-being and physical fitness. This can be so important when dealing with the stress of beginning a new life.

Practical logistics

Help them to identify a place that is safe and secure to keep all their important documentation, such as NI number, passport, banking, household insurance, NHS number, etc.

Want to talk to someone?

Do you have a question for us? Talk to our application experts, you can also ask our Student Ambassadors about life at Bloomsbury Institute.

We’re here Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm (except bank holidays).