How 60% of new students will have a part-time job to boost their income

How 60% of new students will have a part-time job to boost their income

  • 64% of students struggle financially during university, according to research
  • 60% plan to sign up to a part-time job this year, up more than 25% on last year 

Signs are that the next intake of university students are going to be an industrious lot. At their studies? 

Almost certainly, but new research says that 60 per cent of new students are expected to sign up to a part-time job as well.

This figure is up more than a quarter on last year, according to the Save the Student advisory website. 

Most savvy students will pick up part-time bar work or a job in a shop to subsidise their income – working ten or 15 hours to bring in £100 or more a week.

Topping up: Many students will supplement loans with bar jobs

Under new Government regulations – the so-called ‘Plan 5’ agreement – new students can borrow money for tuition fees of £9,250 a year in England.

Students will also have a means-tested maintenance loan for housing and meals of up to £9,978 a year if not living at home and studying outside London.

If living at home, the allowance is £8,400; while away from home but in London it is £13,022. 

The rule for paying back this money is that it is borrowed over a maximum of 40 years with interest on the loan charged at the Retail Prices Index (RPI) rate of inflation – which currently stands at 9 per cent.

After college graduation, 9 per cent of gross salary above £25,000 will automatically be taken from former students to repay the loan. Early repayments can also be made.

Previously, postgraduates had 9 per cent of any salary taken off above £27,295 a year for a maximum of 30 years, paying interest charges of RPI plus 3 per cent. Some students may be able to benefit from trust funds set up by grandparents to help pay off debts from university.

But although these typically cannot be accessed until the age of 21, it can make sense to use funds to pay off student loans to avoid having to pay interest on borrowing for education.

An added incentive is that any extra funds a student can accumulate now are ringfenced after graduation.

Research company The Property Marketing Strategists (TPMS) says that 64 per cent of students struggle financially during university – so earning extra money really helps.

Sarah Canning, co-founder of TPMS, says: ‘The number of students working has risen to 61 per cent – a significant rise on the 48 per cent working last year. And we may see even more students taking jobs in the future due to cost-of-living concerns.’

She adds: ‘Among those that work, almost a third are involved in some kind of ‘side hustle’ – such as dog walking, tutoring or selling items on auction website eBay.’

Save the Student points out that most universities recommend not taking on more than ten to 15 hours of work a week – while some will advise against doing any other work on top of studies during term time.

It says: ‘The priority to always consider when taking paid work is to ensure you go to all your classes and take good lecture notes – as this is crucial to your success at university.’

Those looking for work can check out the Save the Student website for part-time job vacancies that can fit around study times, such as becoming an online research panellist – earning £8 an hour.

Students can also get ahead of the game by drawing up a CV in time for the new term.