The Government will at last tell students in England about the university ‘parental contribution’

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MSE_Emily
MSE_Emily Posts: 182 MSE Staff
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The universities minister for England has agreed to MoneySavingExpert.com founder, Martin Lewis’s, call to be upfront with students that their living loans are reduced – often by £1,000s – due to family income, and parents may need to fill the gap...

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The Government will at last tell students in England about the university ‘parental contribution’ 

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  • MatthewGaskin
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    The article talks about parents having to contribute, but also mentions ‘household contributions’. What are the arrangements when parents are divorced? I’m already paying over 22% of my salary in maintenance towards my children – and half of my salary disappears on rent. There simply isn’t enough left: I’ll be the one without enough to live on if I have to make up student living costs too.
    So do the calculations work on parents’ income, or the total income of the household they live in?


  • MallyGirl
    MallyGirl Posts: 6,665 Senior Ambassador
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    I believe it is the household they live in
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    All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • Pixie5740
    Pixie5740 Posts: 14,515 Forumite
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    The article talks about parents having to contribute, but also mentions ‘household contributions’. What are the arrangements when parents are divorced? I’m already paying over 22% of my salary in maintenance towards my children – and half of my salary disappears on rent. There simply isn’t enough left: I’ll be the one without enough to live on if I have to make up student living costs too.
    So do the calculations work on parents’ income, or the total income of the household they live in?



    Presumably as you are paying maintenance the children don't reside with you so your income will not be taken into account when determining the household income.


    Besides, parental contributions are not mandatory.

  • mad279
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    My daughter is a student and when we did her finances for uni, I had to put down my new partners income. My issue is why? as she are not his child. I am divorced from her dad and now I am having to pay for the short fall in her finance. Is this right?? I work and now having to rely on my partner to pay most of the household bills. 
  • simonhunter87
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    mad279 said:
    My daughter is a student and when we did her finances for uni, I had to put down my new partners income. My issue is why? as she are not his child. I am divorced from her dad and now I am having to pay for the short fall in her finance. Is this right?? I work and now having to rely on my partner to pay most of the household bills. 
    If you live with your new partner and your kids live there too and you share things like weekly shopping - generally the government seems to treat you as 1 household for anything income assessed. 
  • simonhunter87
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    MSE_Emily said:
    The universities minister for England has agreed to MoneySavingExpert.com founder, Martin Lewis’s, call to be upfront with students that their living loans are reduced – often by £1,000s – due to family income, and parents may need to fill the gap...

    Read the full story:

    The Government will at last tell students in England about the university ‘parental contribution’ 

    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply.
    This is really important news. But I completely agree with Martin that a student living away from home at 18 shouldn't have their finances decided based on parental income unless they can compel the parents to give them that money. Or at least have the opportunity to show they aren't receiving that assumed amount. 

    An 18 year old having to show 3 years or financially independence would be nearly impossible but many parents wouldn't plan to give their adult children who have moved away £1000s in an allowance. And that should not limit the 18 year old
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 15,020 Forumite
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    The article talks about parents having to contribute, but also mentions ‘household contributions’. What are the arrangements when parents are divorced? I’m already paying over 22% of my salary in maintenance towards my children – and half of my salary disappears on rent. There simply isn’t enough left: I’ll be the one without enough to live on if I have to make up student living costs too.
    So do the calculations work on parents’ income, or the total income of the household they live in?


    Thinking about the logic of the "household where the child lives" that would mean the consideration of your child's other parent plus the income through your maintenance payments.  
    If you are living outside the household but your salary is also considered then some (22%) of your salary would have been double counted.

    They are just my comments "thinking" and applying logic to your concern.  It does not mean the rules work like that.

    On a practical level, if you and your child's other parent were together, then (between you) there would be a change to the way your household finances are structured to support the child to University.  Your child's other parent may suggest that they need you to contribute more.  Just a practical observation.

    As a total aside, if your user name @MatthewGaskin reflects your real name, you may wish to change your user name...
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,917 Forumite
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    I’m just surprised that students and their families aren’t aware of the parental contribution.
    Although the comment in the article that the letter is useful because of  parents not saving up in advance so otherwise being taken by surprise does seem to have an element of horse/stable door/bolt. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • Pixie5740
    Pixie5740 Posts: 14,515 Forumite
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    MSE_Emily said:
    The universities minister for England has agreed to MoneySavingExpert.com founder, Martin Lewis’s, call to be upfront with students that their living loans are reduced – often by £1,000s – due to family income, and parents may need to fill the gap...

    Read the full story:

    The Government will at last tell students in England about the university ‘parental contribution’ 

    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply.
    This is really important news. But I completely agree with Martin that a student living away from home at 18 shouldn't have their finances decided based on parental income unless they can compel the parents to give them that money. Or at least have the opportunity to show they aren't receiving that assumed amount. 

    An 18 year old having to show 3 years or financially independence would be nearly impossible but many parents wouldn't plan to give their adult children who have moved away £1000s in an allowance. And that should not limit the 18 year old
    It is farcical.  My student funding was greatly reduced by my parents' income and I received diddly squat in terms of parental contributions as apparently my parents did not have the money to give.  It miraculously appeared 3 years later for my younger sibling though. ;)
  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,174 Forumite
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    edited 9 November 2021 at 9:37AM
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    elsien said:
    I’m just surprised that students and their families aren’t aware of the parental contribution.
    Although the comment in the article that the letter is useful because of  parents not saving up in advance so otherwise being taken by surprise does seem to have an element of horse/stable door/bolt. 
    My son is 1st generation to go to Uni. I only knew because I've been on here years and years and have read the articles about it. It wasn't covered at either of the sixth forms mine attended (2 different colleges, 2 different courses) and when we did the rounds of the Uni open days for eldest, there was precious little about it there either. I found one reference buried away in a small paragraph in one of their booklets they gave and a vague reference about it in another's true life story of having a child at Uni  That was it. 

    Also even if you have friends/family/colleagues with older kids who have gone/are going to Uni, if they have a lower household income to you with no explanation as to how their child's maintenance is worked out you can get the answer 'they get money to live on' because their child has received sufficient to manage  not understanding yours won't. I've had this said to me before. 


      My son was 17 and at the beginning of yr13 when he even mentioned Uni to us, previously he'd mentioned looking for a job. . When I explained how it worked, he asked how he could afford to go, which is when I said we'd contribute. I know several people whose kids have had to go to local commutable Unis, so they could live at home instead because the parents couldn't afford to top up the loan. 

    Once it becomes more clear then that knowledge will hopefully filter down to younger generations a lot earlier. 
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