9 myths about the new £9,000 a year fees
Now we're living in the age of £9k uni fees, it's easy to get fooled into believing some of the myths about the new system. We're here to set you straight!
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to support either side of the fees debate but simply dispel a few of the common myths that have been created around the tuition fee increase! We don't want you to miss out on uni for the wrong reasons.
Whatever you may have heard about the new student loan system, either from the media or your friends, it's important to get your facts straight before you make any life changing decisions.
To make sure you know exactly what's what we've teased the fact away from the fiction, leaving you only with the unadulterated truth.
We've also covered this topic in greater detail in our big fat guide to student finance, so make sure to check that out too.
The poor cannot afford to go to university
One of the main objections to the new system was that many people thought it only benefits those coming from wealthier backgrounds. In fact, a large number of people we spoke to said it actually put them off applying altogether.
However, it's important to note here that fees are not paid upfront. As with the current system, Student Finance will deal with your payments.
Universities charging the highest fees (anything over £6,000) will also have to provide figures to the Government proving that they are still taking students from varied social and financial backgrounds.
Further investment into funding will see an increase in scholarships offered to those less financially able, most notably with the National Scholarship Programme.
Finally, there will also be an increase in maintenance grants (which don't have to be paid back) for students who come from a home with less than £42,620 in combined salaries a year.
I will be in debt all my life
The idea that you'll be paying the price of your education for the rest of your life has been knocking around since fees first started, but the 2012 increase has led many to fear they'll have crippling debts forever and ever and ever.
But your student loan will be written off after 30 years, whatever happens. It doesn't matter whether you've paid off £20,000 or £0 at that point, the debt will just disappear.
My loan repayments will be bigger than under the old system
It seems like an obvious assumption that loan repayments will be much more each month after graduating because there is much more to pay back.
However, students will now begin making loan repayments of 9% on earnings that they make above £21,000 a year, rather than under the previous system where is was just over £16,000.
Students under the pre-2012 system will actually pay £540 more a year towards their debt, but of course, this means they will be able to clear it quicker.
You can compare the old repayment system with the new one in our very own student loan repayment calculator, to work out exactly what the hike means to you.
All universities will charge £9,000
As the new system rolled in many thought that every single university known to man would charge £9,000 a year for fees. But, to be blunt, this is simply not true.
Although a large proportion of universities will charge maximum fees, some will not. Even if they do charge the maximum, this should not deter you from applying; many will offer bursaries and scholarships to help with payments.
To check what universities are charging what, check out our handy fees table.
Current students pay the new fees
When speaking to a lot of current students, many were fuming about the fact they would have to pay more. Luckily for them, they won't.
If you've already started uni under the old system, you'll stay on the old system. It is worth pointing out that you will have to pay new fees if you're starting a postgraduate course though.
Student debt will go on my credit file
This myth is a slightly grey area as there are some commentators arguing that the student debt will affect your credit file and others state that it simply won't at all. It can be a massive worry to many students as a bad credit file can affect your whole life.
However, student debt is not viewed by banks as the same as regular debt. It is repaid through income tax and therefore does not affect your credit rating.
Some people suggest you think of it as an ‘education tax' instead. This is a good way to look at your loan rather than panicking about it!
If I study in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, I can avoid the fee increase
Most of us know that if you're from Scotland and chose to study in Scotland you don't have to pay any fees whatsoever. What most of us don't know is how the new fees affect tuition costs across the different countries in the UK differently.
If you are Scottish and study in Scotland it will still be free, however if you are from anywhere else in the UK and choose to study in Scotland you could now be charged up to £9,000/year.
Welsh and Northern Irish students will pay no more than £3,465/year, but once again, if you're from England you'll have to pay £9,000, if you choose to study there.
Postgraduate courses will also charge £9,000
A lot has been said about undergraduate courses and how they will be affected but postgraduate courses tend to get glazed over.
A lot of you will be current students who will be looking to carry out postgraduate courses and may wonder if the tuition fee rise will affect them.
For the moment, this isn't true. Postgraduate courses are not controlled under the same system as undergraduate fees so are not subject to the fee change.
Some universities will charge more than others for postgraduate courses and many do foresee postgraduate fees increasing in the coming years, but for now, there is no change.
It's not worth it because there's no graduate jobs
As you may know, university applications were down a lot last year. A major factor was that with the current graduate job market graduates will be much worse off.
Yet while it's true the job market is tough at the moment, being a graduate will only increase your employability and statistics show there are far less graduates out of work than non-graduates.
Graduates still earn £2,000 more a year than non-graduates, on average.
If you are graduating soon and need to search for all the best jobs or just read some helpful advice then head over to our brand new site, www.savethegraduate.org.