Friday, December 19, 2008


Poor souls.

The other day, I had a letter popped through my door with my name on it. ‘Great!’ I thought, as I ripped it open with anticipation. I don’t get letters often (apart from my bank showing me how depressing my finances look), most of the important stuff I get through email, or someone ringing my mobile. So I ripped open the envelope (badly), and saw it was a letter of acceptance from one of the universities I’ve applied to.

I read it carelessly, not expecting anything different from the letter they sent me on UCAS Track. ‘You must get this grade…’ yes, ‘We have upcoming open days…’ ok, ‘…your first year of study will be £3225…’


It suddenly dawned on me that university is absurdly expensive. I mean, where exactly does all this money go? The seats had better be gold plated if I choose to pay for the ‘privilege’ of going to university.

But the funny thing is, the government want to shake off the image of university only being for the middle class, rich white student. They want fifty percent of young people to go to university by 2010, to create some sort of skilled nation. Other European countries have more people applying to university, and the government want to match their numbers. But I think someone failed to tell them that in other countries it's cheaper.

The supposed solution is to get a student loan. It’s what all the advisors tell you with smiling, beaming faces. ‘And you don’t have to pay it back until you’re earning, which is easy, because if you go to university, you’ll earn more than people who don’t’ is what some girl from Essex university said (it’s funny, she studied linguistics, even though she ‘didn’t really know what it was about’). I love the way they paint a perfect picture of how easy it is to pay the loan back. Go to uni, get a loan, graduate, get a high paid job, pay the loan back, live the rest of your life. Simple.

However, this ‘perfect’ picture was completely obliterated by the head of my sixth form during one of the slightly more interesting PSHE lessons. After going through how much money you would hypothetically receive as a loan (which sent all of us into frenzied calculating), he told us that he finished paying back his loan last month. A wave of horror swept through the common room like a sharp winter breeze. My head of sixth form is over thirty. Hypothetically, it has taken him nine to thirteen years to pay back his loan (depending on his actual age).

With the average debt rising (it now stands at around £4,500 per year), plus the current recession (I had to start university during a recession), things look to set worse, not better.

Nine to thirteen years?

Looks like I’d better start saving.

Original image taken from here. Sorry.


Urban Articulations said...

Jokes! Don't worry the job your gonna get in Maccy D's will pay for your entire university education. Mine will be a big Mac and fries thanx!

Urban Articulations said...

The above comment was by my sister. She thinks she's funny.