Students Are Now Leaving University £53,000 In Debt. So Is It Really Worth Going?

16 August 2012 by

Yet with new statistics showing the average student leaves with debts of £53,000, is getting that all-important place really a cause for celebration?

After all, it’s an absolutely terrifying amount of cash… nearly twice the average annual income (assuming you can get a job after graduating) and one that will basically take YEARS to pay off. Imagine seeing that balance of debt every time you go to the cashpoint…

Despite promises by the government that it won’t have to be paid back until you’re earning £21,000 - and whatever’s left after 30 years will wiped clean - it’s a terrifyingly hefty burden to lug into the real world.

Forget getting on the property ladder after graduating. Even contemplating buying that bottle of wine, new shoes or hair cut will be a trauma if you know you’ve got that much debt hanging round your neck.

So is it even worth going to University? Or is it better just to skip it and go straight into the job market?

Obviously there are positives to further education. You meet friends for life, get to move away from home and get your first proper taste of independence. For some people, University is a crucial stepping stone on the way to being a real grown-up, a sort of halfway house between Mum and Dad and the big wide world.

But would YOU pay £53,000 for the privilege? It’s not even as if University guarantees you the job of your dreams. Recent figures revealed one fifth of new graduates are now unemployed, and of those that have found work, many are in low-skilled jobs.

With the recession bigger and scarier than ever, with no end in sight, it might be time to question whether a degree and three years of partying is the best ammunition to get a foot on the career ladder.

And with university applications down 8.7%, it seems many of you out there are starting to agree…

By Jess Commons


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Georgina Gerrard-Cook (Thu Aug 16 15:46:14 BST 2012): Its a difficult decision to make, especially for 18 year old boys and girls. I agree there is no guarentee for a job when you finish university which has been worrying me... but trying to get a job without a degree can be difficult as well. I have been looking at a lot of internships in gallerys thinking is this the route I should take instead of studying my fine art degree. I just don't know?
Kirsty Lunn (Thu Aug 16 17:12:52 BST 2012): I often feel that when reading these type of articles they are aimed at people whose ideal career might not require a degree. Have you forgotten about those of us who want to become doctors or lawyers? Nurses or teachers? A university degree isn't optional for everyone and it seems as though a lot of us forget how seriously some students treat their time at university and appreciate their studies, rather than viewing uni as "a sort of halfway house" to spend precious time and money.
Giorgia Martinucci (Thu Aug 16 17:17:13 BST 2012): Looking back, I believe that the best solution for many would be to do a gap year and take advantage of this time to identify what interests you, what are your passions. Often at 18 one doesn't really know these things, having followed school rules and studied only for grades. Then enroll part-time and get an internship at the same time. Try to do as many internships as possible and try to earn the more experience you can in all the fields you're interested in. Maybe interning can lead to a job while studying, so you can pay right away your tuition fees. At the end of your degree you'll be employable because of both your experience and qualifications. This, of course, is an advice valid for all professions that don't require a specific qualification, such as medicine, nursing, engineering and similar.
Maddison Bertola (Thu Aug 16 21:58:27 BST 2012): Is it worth it? Depending on what qualifications you need to be able to have the job you aspire to.. Yes some qualifications are highly required, for jobs such as Doctors and Teachers; but is it worth it if you aren't a 100% guaranteed a job? Especially with jobs more scarce and competition rising in all areas. Everyone now wants to be the top of the top, and wont settle for simple life jobs that need requiring in society, like postmen and dustbin men. It isn't unjust that people want to aspire to be the best, but it comes with a price and hard work. If people want to go to university and they need weigh up the cost and think how worth it will be in the end, everything will become worth it, if they put in the work and dedication, and make sure themselves that at the end of the course they did everything they needed to, to achieve a position in the career they desire. You aren't going get what you want unless you work hard, and our younger generation are becoming pretty lazy and impatient, I'm definitely not perfect, I'm a really good example of this really, should get my butt in gear!