How do you pay for student accommodation in the UK? 

Young interracial student couple calculating costs and paperwork using laptop and notebook in living room.

Hey there! Thinking about university and wondering about accommodation costs? We get it, finances can be a bit nerve-wracking, especially with accommodation fees. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back with some helpful info to guide you through. 

Here’s what we’ll cover: 

How Do You Pay for Student Accommodation? 

Wondering how students pay for their accommodation? If you’re in student housing like halls or a private student residence, you’ll usually pay rent separately from tuition fees. The way to pay can be monthly or termly, or even quarterly and you might even snag a discount if you pay for the entire year at once. 

A student on the sofa in the living room examines university accommodation bills

Utilities and extra services like laundry might not be in your accommodation contract, so check that before you sign. Struggling to cover accommodation costs? Chat with your uni’s support services. They’ve got financial support options and can help sort out a payment plan. Remember, paying your rent and bills on time is super important to avoid any hassles. 

Do Parents Pay for University Accommodation? 

Finances are one of the key things to consider when choosing a university and it’s likely you’ll need some help along the way. For many students, parents chip in to pay for their accommodation and living costs. But it totally depends on your family’s situation.

Multiracial parents are sitting together in their cozy home and calculating bills

Some might cover it all – tuition fees, accommodation fees, and even a bit extra for living costs. Others might need you to contribute, maybe through a part-time job or student finance to help. And for some families, it’s all on the student, which could mean tapping into savings, grants, or a repayable loan. 

If you’re a full-time student, wondering about tuition fees and university accommodation costs, it’s all about what works for your family. Open conversations are key to figuring out who pays what. And hey, if you’re flying solo on this, remember there’s loads of financial support available, from student loans (usually paid three times a year) to bursaries you can apply for directly. 

How to Fund University Accommodation? 

When it comes to funding university accommodation, think of it as assembling your own superhero team of financial resources. Here are three key ways to fund uni accommodation: 

  • Student Loans: Super common way to cover both tuition and living costs. 
  • Part-time Work: A great way to earn some extra cash. 
  • Scholarships and Bursaries: Worth looking into for some financial relief. 

Student Loans 

These are the backbone for many students. In the UK, you can apply for a maintenance loan from the government to help cover your living costs, which includes accommodation. The amount you get depends on where you live, your household income, and where you study.

It’s super important to remember that this is a loan – meaning you’ll need to pay it back eventually, but only after you start earning above a certain amount. 

Part-time Work 

Balancing studies with a part-time job can be like walking a tightrope, but it’s a great way to earn extra cash. Whether it’s working in a local cafe, a library, or even on-campus jobs, part-time work can not only help with your finances but also boost your resume. Just make sure it doesn’t put too much pressure on your study time. 

Scholarships and Bursaries 

Think of these as hidden treasures that can sometimes be overlooked. Scholarships and bursaries are funds that you don’t have to pay back. They can be based on various criteria like academic achievements, specific talents, or financial need. It’s worth digging around a bit – check with your university, look up organisations related to your field of study, or even explore community groups and businesses. 

Other Tips: 

  • Saving and Budgeting: Good old saving can go a long way. It might mean cutting back on some luxuries, but having a budget and sticking to it can help you manage your accommodation costs effectively. 
  • Family Support: If possible, family can be a huge support. Even a little help from home can ease the financial pressure. 
  • Government Grants: In certain cases, you might be eligible for non-repayable government grants, which can be a tremendous help. Keep an eye out for these opportunities. 

Remember, each of these options comes with its own set of pros and cons. It’s all about finding the right mix that works for you and your unique situation. And don’t forget, your university’s financial advice service can be a great resource to help you navigate these options. 

Young interracial student couple calculating costs and paperwork using laptop and notebook in living room.

Help with University Accommodation Fees 

Dealing with accommodation fees can sometimes feel like trying to juggle while riding a unicycle, right? But don’t sweat it too much: if you’re moving into university halls this year your university might have a few tricks up its sleeve to help you out. 

Hardship Funds 

Most universities in the UK have something called a ‘hardship fund’. Think of it as a financial safety net for when times get tough. These funds are designed to help students who are facing financial difficulties – especially those who might be struggling to pay for essentials like accommodation. The cool part? It’s not like a loan that you must pay back. If you’re eligible, it’s more like a grant to help you get through a tough spot. 

To apply, you’ll usually need to fill out a form and provide some evidence of your financial situation. This might include bank statements, details of your income and expenses, or information about any unexpected costs you’ve faced. 

Financial Advice Services 

Universities also often have dedicated financial advice services. These are like GPS for your finances, guiding you through the maze of budgeting, student loans, and other money matters. They can help you figure out how to make your money stretch further, advise on managing debts, and sometimes even help you apply for extra funding. 

Student advisor talking with a student in a professional setting sat around a desk

It’s super important to remember that these services are there for you, and there’s absolutely no shame in reaching out. Whether it’s a bit of advice you need or some serious financial support, it’s always, always worth asking. Your uni’s got your back! 

Let’s Talk About Student Accommodation Costs 

You’ve noticed that the cost of living has been on the rise, and yep, it’s affecting student accommodation costs too. In the 2021-2022 academic year, the average maintenance loan was £7,280. But here’s the thing: with inflation doing its thing, these loans are struggling to keep up with the real costs. 

There’s a lot of talk around this, and it’s a super important issue for students applying as an undergraduate so it’s worth looking in more detail.

So, is it getting more expensive? 

Let’s check out the data in a simple table. Basically, it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster. In the beginning, the gap between what students got from maintenance loans and what they actually needed for accommodation was big. But, over the years, this gap has been shrinking. 

Student Accommodation Costs in the UK over the last 5 years

Academic Year Average Maintenance Loan (£) Estimated Average Accommodation Cost (£) Shortfall (£) Change in Shortfall (%) 
2018-2019 6,270 7,644 1,374 N/A 
2019-2020 6,740 7,696 -956 -30.42% 
2020-2021 7,080 7,800 -720 -24.69% 
2021-2022 7,280 8,060 -780 +8.33% 
2022-2023 7,130 7,104 +26 -103.33% 

* Note: The figures in this table were derived using average weekly rents for 2018-2019, 2019-2020, and 2021-2022 (multiplied by 52 weeks), sourced from the House of Commons Library and the Complete University Guide. For 2022-2023, we used the average monthly rent from (multiplied by 12 months). The 2020-2021 estimate was calculated based on the trend of increasing rents. These figures reflect the changing landscape of student finance and the increasing cost of living for students in the UK. The data on student loans was obtained from the UK government’s official statistics page (source: UK comparisons – to academic year 2022/23 – GOV.UK). 

Now, here’s the twist – in the 2022-2023 academic year, the maintenance loan did more than just cover the rent. It left students with a bit of extra cash in their pockets. But hold on, this doesn’t mean you can just relax and forget about budgeting. It’s not just about the rent; you’ve got to think about utilities, food, and those little extras that add up. 

Student on a keyboard and recording equipment sat at desk in accommodation with a city view

Financial Strain and Your Well-being 

Money worries can really weigh on your mind, right? The ONS national student survey study shows that students are feeling this big time, with happiness and overall well-being taking a hit. Many are having to spend less, use savings, or even take on debt. It’s a lot to handle, but remember, it’s okay to seek help and talk about it. 

Planning and Budgeting for Accommodation 

Let’s talk budgeting – it’s your best friend when managing accommodation costs. Make sure to factor in everything: rent, food, utilities, and those little extras. And hey, many universities have tools and advice to help you out with this. We’ll take a more detailed look at budgeting for student accommodation in a separate post and help with some tips and personal experiences.

Navigating accommodation costs at university can be tricky, but with the right info and support, you can totally handle it. Remember, there’s always help available, and planning goes a long way. You’ve got this! 

Helpful questions about paying for student accommodation 

A lot of the questions about undergraduate life are about accommodation and living costs. Here’s a few that might help you find some useful answers.

Q: What is the usual way for students to pay for their accommodation in the UK? 

A: Many students in the UK pay for accommodation using their maintenance loan. The loan is usually paid into your bank account, from which you can set up a direct debit to the accommodation account. 

Q: What does the maintenance loan cover? 

A: The maintenance loan from the UK government is designed to cover the cost of living for students, which includes accommodation costs. This allows students to pay for their accommodation while studying. 

Q: What happens if the maintenance loan isn’t enough to cover the cost of student accommodation? 

A: Some students may find that their maintenance loan isn’t enough to cover the cost of student accommodation. In this case, part-time jobs, and financial support available for students such as scholarships can help make your time at university a little easier. 

Q: When are the payment dates for student accommodation in the UK? 

A: The payment dates for student accommodation often align with the dates that the maintenance loan is paid to students by the UK government. Students should check the specific payment dates on their university website or with their accommodation providers. They are usually required to pay in instalments. 

Q: Are there flexible student accommodation payment options available in the UK? 

A: Yes, many university and private accommodation providers offer a variety of flexible student accommodation options to suit different students’ situations. This can include monthly instalment plans, for example. It’s best to check directly with the accommodation provider for their specific options. 

Q: How can I verify the cost of student accommodation? 

A: The cost of accommodation should be clearly detailed on the university’s or accommodation providers’ website. It’s important to verify this before committing to any contract. Also, students should factor in any additional costs such as utility bills, unless mentioned otherwise. 

Q: Can accommodation costs be included in tuition fees? 

A: Typically, accommodation costs are separate from tuition fees. Students must pay these separately, usually through their maintenance loan or other personal funds. 

Q: What financial support is available for students struggling to pay for accommodation? 

A: There are various types of financial support available for students in the UK who are struggling to pay for their accommodation. This may include bursaries, scholarships, and other university-specific aids. In addition, there are also student discounts available on a range of services which can help reduce costs. 

Q: Is it possible to repay the maintenance loan if I take a part-time job during my studies? 

A: The repayment of the maintenance loan is usually deferred until you have left university and are earning above a certain income threshold. Having a part-time job while studying does not usually affect this arrangement. 

Q: What kind of accommodation comes in the UK for students? 

A: In the UK, student accommodation comes in a variety of forms including university halls of residence, private student halls, shared houses, and in some cases, studios, or flats. The cost and payment method for these can vary so it’s always important to check the terms before making a choice.