How to Get a Degree Without Breaking the Bank

According to statistics, England is now one of the most expensive countries to study for a degree, making it unsurprising that some people are thinking about the value of a degree before they enrol.

With England ranked as one of the most expensive countries to get a university education, enrolling on a degree there is a big decision, with many students graduating with thousands of pounds worth of debt.

So, does anyone who wants a degree need to grin and bear it, or is there anything you can do to reduce the cost of a university degree?

1. Look for scholarships and bursaries

Some universities offer the opportunity to receive financial support from the institution themselves. If you're particularly gifted in your area, you could search scholarships, commonly offered to particularly talented students. Alternatively, there are universities who offer bursaries to students based on their personal circumstances, for example family income.

Family holding piggy bank on table

2. Consider studying online

Another option would be to consider studying in a non-traditional setting. Distance Learning degrees often work out considerably cheaper than those heavily revolving around on-campus classes.

While an undergraduate degree at most universities can set you back £9,000 or more each year, studying with Arden will cost less than £14,000 for the whole course when you opt for Distance Learning.

For those who prefer the thought of a more structured university life, Blended Learning gives you the chance to study a degree by attending classes two days a week and combining this with independent, online learning. An undergraduate blended learning programme at Arden currently costs just over £23,000, making it more affordable than traditional universities charging £9,250 each year.

Distance and Blended Learning students are eligible to apply for a tuition fee loan.

3. Look for employers that will sponsor your studies

If you have a career in mind, you could be lucky enough to study for a degree without paying the fees yourself. By sponsoring students, employers end up with a graduate who is highly-trained and knows their company in-depth.

Similarly, there are degree apprenticeships, where apprentices split their time between university study and the workplace. Those undertaking a degree apprenticeship are employed throughout – gaining their qualification at the expense of their employer while earning a wage at the same time. 

4. Avoid accommodation and maintenance costs

Many students take out maintenance loans to cover their living costs at university, in addition to the tuition fee loan. While many people want to live away from home to get the real ‘student experience’, you can consider staying at home if you're serious about cutting costs.

If you’re lucky enough to live near a university that offers what you want to study, or perhaps have relatives close to one that does, then avoiding accommodation costs is a great way to cut down on the amount of money you need to borrow.