77% of students now work to fund studies


New figures show that 77% university students now work to help fund their studies – compared to just 59% last year and 57% in 2013.

The 2015 Student Survey of 4,642 students, conducted by the NUS Insight Team, found that more students than ever before are assuming responsibility for their finances whilst at university. When asked, 63% of respondents said that they have a part-time job, with a third (33%) of students working part-time during term; while 14% of those asked said that they now hold down full-time jobs - either during term-time, holidays or both.

However an increase in the number of students working has not led to a decrease in students’ dependence on other sources of finance, as might be expected. The survey found that while just over half (53%) of students continue to depend on their parents to help them through university, 74% now rely on their student loan as one of their main sources of income (up from 67% last year and just 60% in 2013) and almost half (46%) of students use their overdraft to help make ends meet.

The survey also revealed that the majority of students are working to help pay for accommodation, food and household bills (57%) as well as to earn extra cash for socialising (56%).

Those working earn an average of £412 a month during term time. Students also identified travel, clothes, books and university equipment to be amongst their biggest outlays – with 56% saying they had found university more expensive than expected. Of all their costs, accommodation was the most frequently underestimated, with 58% of students saying they had found paying rent and bills more expensive than they had expected.

The results however showed that money concerns are not the only reason students are increasingly choosing to seek out employment whilst at university – indeed 87% that developing additional skills and bulking up their CV were both important reasons for getting a job while studying.