Home > Case Studies > How I Funded My University Degree: A Case Study

How I Funded My University Degree: A Case Study

By: Louise Tobias BA (hons) - Updated: 15 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Saving Financial Loans Grants University

Saskia, 22, just graduated from the University of Cambridge with an Upper Second Class degree in Social and Political Science. She is now living and working in London as a researcher. Here she talks about how she juggled university course work with a need to get by financially, and discusses her own ways of staying solvent as a student, with plenty of tips for future undergraduates thrown in.

Planning Ahead

"When I found out I had a place at Cambridge, my first thought was, WOW, I was over the moon – and my second was, oh no, I’m going to have to turn this down, there’s no way I can afford it. The reason was, I thought that Cambridge would have so much work that I’d have more difficulty juggling paid work with academic studies. Luckily, I discovered that planning ahead can really help out.

First, I contacted my local education authority and asked about available loans and grants. My family income level meant I was eligible (like everyone) for a full loan to cover my tuition fees, and a partial maintenance grant that is not repayable.

"Next, I contacted my university to find out about any extra sources of funding available. I spoke to the student finance officer who gave me lots of information about all the available bursaries on offer to students who would struggle to otherwise attend uni. Some were very specific - for students of particular subjects, or from one area, but three applied to me and I managed to successfully applied for one of these. This was a very relieving series of events, as it meant I could start uni with a chunk of money to fall back on if necessary.

Banking Details

"I put both the loan money and the grant into a high-interest savings account, and took out only a little into a current account for every day use. I did my banking online, to stay on top of how much I had and how much I owed. That way I could easily control my spending. I also asked for an overdraft on my student current account, not that I intended to use it, but just in case I did do so by mistake or out of necessity, that way I’d avoid paying excess fees.

Working Around Classes

"Just as I’d anticipated, the uni terms were extremely busy. I couldn’t juggle a proper part-time job with regular hours, however I could fit in irregular work. So I helped out local families with babysitting now and then, did dog sitting, and tutored younger kids. It wasn’t a huge money-making scheme but it all helped out.

Holiday Work

"Then, in the long summer holidays away from uni I capitalised on all of my earning potential. Every summer, I managed to get a job temping for big City firms, which was also good for my CV. I spent the holiday months living at home, to cut back on living costs. I saved all my money for use during the uni term, and that was a huge factor in helping me stay afloat financially – and even have a little extra to have some fun!”

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Kipterer
    Re: Grants for Schools
    Iam originally from Kericho in Kenya but reside in Norway. After many years staying in Norway, I thought of helping my community in Kenya. I…
    17 September 2017
  • Geo
    Re: Education With Company Sponsorship
    Iam Zambian studying pharmaceutical science degree .I have managed to reach in 3rd year remaining with one year but i 've…
    16 September 2017
  • Amoh
    Re: Education With Company Sponsorship
    Hae,Am Wanjala Amos,a Kenyan citizen,I did my form four in the year 2015,I did not manage to join any college or…
    14 September 2017
  • Aurea Fredson
    Re: How to Apply for a Student Loan
    Thanks for bringing up this opportunities
    11 September 2017
  • malone
    Re: Education With Company Sponsorship
    Good day. I am a Nigerian. My dream/greatest passion is to study music production. I spend my free time writing songs and…
    10 September 2017
  • mwajo
    Re: Education With Company Sponsorship
    (John Mwape )Am a male aged 21 a single orphan and am looking for a sponsorship I have been selected at Eden University to…
    31 August 2017
  • Ams
    Re: Grants for Schools
    Hi there, I'm from a school in North Aberdeenshire, Scotland and our S5 gold youth achievement award group are planning a trip to Morocco next…
    14 August 2017
  • Tito
    Re: Education With Company Sponsorship
    Iam a Kenyan from a poor family I studied in a day school in our village and I was the first to score a B in the school…
    13 August 2017
  • Rosy
    Re: Education With Company Sponsorship
    Hi am rosy I seek for a sponsor to help to study mba in uk Its the only way i can become a professional I will be grateful…
    13 August 2017
  • Chaplain
    Re: Education With Company Sponsorship
    Hi am erogo isaac, a graduate in accounting and finance. I seek for a sponsor to help me pursue the accounting…
    12 August 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the FundingEducation website. Please read our Disclaimer.