Student Debt Tops List of Parental Concerns
Monday, 23 July 2012
Parents worry more about university fees and student debt than traditional problems like drugs and teenage pregnancy, according to a new survey.
In the survey by ParentAdviser.co.uk, debt as a direct result of soaring university fees is a major concern as the average cost of a degree is set to soar to an all-time high.
Out of all of the participants taking part, 72 per cent estimate that it will cost £20,000 to put a child through higher education. According to these statistics, it will cost a family of four £40,000 send their two children to college or university.
However, parents still worry that their child will follow the wrong path and become involved with drugs. Over a third of mums and dads worry that illegal substances will impact on their impressionable teenager, but only 3 per cent voiced concerns that their child could fall foul of teenage pregnancy.
The ParentAdviser.co.uk website targeted parents and prospective parents throughout the UK who were interviewed as part of the survey.
Although many people will continue to consult individual university websites, an overwhelming majority of applicants said it would be helpful to have all necessary information about data league tables, information about funding and applications in one easy to access place, like ParentAdviser.co.uk.
Dad-of-one Jim Alexander, 55, said: "The cost of university fees is spiralling out of control. Every parent wants the best for their child, to go on and study at a high level and have a long, successful career. The chances of success are not always measured by grades and education but I want to equip my son with a well-rounded skillset to be the best he can possibly be.
"If I had another child, I'm not sure if I would have been able to afford sending them to University through working and saving. I may have been forced to re-mortgage my house to help them achieve further qualifications.
"As the cost of higher education is so expensive, I think it is very important to be able to have a one-stop-shop to gather all of the relevant information to arm me in the decision making process."
ParentAdviser.co.uk director Andy Marriott, said: "The survey results highlight the worries of parents and the financial strains they will need to face head-on simply because they opt to send their child to University.
"As a parent myself, I know how important it is to have a range of careers guidance and advice at your fingertips, especially for parents who may not have been involved with the education system for some time."
The website's expert advice and concise format has drawn praise from a number of schools and colleges with many making it part of their recommended reading list to parents.
Marriott added: "With the increase in tuition fees and subsequent reports of reductions in University applications, parents naturally have growing concerns for their child's future.
"We have been able to cut through the misconceptions in order to give clear and simple advice delivered in one place to parents so that they can help their children to make an informed choice."
The site also contains a forum that offers parents the opportunity to share their thoughts and views on a range of topics from sandwich courses to work experience, to the difference between a BSc and a BA degree.
Mr Marriott said: "We are passionate about giving parents all the key information as they help their children make the right course choices whilst balancing career versus interest-led ambitions."