Finance and budgeting
A guide for parents and carers

Student finance is a big topic for everyone. It helps that we are based in one of the cheapest UK cities to live in, and student accommodation is only ten minutes walk from the Abertay campus and two minutes from the city centre.

You may have questions like how much will student accommodation cost? Can they also get a part-time job (or not)? When should they apply for funding? and so on.

Luckily we have a large Undergraduate funding section with lots of useful information. Plus are many websites out there giving useful funding info, and we have bursaries and scholarships that don't need to be paid back.

So take a look at our Money, Fees and Funding section together, there's lots to absorb.

Once they arrive, our Student Support Team (SEZ) are on hand for financial advice if they need it.

If you haven't covered it already, this is the time to help them learn how to budget and manage their own money before they start university.

It's always good to set up a student bank account so it’s all done before they arrive. It's one less thing to think about in the first few weeks' of the busy first term.

Fees, loans & scholarships

We have a large section devoted to undergraduate fees and funding, see some highlights below.

Abertay Fees

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you depends on factors such as your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. 

Student Loans

Student Finance (SAAS in Scotland) are responsible for providing tuition fee loans and maintenance loans.

This covers what each person is entitled to, online calculators, bandings on individual national finance and lots more.

Where to apply depends on where you are living, not where their chosen university it based. 

Scottish students get their fees paid by the government so that helps too.

The Student Loans Company (SLC) is the UK government organisation that handles the repayment of student loans.


We also have a lot of scholarships available for all kinds of potential students.

For instance, if you live in the UK and outside of Scotland, we have automatic scholarships so you are not disadvantaged by a 4 year degree. Check out our scholarships section for more details.


Obviously it helps that Dundee is one of the cheapest places in the UK to live, but they still need to understand how to budget effectively so their student funds last.

Student loans are paid in a lump sum at the start of each term, and many will not be used to having that amount of money appear in their bank account overnight. The main thing is to help them learn how to manage whatever they get, so they don't overspend and the money covers the full term.

To help, you can start by encouraging them to make a list of essential expenses (such as rent), set against how much they have per month, and take it from there. If you have any systems that you use at home, show them what you do such as meal planning every week when you go to the supermarket and so on. If not, then there are plenty of student budget calculators that can help.

When it comes to areas like food, phone contracts and clothes, the main thing to ask themselves is 'can I buy this cheaper elsewhere?'. With lots of student deals, it's always worth shopping around.

They may ignore you, so thankfully, there are websites to help them (and you). Even if they don’t read them, you can, and then pass on any advice that you think might be useful.

From credit cards to renting, phone contracts to insurance, Martin Lewis 'the Money Saving Expert' has some excellent tips for students. And the student budget planner may be worth bookmarking. The WHICH student guide has banking tips, real students talking about money, and a guide to fees/finance for studying in Scotland.

UCAS also have financial advice, including budgeting and managing their money.

Part-time work: decisions, decisions

Obviously going to university is about getting a degree. But realistically, we all know that money is important too.

Whether they can study and also have a part-time job is really up to them. It’s a grown up decision to make, as they will have to balance study and working for themselves.

Many students work, some even balance a full time job with studying. For some a job is essential so it's a no brainer. For others it's a choice.

Often it's not only about getting the cash they need, it's about gaining other valuable life skills that can really help their CV later on. So long as they can spare the time it's often worth considering.

And don’t forget about Abertay scholarships, there may be something there that can help take the financial pressure off. We also have the Student Welfare fund if things get really tough.

Do parents need to contribute?

We appreciate how incredibly difficult this is - but only you can answer it.

There are many factors to consider. It depends on whether you can afford it, their circumstances, where they are living, whether they can get a student loan, what your current financial situation is like and so on.

Either way it's a good idea to have the 'money conversation' as early as you can. That means you've managed their expectations and everyone knows what to expect. not only has some deals for student discounts, they also have a finance guide for parents

Our support team, SEZ, are also here to help if they run into financial difficulties.

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