Staying Home For University May Hinder Grades: According to the National Union of Students (NUS) the costs of ‘living out’ (i.e. not living with parents) currently stand at £12,056 on average, of which £4,834 is rent. The current maximum loan is £5,740, although maintenance grants are available in addition for some students who meet relevant criteria.
Whilst overall figures might suggest that more students are choosing to live at home – indeed, figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa) suggest that last year around 322,000 full-time students lived in their parents’ home, compared to around 278,500 five years ago – the proportion of students living at home has actually remained fairly stable at around 20% in recent years. More students are going to university.
Perhaps most significantly, a study by Futuretrack published in March 2014, suggests that students who lived at home were more likely than those who lived ‘out’ to earn less than £15,000 per year and be in a non-graduate job; they were also less likely to achieve a first-class or upper-second class degree.
According to the Futuretrack study however, this may be a case of correlation without causation. For instance, the report found that some students were more likely to stay at home rather than live ‘out’:
- Students with lower UCAS tariff scores
- Students studying at lower entry tariff institutions
- Students who applied with non-standard prior qualifications, such as access courses, or vocational qualifications
There is perhaps an argument to suggest that students attending universities with a lower entry requirement (and thus potentially less prestigious) or those who had not achieved as well academically before going to university, might not have achieved well post-graduation regardless of whether or not they lived at home or lived away from home.
Kate Purcell, emeritus professor at the University Of Warwick Institute Of Employment Research suggested that because most students who stay at home live more than 30 minutes from their university, they are less likely to engage in extra-curricular activities, which could damage their prospects for employment later. There is, however, some uncertainty over this – they may be involved in activities in their own communities for instance.
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