Top 5 tips for funding your own Tradesman’s degree

BSc for Tradesmen and women

BSc for Tradesmen and women

For those who wish to become a professional tradesman such as a surveyor or qualified electrician the following article will offer a few tips on how to gain access to some of the funding you will require to get the education you need, thus turning your DIY skills into a full time professional way to make a living.

This might seem rather odd to young people just starting a degree course, but once upon a time the government used to pay course fees and give students a maintenance grant. Yes, students were once paid to go to university.

Nowadays you’re on your own. You have to pay course fees and of course do things like eat and sleep somewhere warm.
If you are committed to extending your learning and want to experience university life there are ways in which you can fund your own degree (assuming you don’t have millions in the bank, or wealthy parents who are willing to fund you through the next three or four years).

Here are our top five suggestions for doing so:

1. Get a loan. Obvious, but that’s the option that is most attractive to students who simply cannot raise the thousands of pounds needed to pay for their course and living costs. There is a limit on how much you can borrow per year, and you need to apply very early (before you get a place at university, even). Loans are dealt with by the Student Loan Company and you don’t have to repay the loan until after you are earning a certain amount (though note that interest is added to your loan regardless of how little you earn: so the longer you take to pay it off, the more you’ll end up repaying).

2. Apply for help. You can get: Help with tuition fees from your Local Education Authority; hardship loans from the university,
a Childcare Grant if you have children grants if you are a lone parent, have adult dependents, or have a disability.

3. Get a bursary. If you: Are the first in your family to access higher education; Come from a low-income family and live or study in an ‘Excellence in Cities’ area you might be able to apply for an ‘Opportunity Bursary’.

4. Get a job. Many courses only have 20 hours of lectures/tutorials. Most students will have evenings and weekends free. Get a job as a waitress/waiter or bar person, shop assistant or whatever you can find. There are plenty of jobs around offering unsocial hours such as evenings and weekends – perfect for students (it also gives you less time to spend your money). A job will also give key skills that employers will look for: timekeeping, organisation, social and communication skills and multi-tasking.

5. Sell your stuff. Unless you own a Formula 1 car you’re thinking of getting rid of, selling your belongings is unlikely to pay for your course fees. But selling a few items you don’t use anymore or don’t need to use can bring in some much-needed cash for day-to-day expenses and living costs. For example, you could sell your laptop and maybe get ‘‘ money for mac. Use the university’s computers for your work. Put an add on your student union board (e.g. “I want to and give a price, then add your number to the bottom of the paper a few times so that potential buyers can tear off your number to call you later). Holding a garage sale to sell off old books and clothes you don’t need any more might be a good idea as well.

Do what you need to in order to pay for your fees and take care of yourself. Cut back on unnecessary expenses, but don’t miss out altogether on university life: after all, if all you want to do is study, you could do an open degree course instead. University life is so much more than lectures, so enjoy it and do your best to pay for it using the tips set out above.

Article by Simon Lucas.

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