There are many factors which must be considered when choosing a university. One of the most important, yet one which is often overlooked, is the cost of living. Students need to know that they will be able to afford to live and study comfortably each term but this can be challenging with a student loan and limited earning potential.
A good example is looking at two very popular places for students – London and Manchester.
Many people come to study in London and it is easy to see why. In addition to a number of reputable places to study, the capital is also one of the most desirable places to live in the entire world and a great place for students because of its diversity, culture, nightlife and vibrancy. There are also excellent job opportunities here which is another aspect that needs to be considered. Of course, London is also somewhere that is notoriously expensive which can make it a challenge for students.
Rent is the major expense that needs to be considered and this can be hugely expensive in London. A one-bedroom apartment in the centre of London can be as much as £2,300 which will be unaffordable with just a student loan, but most students do the more affordable thing of living outside the centre and in a house-share. A three-bedroom apartment outside the centre works out to around £650 a month which is more affordable but still expensive, especially when you factor in bills.
Food is another cost to calculate but it is important to remember that there are always ways to make this more affordable and it depends where you shop and eat. The cost of basic groceries is slightly more expensive than other areas but still affordable if you are sensible. Transport, meanwhile, is essential in the capital but a monthly pass will cost you £150.
Manchester is another popular place with students because of the excellent university and the cultural city, plus it is also known to be more affordable than cities in the south.
You could get a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre for as low as £650 or as much as £900, so it is certainly more affordable than London especially if you share with a few other people. No matter where you are, it is always a good idea to arrange tenants contents insurance to provide financial protection for your possessions.
The average cost of a meal in a restaurant is £12 which is slightly cheaper than London but, as mentioned, you can always find ways to make the cost of food more affordable simply by shopping and eating sensibly. Transport, meanwhile, is much cheaper with a monthly pass costing £64 (keep in mind that London is much larger).
As you can see, the cost of living in Manchester is much lower so it is easy to see why so many students flock here. London, meanwhile, is expensive but it will always appeal to students as such a great city and there are ways that it can be made more affordable provided that you are sensible with money.