Can I Afford to Study?
If you want to do a course, then you might be wondering to your self whether you can actually afford it. It is good to think through a series of steps in order to calculate this accurately and then you will know for sure whether it is the right thing for you to do.
Find out how Much the Course Costs
You will need to start by finding out how much the course will cost. Although there are a few free courses, it is likely that you will need to pay for the course that you have in mind. Make sure that you not only find out how much the course actually costs but also if there are any other costs, such as course materials that you will have to buy, travel costs to get there and any trips or things like that which you may also need to pay for. Add this all up and then you will have a point to start at.
Check for any Grants, Loans etc that you are Entitled it
Next it is worth checking to see whether you are entitled to any grants, bursaries or student loans, even if just for £100 a week to help with the cost of the course. It is well worth asking the course organisers as they may be well aware of what might be available. It is also worth searching online and doing your own research to find out everything you can about funding.
Consider Lost Wages
If you will be studying instead of working, then you will need to factor in the cost of lost wages as well. Of course, if you are studying in your free time then this will not be a problem, but it might be that you have decided to work less hours in order to study and this will of course, have an impact on how much you will earn and this will be an additional cost of the course.
Now you should be in a position to calculate if you can afford to study. Firstly, you have the figure or all the costs Then you know what help you might get and how much you will earn form work if you plan on working as well as studying. Then you will need to think hard about whether you will then have enough money. Consider what you will need to pay for while you are studying. For example, where will you live, will you need to pay rent or mortgage, what will the utilities cost, how will you afford food and things like this. If you are remaining in the home you are in, then you will easily know your costs and be able to work it out. If you are moving elsewhere, then you may have to estimate. It is well worth over estimating costs, if you are not quite sure what they will be, as you will then be completely sure that you are checking that you will have enough money.
If you figure out that you will not be able to afford then do not give up. There may be other options. You might be able to study part-time and work part-time. You might be able to delay studying and save up money until you can afford it. You might be able to find somewhere to live that will be cheaper so that you can go ahead. It is good to have a think through all of the options. Even if you can afford it, it can always be worth thinking about whether there are alternative things that you can try which will help make it more affordable.