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Teenagers saving to avoid student debt

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11/08/2008

Youngsters are saving towards higher education from the age of 11 because they have seen older family members struggle with university debts, according to The Children’s Mutual.

And with news that 42% of this year’s undergraduates plan to work part-time in a bid to afford higher education and 78% of parents saying they think that the credit crunch will make it harder for them to fund their children through university, The Children’s Mutual is urging the nation to change the way it thinks about funding higher education.

David White, chief executive of The Children’s Mutual, said: “It is becoming increasingly apparent that we need a sea change in the way that many parents and their children fund university. For those approaching higher education in the next few years the Government has a clear student finance package in place but for parents of younger children, one way to stave off the financial nightmares of the current university generation could be to start saving now.”

A reversal of the traditional parent-child roles uncovered by The Children’s Mutual reveals that many young people show a better awareness of the need for financial planning than their parents. While nearly a third of youngsters aged 11 to 18 are putting money aside for higher education, a third of parents realised they are not saving enough for their children’s futures.

White added: “It is great to see that today’s teenagers are aware of the costs involved with going to university and are taking steps independently to try and avoid the high levels of debt that are now common amongst graduates. But the average cost of three years at university now sits at £40,400 – a huge amount of money for any teenager to find.”

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