Students’ opinions on Student Finance and the cost of University

Early 2018, VPI conducted some vox pops video research as well as a paper survey, gathering info from students surrounding their thoughts towards banks and the financial side to studying.

To see how these students’ attitudes towards university, banking and the cost of studying changed throughout their studies; we interviewed school leavers, current students and graduates. Comparing the responses from each group threw up some interesting and even shocking insights. For example,

Only 6% of graduates felt their degree was good value for money.

This is a sad statistic when over two-thirds of the school-leavers we interviewed were optimistic that their future degree would be a good value for money.

Originally, we produced 3 separate video edits from the research project, which summarised the responses from each demographic. Following on from this, we have now produced an additional 5 videos from the footage, to address the 5 key themes below.

Student Bank Accounts

Students’ knowledge of their debt

Students’ attitudes towards getting into debt

Is University worth the cost?

How students fund their time at University

Key Insights

  • None of the age groups knew much at all regarding interest that they will be/are being charged on their loans. School leavers were most clued-up on this, but 70% still didn’t know.
  • 56% of post-university respondents didn’t know who they were borrowing money from.
  • All pre-university respondents said going to uni would affect their spending, whilst none of this group had any idea of how to take out a student bank account.
  • 94% of post-uni respondents are with the same bank since graduating and over half of all respondents expressed that they thought uni would be/is/was worth it.
  • Over two thirds of school leavers thought university would be good value for money, but only 6% of graduates felt so retrospectively.
  • 23% of current students aren’t sure if university is actually worth the cost, with 57% feeling university is bad value for money.

Summary of findings

A surprising majority across all of the 3 groups had little knowledge of the full ins and outs of their student finance. However, all 3 groups remained very loyal to their banks. This presents a potential opportunity for banks, which, by nurturing students through their university years, have a good chance of developing a relationship with students as long term customers.

In regards to university itself, as respondents progressed from pre, to current, to post-university, students seemed to develop the feeling that university was bad value for money. Despite that, the majority of all 3 groups said they thought university was worth it – perhaps this just goes to show how highly students value the life experience gained in the process. Either way, it would seem universities may need to do more to convince their students that their money is spent wisely.

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