Rising uni costs making potential students look hard at choices

If you’re planning to go to university or take on other studies when you leave school, you will need to get your head around just what this plan may cost. You may be unpleasantly surprised.

A recent article on the Stuff website talks about the impact that costs are having on tertiary study, linking the declining number of students to the rising costs of study. The cost of living as a student is becoming less and less achievable, student leaders say, meaning students without extra support are missing out.

 NZUSA – living cost allowances not keeping up

In the article (linked to below) the New Zealand Union of Students' Associations (NZUSA) tells how student allowances and loans for living costs are failing to keep up with the rising cost of living. The result, they say, is a drop in both tertiary student numbers and the number of students completing their courses. There is a widening gap opening at universities between the haves and the have-nots the NZUSA says.

READ: High cost of living forcing students out (Stuff) 

WATCH: a group of Massey students discussing the costs of university

 The government boosted the accommodation allowance for a portion of students by $20 in this year’s budget, and accommodation supplements are also available. However with average rent costs in Auckland running at $250/room and Wellington at $218, the NZUSA head does not think this will fix much.

 A NZUSA student survey earlier this year revealed many students still rely on money from parents to get by, on top of working during semesters and holidays.

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Lowest course fees set at $6,000

And you may need to work an extra week or two over the summer now that the universities seem to have all upped their course fees for next year by the maximum 2% allowed by the Ministry for Education. This means the cheapest course at Auckland and AUT will be exactly $6,000, while Massey, Otago and Victoria have set their lowest cost degree courses fractionally below the $6,000 mark.

International student fees will jump by over 4 at Auckland to help balance the books, but it is likely that student support and administrative services will also need to be cut university bosses say.

READ: Cheapest university fees hit $6000 a year

This course cost climb looks like it will do nothing to encourage more students to consider university, and with an economy that is producing jobs, some institutions may find their numbers continue to fall while their fees continue to rise. Perhaps only the new Labour-led government’s commitment to (initially) one free year of tertiary study will see their numbers stay the same or climb in 2018.

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Scholarships and Grants may help get you started

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