The Looming Financial Gap

Wednesday 19th July § Leave a comment

I’ve been looking over the figures and it isn’t good. Unfortunately for me, Dad earned proper money grinding his soul away on the Dr Who mill last year, which puts me out of the reach of any bursaries. On the upside I predict a return to previous form this year, in which case I could expect close to the full whack next year.

The grisly details of the numbers are mind numbingly dull, but the result is that no matter how conservative my estimates I was constantly coming up with a 700 pound shortfall (without costing in any alcohol at all!) until Dad showed me some figures in the papers. At first I thought the paper was just wrong but some further research revealed the cause of the discrepancies.

Due to a quirk of regional politics the tuition fees in Wales are almost a third of those charged in England. Apparently this coincides with a limit to the maximum Maintenance Loan of £3305 compared with a limit of £4045 across the border (£6,170 in London). That’s eleven hundred pounds a year less to live on compared with my co-students who are entitled to a full third extra. Mystery solved. Poor me.

Add to that a yearly loan of £3000 for tuition fees which disappears straight into the Uni’s coffers and I’m still on target to accrue a massive debt. According to the RIBA website the average debt of an architecture student after seven years of university is £57,000 which is hard to put into perspective for a 19 year old with -11 pounds in the bank. It’s close to a third of the price of my parents house. Eeek.

Even after that the prospects are pretty bleak. The graph below was created by the NUS’s Wage Predictor which projects the future earning pattern of the average architect (in blue) against the average graduate’s salary (purple) and the average earnings of a non-graduate (sickly green).

Wage Graph

The only possible source for hope is that all student debts will be annulled after 25 years.


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