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Student debt reality is double expected

10 August 2006
According to the findings of the Association of Investment Trust Companies (AITC), parents' expectation of the amount of debt their children will leave university with is only just over half the true reality.

Respondents to the AITC survey said they expected their children's total debt upon graduation to be £7,080 on average; however, the actual mean student debt is almost double this amount (£13,500).

Financial anxiety among both parents of university students and the graduates themselves ranks high on a list of concerns, with 55 per cent of 16 to 19 year olds and 45 per cent of parents citing debt as the single greatest worry.

Annabel Brodie-Smith, noting that many students would be receiving their A-level results soon and preparing to head off to university, commented:

"It's concerning that so few would-be students and their families really comprehend the financial implications of going to university.

"Many young people go to university to enjoy some of the best years of their life but on graduation will find themselves struggling to repay their debt."

Ms Brodie-Smith advised parents of younger children to begin making small monthly contributions to a savings account or other investment, which could make the difference when it comes to financing their offspring's higher education.

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