Children heading off to University next month? They could be spending half of their student loan in the first 100 days

Oliver Gill
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Universities Anticipate High Numbers Of Students
Hard at work? Students spend almost twice as much in the pub than on course material (Source: Getty)

Parents whose children are preparing to head off to university may be surprised to hear that students spend an average of £3,304 during the first 100 days of their studies.

Nearly one in five students frittered away their entire student loan during this period and a quarter resorted to borrowing money before the end of the first term according to a survey prepared by HSBC.

Student spending in London was only fifth on the list, slightly above the average £3,461 spent in the first 100 days – Newcastle scholars were top of the class (or bottom, depending on how you look at it) with spending of £3,725.

Read more: Financing students: How to invest in the next generation

The largest costs for students were rent and food, but the survey provided evidence that they were more likely to be found in a public house than in a public library: alcohol and nights out soaked up £626 compared to the £328 spent on course materials.

“The first 100 days of university are a whirlwind of social engagements with endless pressure to mix and mingle, all whilst adjusting to living independently and for many, managing their finances for the first time," said Nuna Syeda of HSBC.

Top five spending student locations

Rank University city Average spend in first 100 days (£) Percentage of student loan spent in first 100 days Percentage who felt overwhelmed at managing own finances
1 Newcastle 3,725 53% 33%
2 Norwich 3,653 45% 31%
3 Brighton 3,621 61% 61%
4 Canterbury 3,501 64% 29%
5 London 3,461 55% 33%

Read more: The world's top universities by reputation revealed

One in three respondents said that they were overwhelmed by the need to manage their own finances and 52 per cent of those said that with the benefit of hindsight they had underestimated how much they would spend.

“There are several learning curves students must overcome, notably keeping their finances under control without running out of money before the first term is over and juggling a new social life.

"Students need to be aware that due to course requirements and setting up in a new home, outgoings may be greater at the start." said Syeda.

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