As Young Academic has today learnt, more than half of the students studying in the United Kingdom do not put money aside for their all important textbooks and other literature. A recent survey conducted by National Book Tokens showed that 56% of new students did not list books as an essential expenditure. Read on to find out more about this intriguing education news story…
Of the students that did in fact have a books budget, 30% spent all or part of it on other living costs and food instead of books. 40% ended up spending too mucg whilst the other 38% of all students said they had to turn to their parents or another form of finance in order to get the books they needed for their course.
With the well reported rises in tuition fees set to kick in very soon, these statistics looks set to get even worse for the average student. Again, more than half of the students entering their second year predict that they will need at least the same financial support from their family but probably more.
“We understand that books are often not top of a student’s shopping list – with accommodation and general living costs taking priority. But, while budgeting can be hard at university or college, course books are a critical resource for successful students and can cost between £100 and £200 a year,” said Jenny Sheils from National Book Tokens.
One scheme that help in the The Student Book Card. This launched last year and is an innovative product that comprises of two connected gift cards. One of these is kept by parents meaning they can top-up value throughout the year. The other is kept by the individual student and can be used when necessary.
“The Student Book Card is a great way for parents to help students budget for books throughout the year and gives peace of mind that this essential expenditure is taken care of.” Jenny Shiels continued.
Student Book Cards can only be used for books and are on sale in various bookshops across the UK. This eliminates the chance of funds being accidentally used on beer or mp3’s!
Read on to hear what some existing students think of The Student Book Card…
“The Student Book Card has helped me massively because my money for books is all on one card and you don’t spend it on anything else. It was given to me as a present from my granddad because he knows what I’m like with my money. If there’s cash in my wallet, I’ll spend it quite quickly on food or on going out.” Harry Taylor – Law Student.
“My priorities are bills, food, clothing, and of course educational costs like books. I probably would have been tempted to spend my book budget on other things if I didn’t have the Student Book Card…. It’s a good thing to help with your budget management.” James Waslin – IT Student.
Some other intriguing findings of the survey revealed that:
- Students chose traditional paper-back books over e-books
In news that delights Young Academic, as purveryors of the traditional written word, an overwhelming majority of students still buy traditional paper-back books. This surely dispells the myth that digital books are dominating the market for the younger generation.
- Medical students spend most on books
Medicine is one the most expensive courses to study at university by far. The survey showed that 40% of students studying medicine spent in excess of £200 on textbooks.
- Over half of first year students will need more financial support from family next year
As touched on, more than half of first year students anticipate getting at least as much, or more, financial help from parents and family next year to fund the cost of essential course books. The research shows that 63% of students used their student loan to buy course books, meaning over a third sourced funds from elsewhere.