Young Academic Reveal the UK’s Cheapest & Most Expensive Universities

cheapest universities
Young Academic can reveal a brand new University cost comparison tool that gives prospective students and their parents vital knowledge before submitting UCAS applications.

Students looking for a degree course that won’t cost them the earth should set their sights on Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University, according to a new study into the cost of living at the UK’s top universities.

The major study was carried out by online cash payment provider Ukash, in order to make it easier for students to see where money goes the furthest at the UK’s top 20 universities, ahead of the deadline for applications to UCAS (15th January 2014). Ukash, which will shortly launch a prepaid MasterCard® to help students budget and control their spend more effectively, compared the cost of nine key living expenses ranging from a pint of lager and car insurance to tuition fees and rent.

The findings identified Edinburgh Heriot-Watt, Edinburgh and St. Andrews universities as the three cheapest to attend, with students needing to pay £9,587 each year – a whopping £10,000 less than the most expensive universities identified by the study – in addition to cheaper annual gym membership, averaging £96, and free entry into events at the Students Union.

The University of Kent ranked fourth in the cost league table, helped by cheaper and more flexible tuition fees dependent on degree course, while a comparatively low average annual rent (£3,108) at the University of East Anglia landed it in fifth place.

The ten least expensive universities, and their total cost of living over three years, are:

1. Edinburgh Heriot-Watt University £28,761
2. University of Edinburgh £31,210
3. University of St. Andrews £33,603
4. University of Kent £35,344
5. University of East Anglia £41,604
6. University of Birmingham £41,727
7. University of Warwick £41,790
8. University of York £42,793
9. University of Leicester £43,139
10. University of Lancaster £43,938

Students who choose to attend the most expensive top universities, including London School of Economics, University College London and Imperial College London, are likely to fork out more than double the amount being paid by those at the cheapest universities.

London School of Economics (LSE) – which ranked as the most expensive university – has an annual living cost of £19,717, compared to £9,587 at Edinburgh Heriot-Watt. Over their three-year degree course, undergraduates at LSE can expect to spend £59,152 on tuition fees and living costs.

This increased cost of living is due in particular to markedly higher annual rent (£8,710), car insurance (£1,054) and entry into student events (£120) than at all other universities.

Each of the five most expensive universities, also including Cambridge and Oxford, incur annual rent costs of over £5,000, topping £7,000 when located in London.

The ten most expensive universities, and their total cost of living over three years, are:

1. London School of Economics £59,152
2. University College London £53,954
3. Imperial College London £53,822
4. Oxford University £50,540
5. Cambridge University £47,997
6. Exeter £45,291
7. Bath £45,199
8. Durham £44,459
9. Surrey £44,264
10. Loughborough £43,965

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