Child going to college,money??

devonlass

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So my middle son is going to college to do A levels and a BTEC in september.
Absolutely amazing and so chuffed with him as out of all of my 3 boys he is the least academic,but my nagging to apply himself more seems to have got through to him this last year in school and has made more effort to drag his grades up to a reasonable level.

Don't get me wrong he's no A* student (too scatty and laid back for that bless him),but he should get mostly C's and maybe a B or two which is enough to go on to further education,which he is now really looking forward to having got in the 'student' frame of mind lol.

Now although I am really pleased with his efforts and decision to carry on in education I am getting rather worried about money.
When my eldest son went to college I am sure he got EMA,and I assumed it was still available,although I had heard it had been reformed,but it's been totally done away with in England!! I clearly was not keeping up to date there as I normally do with current affairs etc,but am now a bit concerned as to what students do for money??

I am aware I still get child benefit for him same as I always have,BUT I now need to find bus fare each week for him to get to college so that will take most of that up,then there's books and any equipment etc plus I still have to keep him of course,and I assume when he's at college he will have quite an active social life and need money to go out,phone top up,clothes etc.

He's a really good kid generally and hardly ever asks for money,and is very careful with any he does get.Compared to my eldest one and most other teenagers I know he's very cheap to keep!! I don't want him to miss out though on the next stage of his life and all that goes with it because he has no funds to do anything.

I am aware BTW that the obvious answer is get a job,and any other time I would agree,BUT this is Devon,jobs are scarce (as they are most places at the mo I know),and any that are available are very low paid and often seasonal.We also live in a village a few miles from Town so location and transort is an issue,especially with evening jobs when buses are not frequent.

I know loads of people looking for jobs of all types and all hours,none of them are having any luck,what chance does a 16 yr old no experience with anything have of getting one??

I am also concerned even if he did get a job could he fit it all in and would it be fair to ask him to?? Like I said academia doesn't come easy him and he will be doing either 3 A levels and one BTECH level 3,or 2 of each,will he have time for everything??

So worried about all this.My eldest lad dropped out of college for various reasons (we had a lot of issues with him at one time as some of you will recall,although is doing very well now and has a job he enjoys:smile:),but one reason was lack of money,and that was with EMA,would hate for my middle one to struggle so much it becomes difficult for him to see it through.

Sorry for long winded whining post,just found out about the EMA thing and wondering how the heck will manage.My partner is self employed and has been very effected by this recession,work has been really,really slow.I only work part time and TBH with the job market as it is and the fact that have been in my job a while and is fairly secure,I am reluctant to start looking for a new job at present.

Am thinking this was really not a good time to buy a second horse,even a cheap one:unsure::redface:

How has anyone else managed?? Positive got through it stories would be much appreciated!!

ETA: Meant to mention in case anyone thinks of it that we are not entitled to any help financially in regard to bursaries etc.Already looked into it,even for travel you only get help if your annual household income is less than £16000 per year,that's including everything like child benefit,tax credits etc AFAIK not just employment income.Although we are on a fairly low income,especially at the moment it's not quite that low,and am guessing that really only applies if you're on maximum benefits like income support etc??
 
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laceyfreckle

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May 27, 2007
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I know it's not what you wanted to hear but i would still go with 'getting a job'.

I went to college to do 3 A-levels and there is no way on earth my parents were going to pay for me. They were generous to provide for my 'keep' eg. no rent to pay and fed me. everything else i paid for myself.

There are jobs to be had and tbh a 16yr old looking for a p/t job is more likely to get one then someone older with more skills. For the types of jobs he will be going for employers like students. They are cheaper to pay and you are guaranteed they will need the job for a couple of years and try to keep it but not generally try to get ideas above their station/climb the ladder. Ideal for a lot of employers.

When i was at college we were in the end of a recession too. I worked at various places. Had a paper round til i was 18!, worked at Icelands, Millies Cookies, Tesco, Horse and Groom Pub, a thai restaurant, vision express, office cleaning and doing data inputing. xmas time there is always extra work to be had.

My parents came me the option of staying at college and they would provide my board and lodgings for free and i provide for myself the other stuff OR to go and get a full time job and pay them rent (10% of wage) and pay for myself.

I still had plenty of time to socialise too, i think personally having a job was more important then socialising though. there are a lot of people with f/t low paid jobs that can't afford to socialise!

I know where you are coming from as i imagine it is hard though and the wish to make everything work out positively for your son must be huge too, as it would be for me when my children get to that age.
 

devonlass

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Thanks for the reply,and the positive experience story:smile:

Getting a job is still top of the list for how to manage don't worry,it's the obvious solution despite my concerns about how he will manage his time.The plus side is that he's not a kid that wants or needs lot's of money or stuff like a lot of them,so maybe he could get by on just s few hours work a week and make do.At least then would have plenty of time to study.

My worry is more if he really just can't find a job,many employers now just won't employ people under 18,and he can't work with in the food/restaurant industry (allergies),which rules out a lot of the popular jobs for students.
Most supermarkets now are out of town and not on direct bus routes,and as I don't drive ferrying him about would be difficult.OH and I have considered a scooter for him,but that's even more expense with insurance etc.

Sounds like I'm being really doom and gloom and obstructive I know,but really I'm not I just know our limitations and how it is in my area for jobs,and am really flapping that it just won't happen for him.

I know where you are coming from as i imagine it is hard though and the wish to make everything work out positively for your son must be huge too, as it would be for me when my children get to that age.

This is it really,he's such a good kid and like I said has not always found education easy,he really isn't naturally that way inclined,so for him to be even able to get into to do A levels is such an achievement.He has worked really hard this last year and improved so much on his grades and target grades etc and I just want him to be able to do all he wants education wise without it meaning sacrifice in every other area of his life.
 

laceyfreckle

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When will he get his time table? That will go a long way to seeing what free time he has. Even something like gardening for old people or dog walking a few hours a week will bring in enough. And seriously if you live near a paper shop and got a push bike there is a little but of money to be made from having a couple of paper rounds.

When he leaves college he will have the same predicament regarding employment and travel and will have a lot more chance if he can prove he has worked reliably as well as college as even if unrelated work it shows good work ethics.

What is he hoping to study? I remember having far more free time while studying then my patents thought I had ;-) and although I liked studying I did have to work at it, I wasn't a natural (and had horses on the brain!)
 

devonlass

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When will he get his time table?
And seriously if you live near a paper shop and got a push bike there is a little but of money to be made from having a couple of paper rounds.

What is he hoping to study? I remember having far more free time while studying then my patents thought I had ;-) and although I liked studying I did have to work at it, I wasn't a natural (and had horses on the brain!)


Not sure about the timetable but assume not until at least august when grades are announced and courses either confirmed or changed?? (he needs minimum grades in certain subjects some of which he has already like maths but some will not be available until whenever it is in august they come out),will ask or get him to when next speak to college advisor.

I so wish we had a paper shop that did rounds.My eldest son had a paper round from 13 yrs and was a doddle,£12 per week and only took him 20 mins early morning!!
Sadly our only shop in the village that sells papers is now a tesco express and they don't do paper deliveries.

His subjects are either BTECH level 3 in IT and another one the same in music performance or technology/production and 2 A levels or the BTECH in IT and 3 A levels.
Subjects for A levels are: politics,philosophy,religious studies,world development,critical thinking and physics (top three choices are physics,philosophy and politics,but needs a minimujm grade for some of them so others are there for reserve choices if don't get the higher grade).

Current choice and application made is BTECH in IT,and 3 A levels in the top 3 subjects mentioned,but has to be subject to final grade in GCSE's before a decision can be made for sure,hence the other things mentioned,but will be one of those combinations hopefully!!
 

Tina2011

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Oh its tuff isn't it. We were like you, we didn't qualify for anything. There was EMA at the time but we didn't get that either. TBH I don't know how we did it. My son is very frugal with money (nothing like me lol) so he was inexpensive to keep and didn't do the going out and clothes thing which was a blessing. We still had to find money for his keep and travelling expenses. I think there was an allowance for the rail ticket but you could only buy them for full weeks and he only used to need to go in some days so it worked out cheaper to 'pay as he went'. He did manage to get a part time job in a local supermarket weekends and it worked fine because these days, what they say is full time ed only turns out to be 2 or three days a week. My husband was self employed at the time and money was sometimes there and sometimes not. We got through it somehow. No suggestions I am afraid, just to say 'I know what its like' 'Nightmare'
 

devonlass

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My son is very frugal with money (nothing like me lol) so he was inexpensive to keep and didn't do the going out and clothes thing which was a blessing.

My husband was self employed at the time and money was sometimes there and sometimes not. We got through it somehow. No suggestions I am afraid, just to say 'I know what its like' 'Nightmare'

Thanks for the reply:smile:,and always good to know others managed it ok,although still tough like you say.

My son sounds simialr to yours,but that just makes it worse in a way as he so nice about it and doesn't complain,makes me feel even more guilty that can't give him more!!
Maybe he won't need as much as I'm thinking he will,just worried he will miss out on the social side of college life without much in the way of spare cash,and new going out clothes etc

Isn't that the down side of self employment,sometimes it's there but often it's not!! Part of the reason I now do the job I do is to have at least some regular income,is a nightmare not knowing how much will have to live on from one month to the next:frown:
 

juliecwuk

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Mar 2, 2006
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i worked part time from the age of 16 right through a-levels and uni....was the best thing really, gave me independence and met knew people :) ok i am more academic i suppose but i did have to work really hard for what i came out with....

my parents didnt charge me rent or anything so it was just funding myself.

I am not looking forward to the future because by the time we have kids we wont qualify for any help at all :(
 
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joosie

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I am another in the "get a job" camp - although as you say it's not always that simple - I'm from Cornwall so I do understand the problem, nevertheless I had two part-time jobs while I was doing my A-levels. One was waitressing in a cafe a few afternoons a week (timetable permitting), and the other was a Saturday job as a cleaner in a caravan park and in a private office. (This work was easy to find as way too many people are too proud to do cleaning work... shame for them, cos it pays very well! ;)) Additionally I did seasonal work in the Easter and summer holidays which enabled me to save up money that helped me through each term - you mentioned seasonal jobs in your OP like it was a negative, but actually if your son is careful with money then getting a summer job & saving some or all of his wages will make a big difference when he finally gets to college. The good thing about being down in Devon & Cornwall is that because of the tourism there is a lot of seasonal work around, you just need to be willing to do anything!

I'm from a low-income family and money had always been tight, so by the time I got to A-level age I was already used to either earning for myself or accepting that I had to go without! Being at college was no different to being at school in that respect. Personally I think your son WILL be able to get through college despite the financial issues but he'll probably need to make a few sacrifices along the way. In my way of thinking, expenses like nights out and new clothes are luxuries, not essentials, and if you don't have the money you have to learn to deal with not having them! Plus my personal feeling is that going to college is first and foremost about study, not socialising, it's only 2 years of his life and at the end of the day, if he is not a natural academic surely it is best to focus on doing well on his course.

It depends which college he's going to but if it's a decent one you'll probably also find that once he has started studying, the college is able to offer financial assistance in ways that they don't necessarily advertise to people in advance - such as book grants for textbooks, money towards field trips, paid work within the college etc. This is the sort of thing I benefitted from at my college as a student from a low-income background - for example, I couldn't afford to go on the student exchange for my German A-level, and the Student Services were able to arrange a bursary from the local education authority that paid half the cost for me. I also did some odd bits of work for the college when it came up, they used to pay students to help run sports events and the like, and to do things like cleaning and litter-picking and kitchen duties in the cafeteria.
 
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Wally

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is the EMA still going or has it been scrapped in the govt's wisdom?

When mine was doing A levels it was a fulltime course, 9-4 every day, no time for a job. He did live in and got school transport home each weekend.
 
P

pinkheather

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My daughter went to college but it was a long time ago but it is expensive even up here where they dont pay tuition fees. However she did equine science and management what ever that was because she has now ended up in Australia and New Zealand riidng racehorse. So i worked like hell to get her the money to do a three year course that she didnt really need to do for the job she is doing now. If it is boys its easy you just get them an apprenticeship but i realize times are very tough at the moment and there is not a lot out there. Transferable skills is the answer you can go anywhere in the world with a good apprenticeship behind you if you can get one.
 

Tina2011

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is the EMA still going or has it been scrapped in the govt's wisdom?

When mine was doing A levels it was a fulltime course, 9-4 every day, no time for a job. He did live in and got school transport home each weekend.

You are so behind, but sooo in front in Scotland. 'full time down here is def two three full days utmost. EMA was shredded years ago. No live in or anything else
 

Vicki100

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I had no idea EMA had been stopped! :frown:

When i went to college i had to work at sainsburys 6-10 every evening and then all day saturday/sunday. Was knackering but i did love having money & independance! :wub:

I wasnt allowed EMA, even though i was living at home with single parent i got nowt! I did feel it was a bit unfair...all my mates got £30.00 a week and a £100 bonus every term if there attendance was good and i got nothing! :timebomb:

Although before i got my job my dad used to give me an allowance of £50.00 a month for food/drink/bus fair etc @ college and any materials i needed to buy (Notepads etc) then any bits left over id give myself a little treat :tongue:

Are there any paper rounds in devon? I know its a bit of a youngster thing to do but in all fairness when i did it i got a good £15 a week for it! :giggle:
 

devonlass

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Thank you so much for the replies peeps,has cheered me up just to have some understanding and sympathy.Knew I could rely on you lot:smile:

my parents didnt charge me rent or anything so it was just funding myself.

I am not looking forward to the future because by the time we have kids we wont qualify for any help at all :(

I won't be charging him rent and am happy to subsidise his keep as have always done,is just money for himself that I'm worried about.I know studies come first but who can live on literally nothing,even an 'easy to keep' teenager needs something in their pocket.

We don't even have a lot of money,certainly what I would consider low income,especially the last few months since OH work got quiet,and we still don't get any help.It really is quite tough at the moment and a bit of a worry TBH:frown:

- you mentioned seasonal jobs in your OP like it was a negative, but actually if your son is careful with money then getting a summer job & saving some or all of his wages will make a big difference when he finally gets to college. The good thing about being down in Devon & Cornwall is that because of the tourism there is a lot of seasonal work around, you just need to be willing to do anything!

Personally I think your son WILL be able to get through college despite the financial issues but he'll probably need to make a few sacrifices along the way. In my way of thinking, expenses like nights out and new clothes are luxuries, not essentials, and if you don't have the money you have to learn to deal with not having them! Plus my personal feeling is that going to college is first and foremost about study, not socialising, it's only 2 years of his life and at the end of the day, if he is not a natural academic surely it is best to focus on doing well on his course.

The seasonal thing was only said negatively in the sense of it not being year round and long term.Like you said though maybe if he was careful could last him the rest of the year.
It just seems so hard to get jobs now for people under 18,is all the insurance and liability thing I suppose.Add to that being in this part of the world and the recession all seems a bit bleak on the job front.

I appreciate what you mean about it not being about socialising,and you may well be right that he will need to be so focused on his studies that won't have time to worry about much else,I hope in a way that he will though.

I think a big part of college life and the transition from school to college is about the social life and forming new friendships,hobbies/interests etc.
I don't mean to make my son sound like he is the one concerned about that side of it BTW,and being some whinging brat saying I want clothes and money to go out,far from it he really doesn't go out a lot and hardly ever asks for money.I want him to be on an equal footing with his peers though and be able to join in activities and social events,especially as he is doing music as one of his subjects which is based a lot on perfoming at local venues,and Im guessing most on the course will be musically inclined and go to gigs etc in their spare time.

That probably sounds really sad and lame on my part,apologies for being an embarrassing mumsy type:redface:.Just really want him to be able to embrace college life and make the most of it,rather than having to make do and scrimp all the time.

If it is boys its easy you just get them an apprenticeship but i realize times are very tough at the moment and there is not a lot out there. Transferable skills is the answer you can go anywhere in the world with a good apprenticeship behind you if you can get one.

Apprenticeships are indeed a great way to ensure a trade for life,although like you say not so easy to come by these days.

My son doesn't wish to do an apprenticeship however,and instead would like to go on to further education.Possibly he will wish he hadn't when realises how much work it is lol,but for now am happy to encourage him in whatever he wants to do as he has worked really hard to have the opportunity:smile:

You are so behind, but sooo in front in Scotland. 'full time down here is def two three full days utmost. EMA was shredded years ago. No live in or anything else

I think full time can be more than 2-3 days,my son will probably need to attend every day for most of the day for the courses he is doing.EMA was done away with last year,no surprise really with a tory government (poor get poorer,rich stay rich),but did think they would have put something in it's place of some description that we may have been entitled to,but no nothing to replace it at all apart form bursaries for people in care,on benefits etc.

Wally- (did quote your post I thought but didn't come up for some reason) you still have EMA as does Wales and N.Ireland,just England that no longer has it.
Ridiculous as I suspect we subsidise other places that get it,but can't (or won't) give it to our own young people.

Oh well sure it will all work out,just worrying about how we will afford extra expense and still make sure he doesn't miss out completely.Fingers crossed for a job folks!!
 

Tina2011

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Thanks for the reply:smile:,and always good to know others managed it ok,although still tough like you say.

My son sounds simialr to yours,but that just makes it worse in a way as he so nice about it and doesn't complain,makes me feel even more guilty that can't give him more!!
Maybe he won't need as much as I'm thinking he will,just worried he will miss out on the social side of college life without much in the way of spare cash,and new going out clothes etc

Isn't that the down side of self employment,sometimes it's there but often it's not!! Part of the reason I now do the job I do is to have at least some regular income,is a nightmare not knowing how much will have to live on from one month to the next:frown:

My son is quiet but does plenty of complaining:timebomb:
He is a lovely lad and very focused on what he wants.

Husband and I are working class...well husband is and he works to hard but that is what he wants. Son went to state school till 11yrs but secondary was so bad we took him out (HM is related by marriage:eek:) and I home tutored....not enough social involvement and he wouldn't consentrate cos I was mum:unsure:. Next step public school: He was sposed to stay with his nan who paid for first year only but they fell out and I ended up driving him 40 miles to school twice a day cos he didn't want to board. Mum thought he would hate it and be back in state school. No chance! he loved it! Much spending followed, fees,clothing (£250 for school jacket alone), trips blaa blaa the list goes on but he so loved it. College was a total come down financially(good) and back down to earth(oh dear). Anyhow he did three years college (financed by us) much cheaper than 3g a term but knowhere near as good teaching. Then he went to uni 3 year degree in computing....and failed twice:banghead::banghead::banghead::cry::cry::cry:
£45,000 later and endless other expenses (I kept two horses as well as this god knows how) He has been at home doing nothing for at least 15 months:banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead:. He has money in bank and he is not worried. Says he is setting up a web developing company. By the time he gets round to it computers will be fooked.

We are ok, me and him and his dear dad, and I don't diss him about it. We get through, I still have neds plus a new one, lovely young thing that I am so proud and happy about. I am very artisitc and sensitive but we are tuff too. He and i are beginning to find our own way with things, deep thinkers and doers. Often alone in a mad world but we don't care cos we have everything we need and more besides. Who cares? Live for today, tomorrow is another d day. Opps I have gone overly deep again. Sorry for so much blaa blaa but you know we all love our kids. Just do what you can
 

Thyme & Me

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When mine was doing A levels it was a fulltime course, 9-4 every day, no time for a job.

I worked through medical school! Which was a damn sight more than 9-4.....
Pub work in the evening during term time and stuffing envelopes/office dogsbody in the holidays.

But at least back then, jobs were easy to find to people who wanted/needed extra income.

Hope it works out Devonlass.
 

Joyscarer

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When I did my A levels I had a part time job and my parents took 1/3 of my earnings for keep. This was the end of the 80s with unemployment hughes than it is now. When I went to uni I worked through that, ran a home with my now hubby (he was earning £60 a week on his apprenticeship) and came out with only a £300 debt, although back then there weren't tuition fees. my mum and dad had divorced and we got no help from them.

I certainly never had any expectations of my family and it was made clear when I was at school that when I started working my rent would be 1/3 of my wage and I never felt hard done by.
 

Tina2011

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I went to comprehensive. Totally rubbish school with lots of rubbish kids. i didn't try, or was even interested in anything. I hated school and any authority. Every day was just a, this is what you do, you have to go, I was always a good girl, no trouble, but looked after myself. I did my exams and passed with flying colours god knows how I never studied a single day. To interested in ponies and horses and real life. My mum taught me inadvertently the essentials. I learnt nothing in school, but that was me. I was intelligent enough to do anything but had no desire to go there.
 
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