University as a single parent

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  • #34842 Report


    So my plan had been to finish my degree (I’ve  had a 3 year gap due to baby) this September, but I became single mama just before Christmas. I’m now unsure if university is possible for me, I’ve heard so many horror stories of Universal Credit making university impossible for single parents – has anyone had any experience of making it work? It can’t hinge on living with family as that’s not a viable option for us (my child and I).

    Thanks in advance, any and all advice is appreciated!

    #34847 Report


    If you are already part way through a degree, it would be a shame to throw away the years already invested. Presumably you have access to the student loan system.  Your loan should cover fees and basic living expenses. Do you have somewhere to live?

    If your child is three, are you eligible for 15 hours free childcare? Depending on your course, that should cover most of your childcare needs, shouldn’t it? Unless you are studying medicine or engineering etc.


    #34849 Report


    No real advice as I’m not yet there but about to be in the same position. Am studying and about to leave an abusive replationship. Originally thought I could see it through and go full time this past year, and leave in March when I finished but he made it very hard for me to study so had to drop to part time.   I have a single friend who was in the same position and I think she said the advice she was given was she didnt need to tell them if it was part time (day a week) but say instead that you are setting up your own business in something (which you are really, getting yourself educated so you can work), you have a 1 year grace period to do that, get business cards sorted etc… I’ll send a link to the doc.

    Its on p.15.  Also, go to the student help centre at your University, they may have some advice.  If you want to pm me, go ahead.  I can ask my friend any questions for you. Her husband left her, she went on benefits, then started studying a masters full time. I think she also had a small one day a week job to get a bit of extra for universal credit. Best of luck.x

    #34850 Report


    sorry meant to say Part time, she did it part time over two years. She’s now finished and has a good job. So it was really worth it as she retrained. xx


    #34871 Report


    I was full time at uni, you get your student loans/grants and they take that away from universal credit. I ended up with only around £400 in UC and loans/grants are paid 3 times a year so it’s really all about budgeting. In the summer break UC increases as no student income during that time. It was a real struggle – they disregard a little for books etc but not much at all. Although I’m now repaying my student loan so effectively they class it as income although it’s repayable! Best of luck x

    #44151 Report


    Sorry looking for similar information as unable to get a definitive answer from universal credit as to what the commitment would be once I start doing my masters study with open university next month.

    I do currently work part time but hoping I can reduce my hours to cope with study & being a single parent the demands of childcare

    Interested in the self employment ? how does this work? eventually i would be self employed but its still a long process till I finish my degree

    #44173 Report


    Hi TLM2020 – If you want advice about benefits for students you can ring the Gingerbread Helpline on 0808 802 0925.


Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)

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