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Helena and Tom

Parent to Parent


Helena and Tom

As a single parent, Helena Martyn had a number of concerns when her son, Tom, told her that he wanted to go to university. How would she support him? How would he pay his rent and afford his food? After a little research and planning, she soon had the answers she was looking for.

Finances

“It’s the first time Tom was going out into the world by himself and my main concerns were around how he would be able to handle his money, do all the things that you know he’d want to do at university and how I would be able to help with all this.”

“The Student Finance website was invaluable – they provide a calculator which enables you to put in your household income and then tells you how much of your son or daughter’s money from Student Finance England will be a loan and, depending on your situation, how much will be a grant that does not need to be paid back.”

“It was really good to know this early on and took a lot of the worry away. I’d definitely recommend it.”

“I created a spreadsheet and we looked at how he would be able to budget at university. We talked about everything, from accommodation and meals, to going out and buying clothes.

“It was a really good way to help Tom get his head around how much things cost and he’s not had any money problems so far.”

Drop-off day

“Drop-off day is an emotional time and you can’t kid yourself that it won’t be. I can assure other parents that they won’t be the first to cry on the drive home!

“I felt a little bit like a spare part when we got to the university accommodation. Tom was quickly meeting new people and asking how he could get involved in events with the Students’ Union, and you have to be ready for the realisation they are starting a new and exciting chapter in their life.”