The majority of British students spend more than half of their student loan on accommodation, according to research by student accommodation website Uniplaces.com.
The survey of 770 students across the UK found that 60% of university students will spend more than half of their student loans on accommodation for university this year, while 17% of students said that they will spend all of their student loan (plus additional money from other sources) on housing.
Those studying in the South West and the North West of England were found to be more likely to spend all of their student loans on housing than those studying in London, Northern Ireland and Scotland, who spend the lowest percentage of their loans on accommodation.
70% of students questioned said that they spend less than £150 per week (p/w) on accommodation. Uniplaces found this to be in keeping with the average cost of a bedroom in a privately rented shared house (£97 p/w) or a room in halls of residence at a top 20 university (£136 p/w).
Students living in London were found to spend higher than the average accommodation budget. The average cost of a room in halls of residence at a London university is £170 p/w, while the average cost of a room in a private shared house in the capital is £164 p/w.
Students in the North of England spend much less. The weekly cost of private housing in the region is £62.50 p/w, and halls of residence cost an average of £123 p/w.
The UK city with the cheapest housing costs is St Andrew’s in Scotland – the average cost of shared private housing here is £50 p/w, while halls of residence cost an average of £100 p/w.
Halls of residence were the preferred type of accommodation for freshers; 80% of those about to start at university stated that they were intending to live in halls, while a further 16% were planning to stay at home while studying.
Uniplaces suggested that students preferring halls could save £2,000 a year if they chose to switch to a private shared house.
Nearly a third of students studying in London and Northern Ireland said that they preferred to remain at home while studying, while students based in the North East of England were the most likely to rent one bedroom accommodation.
Current students were found to spend 10% more of their loans on accommodation than freshers, and 40% of current students said they spend more than 75% of their loans on housing, often leaving them unable to fund other areas of student life.