This year sees the beginning of the tuition fee rise, with many universities charging its students £9000 a year to attend. However, this has not stopped the most desired universities being heavily oversubscribed, which every year forces some students into the clearing system.
From July until late September, the Clearing process helps applicants without university and college places to find somewhere with courses that are still available. Although for some students this can work out relatively stress free, for others where the university owned accommodation is full, they will be left with the daunting prospect of trying to secure quality private rented accommodation at the last minute.
Simon Thompson, is the director and co-founder of Accommodation for Students. Thispowerful search engine accessing a nationwide database of student accommodation enables students to find properties, private halls and housemates fast. Below are some of his top tips for those students who find themselves in this situation:
Find Friends –Remember, there will be plenty of other students in the same situation as you that you could pair up with, just get online and use student websites and forums to find them. AFS have a find a house mate link at: http://www.accommodationforstudents.com/findhousemates.asp
Set your budget– The cost of private rented accommodation varies considerably between university towns (This year, Pontypridd is the cheapest at £46 and London, the most expensive at £107). As a general rule of thumb those in the south, particularly London, tend to be a lot more expensive than those in the north. Properties where up to four students can share tend to be cheaper as well as those located further away from the uni campus.
Be flexible – Even with university halls of residence, you aren’t guaranteed your first choice, so you need to be prepared to prioritise what is most important to you; having an en-suite bathroom or being close to the university campus, for example.
Location – If you are concerned about feeling left out when not in halls of residence, find out where the main student areas are. Most towns have specific areas that have become heavily populated by students because of their proximity to local conveniences – uni, town, social haunts etc. However, be prepared to pay a premium to live here.
Enjoy! – University is a great experience and one that shouldn’t be clouded with disappointed that you didn’t get your first choice. It’s an opportunity to learn, meet new people and later, find employment, so get as much out of it as you can.
Any students attending Loughborough living outside of halls also have the option to affiliate to a hall to ensure they don’t miss out on any of the Loughborough experience!