If one or more of your children is planning to start university in the next few years, you're probably worrying about how they and you will afford it. At present, tuition fees are up to per. Start thinking and planning now and you'll take some of the sting out of the huge expenses.
Not all universities will empty your pockets, there's a range of affordability. See how much the institutions your child is looking at charge, then factor their fees in before they apply.
Most undergraduates spend their first year in halls of residence, then move into a shared house or apartment in the second and final year. See if staying on-campus is cheaper than private rentals, or if it's possible for them to stay at home and commute into college. Some colleges will include a meal plan for on-campus residents that will provide meals for students and this might work out cheaper.
Start saving now
Build up some savings, even if it's just a little bit. Savings accounts for holders under the age of 18 offer some great interest rates, so open one as soon as possible.
Look for scholarships, bursaries or grants
Most universities have bursaries for high academic or sporting achievers. Apply for any that you think are suitable. There are also lots of different scholarships out there. If your child has that business mentality, you can get a entrepreneurial scholarship like the Grasshopper scholarship (grasshopper.com/entrepreneur-scholarship/) in the United States, or the Rueben Singh (reubensinghscholarship.com) in the UK. Click on those links to apply for this award, which can really help with covering most of your fees each year.
Take out the student loan
No-one has to pay tuition fees upfront, they can take out a student loan. From September 2016, there will be no more maintenance grants, so student loans are now split into tuition fees and maintenance loans.
Tuition fee loans go straight to the university, whereas the maintenance loan goes to your child to cover living costs. Maintenance loans vary according to household income.
Find the best student bank account
Choosing the right bank account can save a lot of money and might even give your son or daughter some perks, like free metro transportation and railcards. For young students, making sure there's overdraft protection available should help.
Tighten your belts
See if you can save money by overhauling your utility bills, for example. Any place you can find savings can help.
Not all teens have budgeting experience, so draw up a sensible budget, including major costs halls, food, books, entertainment and set this against income from loans, your contributions and any job they might have. This gives you an idea of what they can spend each week.
Take in a renter
You've got a room free, so how about taking in a renter, maybe another student, while your child's away at university? This means your son or daughter can come home during holidays.
Find side-job opportunities
When I was in college I took on on jobs like home repairs, home improvement, car detailing and landscaping. But you don't have to stop there. There's plenty of ways to make some side money. I think my daughter will be able to sell copies of her class notes, they're works of art! But you could even do off-the-wall things like making money from cat-sitting!