Students are resorting to selling their belongings or signing up on ‘sugar daddy’ websites to earn money, as new research finds more than a third of parents are struggling to support their students financially. children in college due to the rising cost of living.
In a survey of more than 1,000 undergraduate students and 1,000 parents and guardians in March, 73% of parents and 66% of students said they were “extremely worried” about the rising cost of living, students turning to cryptocurrency investments, paid clinical trials and sex. work to make ends meet.
Almost a third of students – 32% – said they sold goods to cover costs, while 8% said they had enrolled in scientific or clinical trials.
One in 10 had created cryptocurrency accounts, while 9% had turned to gambling and 8% were trying to become social media influencers. A minority – 4% – said they joined a “sugar daddy” or “mom” dating site to earn money.
A total of 36% of parents said they found it difficult to support their children studying at university, while more than half – 54% – of respondents said they thought the rising cost of living strained family life.
Nearly three in 10 college students – 29% – said they actively hide debt from friends and family, and 50% said worrying about money affected their mental health.
The poll commissioned by student accommodation provider Unite Students found that parents gave children at university £249.02 a month on average to help with living costs.
More than half of parents surveyed – 55% – said they feared the rising cost of living would affect their ability to financially support their children during their studies.
Some students were very aware of their family’s money problems, with two-fifths (43%) saying they worried about how their studies were straining their families.
More than half of students (52%) said they would ask their parents for financial support once a month or more, but almost a third (32%) said they had taken on more paid work outside of their studies to cover costs.
Marianne Amos, 57, a freelance dance teacher in Kent whose youngest daughter, Christianna, 18, is studying politics and international relations at the University of East Anglia, said if she and her husband were Both independent and “extremely reasonable” with money, she worried about the impact the financial crisis would have on her daughter while she was in school.
“Christianna has just started a new job to help raise additional funds,” she said.
“I didn’t go to college myself, but I strongly believe that the whole student experience and learning how to budget to pay gas bills, groceries and electric bills, for example, are skills really important lives.”
“Being self-employed, I have a good degree of control over my income and can simply adjust my teaching hours to increase my income. In many ways, I’m very lucky. Unfortunately, not everyone is in this position – more needs to be done to support students and families who are struggling.
Ashlea Davies, 20, a third-year criminology and sociology student at Liverpool John Moores University, said: “I am not comfortable relying on my family for financial support, despite the increase the cost of living which has a big impact on me – especially when it comes to gas and food.
“I am very aware that I have to work if I want to be able to buy things, but I had to cut my hours considerably because juggling work and studies was becoming unmanageable. Ultimately, it was my choice to go to college, and despite the amount of debt I’d be in when I graduated, I wouldn’t do anything different if I had the chance.
Karan Khanna, Client Director at Unite Students, said: “As the UK’s leading provider of affordable student accommodation, we are keenly aware of the cost of living pressures faced by students and their parents.”
“We seek to provide advice and support to students as they navigate money management and the transition to the world of work. Unlike most traditional flatshares where landlord costs go up, our students won’t have to pay more for their heat, electricity, water, or high-speed Wi-Fi. Hopefully, this is more reassurance for parents who are most likely feeling the pressure to manage their own household bills.