Before I start on about applying to get into halls, here’s a great website I heard about yesterday The Scholarship Hub. They are the go to website to find scholarships and grants to help your teen reduce their student debt.
Now for part 2 of :
Mum to Teens Guide for Parents of Teenagers Going to University in September – Halls of Residence
If your teenager has applied for a university that’s not in your home town then they need to apply for a room in halls as soon as they get a UNCONDITIONAL offer and have accepted their place.
Just as with applying with finance your teenager may tell you they don’t need to apply yet, but DO NOT listen to them. If they want to get a room in halls they need to apply as soon as they get a unconditional offer.
How to Apply for Halls of Residence
Every university will have its own application process but they will mostly all be online.
So, your teenager has received an unconditional offer a place at the uni of their choice their first step is to get onto that university’s website and click on accommodation.
There will most likely be several different residences they can choose from and prices will be different for each one. For example, a room with an ensuite will cost more than one with shared facilities.
I do suggest looking at the residences with your teenager and making them consider things like how far they are from the university building most of their lectures will be in and how they’ll get back and forth from uni to halls. And do they really need an ensuite room?
They should select one residence they favourite over the others and a back up building in case that’s unavailable.
Once they’ve made their decision they can click through to apply for accommodation on their university’s website.
This is where they list their first and second choices of halls. This is also where they tell the accommodation services of any special needs or requirements they might have to ensure they get the accommodation best suited to their requirements.
From there the university will consider their application and let them know if you are successful and what they’ve been allocated.
This consideration can take anything from 7 days to several weeks so don’t worry if it takes longer than you expected.
As soon as your teenager has accepted their offer of halls of residence they will be expected to pay a deposit that will vary from university to university but may include a booking fee, insurance and some rent in advance.
Paying Rent on Halls
This is what the maintenance part of the student loan is for.
Rent in halls is normally payable in 3 instalments with the first being due in term one, then again at Christmas and then again at Easter.
If your teenager’s student loan hasn’t come through by the time they are due to pay their rent you may want to pay this for them and get the money back from them when their loan comes through. Although if you don’t want to do this (which would be totally understandable) then I would suggest contacting the university and explaining the loan situation as they might wait for the rent.
What if my Teen Doesn’t Get into Halls?
Teenboy didn’t get into halls of residence (he applied too late!!) but he did get a really, really nice room in private halls of residence that is ensuite and not any more expensive than a room in halls.
More information for parents and their teenagers
This is a great place for lots more info on Halls of Residences
League tables of rents for university accommodation all over the UK from Unipol (unfortunately it’s for 2009/10)