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“How much?!” – New Uni life

Read the papers and it’s all doom and gloom for the university students of tomorrow.

The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is being axed, and university tuition fees will double to £6,000 – or even a whopping £9,000 in some cases.

Sixth-formers seem to have been dealt a double blow.

MyBnk may not have the magic bullet, but through our financial education programmes we’re at least being straight up about money matters, helping young people make informed choices about their future.

Over the last few weeks, our team has been “Uni Dosh” crazy, delivering a record 14 of these interactive money sessions to sixth-formers from Lambeth, Lewisham and Redbridge.

The 16- and 17-year-old participants have been number-crunching and jargon-busting, getting to grips with everything from budgeting to bursaries, loans to overdrafts.

“Young people are often very good at spending money,” explained Emma Fearnhamm, head of sixth form at Woodford County High. “But they find budgeting, for example, much more of a challenge.”

Over 200 of Redbridge’s Year 12s – from this school, Trinity Catholic High and Ilford Ursuline High – have been clued-up to university finances since the end of January.

Alaina Husbands, 16, from Woodford County High, said: “A lot of terms I’d heard before, but didn’t know what they meant. The session made things really clear.”

Hundreds more in Redbridge are set to benefit this academic year, thanks to the local council commissioning thirty Uni Dosh sessions as part of a massive financial literacy drive across the borough – one of the worst-hit by the recession.

With a total of sixty sessions scheduled across London, by July nearly two thousand school-leavers will have been armed with the skills, knowledge and confidence to deal with the real costs of university life.

So instead of gasping “How much?!” they’ll be reaching for their budget sheet, buffing up their banking skills, and launching their very own businesses to enterprise their way through this exciting next stage of their life.

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