Students up and down the country received their A-level results this week, with those who got the grades now busy planning their university lives.
The sky-high cost of tuition fees is well-known but living costs, especially accommodation, also sets students and their parents back thousands, affecting where they choose to study.
Flatshare site SpareRoom researched the average monthly rent of a room in a shared house at the UK’s top 30 universities and found that students living near Imperial College London pay nearly £700 a month more than those studying at Durham University.
Over the course of a three-year degree, this totals a massive £24,000.
Dundee is the most affordable university town, with average monthly rents of just £345 for students choosing University of Dundee.
Those studying at the highly-regarded University of St Andrews in Fife also get one of the best-value deals, paying £349 a month, as do students at Durham and Newcastle (£370 and £371 respectively).
Unsurprisingly, London students face the most eye-watering rents.
Prices near the aforementioned Imperial College London in South Kensington average at £1,056 a month – the highest of the top-ranked unis – while students at King’s College London and the London School of Economics and Political Science must fork out £1,039 to live on the doorstep of their central London lecture halls.
The student halls with the best views of London
Students heading to the University of Surrey in Guildford, 30-minutes from London by train, pay the highest rents outside the capital at £599 a month on average.
Those who survived Oxford and Cambridge’s rigorous interview process will also need to battle high rents in their university towns – £568 and £576 respectively.
Up the creek: punting may be fun but Oxford students pay high rents (Shutterstock)
Matt Hutchinson, director of SpareRoom, got into the University of Leeds through clearing and “had the time of his life”, largely thanks to low average rents (currently at £391 a month) leaving him with more cash to spend on having fun.
He said: “Choosing where to go to uni is a big decision, a decision that doesn’t just affect the quality of your degree but can also have a huge impact on the size of your graduate debt.”
“By weighing up your options based on rents as well as rankings you could save yourself thousands of pounds over the course of your degree,” says Hutchinson.