The rising costs of university has forced me to study closer to home
Students in North Lincolnshire are having to strongly rethink or even scrap their university plans thanks to this summer's hike in tuition fees, the Telegraph can reveal.
With universities now charging up to £9,000 in tuition fees, students are beginning to think twice about when and where to start a degree, with many changing their minds altogether.
Sixth form and college graduates starting university this year will be the first batch to face larger fees, which are nearly three times higher than in previous years.
Students currently pay £3,290 in tuition fees every year, but this will radically increase for new starters in September.
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Some students have tried to find a balance, by going to a university that is closer to home.
Sophie Bartup, 18, is a John Leggott College graduate living in Goxhill.
She has applied to study at the University of Lincoln, because it would have been too expensive elsewhere for her to travel home.
She said: "I never considered moving too far from home and the rising fees would have made it impossible for me to do that.
"For me, Lincoln was a sensible choice, because my parents often come to the city and it will be much cheaper to get the train home.
"I had thought about going to Bath, but the journey home would have cost too much and I wouldn't have been able to get home.
"I can understand why people are having second thoughts about going to university. I do think, however, that if you have enough drive and ambition, you can make it work."
But others have decided that the financial commitment is too much, and have thrown out their university plans to look for work instead.
Amy Stephenson, 20, graduated from North Lindsey College in 2010, and started working in GAME to raise money for university.
She said: "I was definitely considering university when I left college, but knew I would need to raise some money if I was to afford it.
"I worked at GAME on the High Street to put some money away, thinking it might be an option in the future.
"As soon as the fees went up it no longer became a realistic possibility and I knew I had to forget the idea of going to university.
"I have since managed to get a year-long apprenticeship with North Lincolnshire Council, where I am getting qualifications in customer services at the Ashby Link.
"I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to those wanting something different to university, because it provides work experience and you are earning while you are learning."
Ben Chappill, an 18-year-old graduate of North Lindsey College, said: "If I went to university now, I would come out with debt roughly around the £43,000 mark. I had thought about it for a while, but it would just be too much debt to handle.
"I have decided to look for jobs instead and have already started applying around Scunthorpe. If I need further qualifications in the future, I will hopefully be in a situation where my employer would be willing to pay for them.
Terrence Linell, 18, is a student graduating from John Leggott College in Scunthorpe.
He said: "I am going to study natural sciences at Cambridge University, results pending, but the fees were something that entered into my mind.
"I see university as an investment though, because I am paying the fees now in order to get a better job.
"It is a phenomenal amount of money to be spending for a young person, but I try not to think about it, and instead focus on the educational advantage."