Top Tips: College Costs
*What in the world are battels? *
Battels (the name given to your termly bill) have to be paid at the start of each term. On it you will find: college and university fees; the rent charged for your room; the costs of any events, dinners, etc., which you may have signed-up for. e.g. Arts Week or the JCR Punting Scheme; additional charges – the laundry card deposit etc. You have a couple of weeks until you have to pay Battels, so there’s no manic rush if your finances are not quite sorted at the start of term.
Pembroke myth: you may have heard a rumour that Pembroke is a poor college. This is not true. Although average accommodation and living costs are slightly higher than some colleges they are still very reasonable. If you opt for a lower band room and watch the pennies it is possible to live off a modest budget without compromising your student experience.
Top Tips: Banks
*Make Sure You Get Your Finances Sorted Before Freshers’ Week*
Set up a student bank account, or two, before you arrive in October. Find one with the best deal for you. Some chuck in a free rail card, while others reward you with vouchers, etc. if you avoid going into your overdraft.
Make sure you have a cheque book. These are very useful, especially for big payments like the Varsity Ski Trip
It’s worth working out how to do online banking. It’s a really easy way to keep tabs on how much money you have left in your account
For international students it’s important to have a British bank account. Give yourself plenty of time for this so that you are not panicking when you arrive
All the main banks can be found in Oxford, most are on Cornmarket
There are lots of ATMs near college too. The closest is next to the post office on St Aldates
Top Tips: Student Loans
Make sure you get this sorted before freshers’ week. It’s such a pain to be worrying about it when you are trying to settle in.
Having said this The Student Loans Company are not very good at doing things on time even if you give them lots of notice. Last year some people didn’t get their loans through until a few weeks into term. Don’t worry about this; college is aware of the problem. It is good to have some money to tide you over in case this does happen.
Top Tips: Other
Food – Hall dinners are prepaid and are quite good value. To save money make your own breakfast and lunch. Sainsburys is nearby so there is no excuse.
Books – No need to buy books. College has a good sized library and if your books cannot be found there faculty libraries have pretty much everything on your reading list. Otherwise buy second hand copies.
You’re going to get addicted to either G&Ds or Ben’s Cookies. Nothing we can do about this – they’re too damn good.
Visiting students – Get a British phone, this will be cheaper and easier. You can also claim VAT back on items £30 and over, well worth remembering.
>If you’re worried about your finances and would like to talk to someone about it, please contact a member of the committee who will be able to talk things through with you.