81% of Students Think They're Overpaying Tuition

university tuition fees

Course cost vs. course value

Student Money Saver thought it would be interesting to survey students and ask them how much they are paying vs. how much they personally value their degree at.

Key finding

  • 28% of students thought their degree was poor value for money
  • 81% of students value their degree at less than they’re currently paying
  • Only 18% of students valued their degree at £8000+, despite 73% of students surveyed paying £8000+
  • Students are still largely optimistic their increased earnings will more than cover their university costs, though 19% believe they won’t earn enough over their lifetime to cover their degree


We asked students how much they personally valued their degree at:Only 16% of students valued their degree at £8000+, despite 73% of the students surveyed currently paying this amount. This is roughly in line with tuition fees at large in the UK (75% of institutions currently charge a blanket £9000 across all their courses).

amount degree valued at

58% of students valued their degree between £2000 – 6000.

Compared to how much they are actually paying:

value of degree vs payment

81% of the students surveyed valued their degree at lower than what they were currently paying.

15% valued their degree at the same amount, and only 4% valued their degree at more than what they were paying.

And asked them whether their degree was good value for money:

degree good value for money

44% agree or strongly agree that their degree is good value for money, less than half of those surveyed, and 28% disagreed or strongly disagreed that their value was good value for money.

And whether they thought they’d earn more money after graduating because of their degree:

earn more from a degree

Students are still optimistic that their degree will increase their earning potential, 69% agreeing or strongly agreeing. 9% believed that their degree wouldn’t help them earn more money once joining the workforce.

will you cover cost of uni degree

Students were less optimistic that they’d earn enough over their lifetime to cover the cost of their degrees. 56% believed they would cover the cost, whereas 19% (a significant amount) didn’t.


Student Money Saver’s survey has found that students value their degrees at lower than they are paying. They are broadly dissatisfied with high fees and do not believe their degrees are good value for money. 84% of students valued their degree at under £8,000, which is pretty significant when the current standard university fee is tending towards the maximum £9000, and 75% of institutions are now setting blanket £9000 fees across all their courses.

This was a snapshot survey of 1000 students between the 15th-23rd of November. For more details please contact James.Felton@studentmoneysaver.co.uk

Are you someone that needs to be convinced that university is worth it? Read our article on why it's worth going to university (in our humble opinion)

Understand what you are paying for and what help is available with our tuition fees & tuition fee loans guide and maintenance loans guide

If you need an interest free overdraft, then read through our guide to student bank accounts

And, if you are struggling for money, then our 'freebies' and 'make money' pages might also help