A study conducted by The Strategic Society Centre compares the university-going aspirations and behaviour of a group of academically qualified and interested English pupils who considered not applying to university and those who never had any such hesitation. Data for the study was collected from the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England for the years 2004-2009. The research focused on pupils who expressed motivation to go to university, but answered positively to the question: “Have the financial aspects of going to university, that is the costs of fees and living expenses, ever made you think about not applying?”
Findings revealed that 34% of 16-year-olds who had shown the potential and expressed a motivation to go to university reported that the financial aspects made them think about not applying. Several factors were significantly associated with those pupils who were concerned about cost ultimately deciding against going to university. These were:
Ethnicity (being white, Caribbean black or mixed race);
Houshold income (£10-£15k or £41.6-£46.8k per year);
Parental education (to GCSEs or A levels);
Not having friends who applied to university;
Not feeling informed about financial support; and
Not receiving information and advice on university from a teacher.
Source: Access for All: An investigation of young people’s attitudes to the cost of higher education using the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (2013), The Strategic Society Centre.