LONDON, March 17 /PRNewswire/ --

- Increased University Fees Could Stretch Parents Purse Strings to the Limit

- Child Trust Fund Offers Ray of Hope in Meeting Rising Costs

The average student debt could be on the verge of smashing the GBP50,000 barrier in 18 years time if tuition fees are allowed to rise to GBP7,000 a year according to leading Child Trust Fund (CTF) Provider, The Children's Mutual (

Responding to today's announcement, by the BBC, that many university chancellors would like to see increases in tuition fees by between GBP5,000 and GBP20,000 a year, The Children's Mutual has calculated that families may have to find GBP49,900 if youngsters decide to go to university in 18 years time.

David White, Chief Executive of The Children's Mutual comments: What is clear from today's research is that the cost of university is only going to increase, it's just a case of by how much. Any parent thinking about sending their child to university in the future will ideally plan how they are going to help fund it and that plan has to be formulated now.

There is a very real concern that parents could be jeopardising their own financial security to help their children avoid university debt by dipping into their own retirement provision - that's why we're urging families of small children to plan early and start saving now.

Based on the current predictions, if the cost of a three your course is set to rise to 50,000 in 18 year's time, how many families can afford not to save to meet their children's university aspirations? However, we believe that there is a ray of hope for parents of younger children in the form of the Child Trust Fund.

According to our calculations, if families were to save GBP24 a month into a Child Trust Fund, it could result in a fund worth GBP10,000 - potentially subsidising the cost of university by a fifth. However, because the Child Trust Fund has been designed so anyone can save for the child, parents aren't alone in being able to find the money for their children's future. If grandparents and other family members helped out and were able to top up the Child Trust Fund to the full GBP100 a month over the next 18 years, children could graduate into adulthood with more than GBP37,000 which could significantly reduce any student debt they may acquire.

Media Contact For further information please contact Stephanie Quantick The Children's Mutual Web: Tel: +44(0)1892-775-348 Email

Media Contact: For further information please contact Stephanie Quantick, The Children's Mutual, Tel: +44(0)1892-775-348, Email