How to go to a University open day on a budget



    We understand that the increase in the cost of living, public transport, and fuel will undoubtedly have an impact on young people when they plan to attend university Open Days.

    Open Days are a great way for universities to showcase the learning and living environment they create – and for your young person to find a higher education institution where they can feel a sense of belonging. 

    Before deciding on where they’d like to apply to, it’s important your young person has the chance to explore different universities to imagine what life they could create at each one.

    The financial implications often land with parents and carers, as you support your young person to find the right university for them.


    Here are our top tips to help balance the cost of university Open Days and enable your young person to explore all the opportunities available to them:

    • Some universities will offer ‘travel funds’ which can help fund the cost of young people attending Open Days, Applicant Days, and other university events. UEA offer a travel fund that can help both school groups and individuals visit the campus and engage in higher education activities.
    • If a group of young people want to attend the same Open Day, schools or colleges may be able support the cost or organise and pay for coach travel. Sometimes they also have small pots of money to support young people to access higher education activities, which could include visiting universities.
    • Are your young person’s friends planning to visit the same university Open Day? Perhaps car sharing could cut down the cost for everyone and a road trip is always fun!
    • Plan your travel in advance and look at all public transport options. Sign up for train ticket alerts on the trainline website to get notifications when cheaper train tickets are released. If your young person has a 16-25 railcard, this could help make the journey cheaper.
    • Virtual Open Days can help you and your young person explore different universities online. They can give a taster of what the university can offer and could help narrow down the long list to a shorter, more manageable list of universities to visit. UEA host a virtual open day platform that enables young people to explore a tailored experience related to the subjects they’re interested in studying.
    • Similarly, you can often find student created content on social media and YouTube that gives insight into different universities. Students create videos of accommodation options, the societies on offer, and specific course reviews - just like a virtual campus tour! This could help your young person choose which universities they’d like to explore further (and which ones they don’t).
    • Some universities may offer food vouchers or discounts at Open Days, so keep your eyes peeled for any freebies, especially to help with the cost of lunch. You can also meal plan, preparing enough food to keep you and your young person energised throughout the day.
    • Has your young person considered universities closer to home? For some, it’s an exciting idea to move away from home to a new place. However, they may never know what’s available to them on their doorstep! If your young person has a list of universities they’d like to visit, encourage them to add an option that’s closer to home. They may be surprised what they’ll discover, and, when they become a student, it could help cut back on all costs associated with student life.