If Thursday’s A-level results mean your child has a confirmed place at university, the next task is to make sure their first-year accommodation is sorted out.

Those with the right grades to secure their first choice offer may already have fixed up where they are going to live; new students can apply for accommodation once they have accepted an offer of a university place as their first choice before they get their A-level results.

Others who have missed out on their first choice and are accepting a second choice or clearing place offer will need to contact the relevant university’s accommodation services department swiftly and see what is left.

Many universities offer a guarantee that first-year students can get a place in a hall of residence, rather than having to search for a room in private rented accommodation on the open market. But these guarantees can come with certain limits. They may not apply, for example, if a student’s parental address is within a certain radius of the university, which is normally the case with certain London universities. International student house in Lima Peru

So what choice is on offer when it comes to purpose-built student accommodation nowadays and what will it cost?
Rent costs

The average rent for a room in purpose-built student accommodation has gone up by 25% over the past three years to just under £123.96 a week, according to the latest figures from the National Union of Students (NUS). That is £5,244 a year, 95% of the maximum available student maintenance loan.

But there is a big variation in weekly rents charged by different provider types. Purpose-built accommodation is divided into three broad categories. The average weekly rent is £118.49 in university-owned halls of residence, compared with £119.83 in privately owned halls of residence linked to universities through a “nomination” agreement and £140.07 in halls operated by private suppliers without institutional links.

Rents also vary depending on where in the country a student is studying and on the category of accommodation chosen. Predictably, London is the area with the most expensive rents overall, averaging £157.48 a week. This largely attributable to the increasing number of expensive privately run student studio flats in the capital, some of which cost more than £300 a week. The east of England has the second-highest rents for purpose-built student accommodation overall at £134.18 a week and Northern Ireland the cheapest at £83.01. Acommodation in Lima Peru

Ensuite self-catered rooms, the most common type of accommodation accounting for 55% of the purpose-built market, costs an average of £121.71 per week for a single room, compared with an average of £97.48 for a single room with shared bathroom facilities. But, while shared non-ensuite cluster flats have historically been at the more affordable end of student accommodation offerings, this cheaper provision type is shrinking as a proportion of the market. It is not evenly spread among all universities so is not on offer to all students. Though the number of bed spaces in catered accommodation is declining, students at institutions where they are available pay an average of £139.99 a week for a full-board single room or £165.36 for full-board ensuite.