Why I took out a 24+ Loan to study dentistry

16 June 2015 Spencer Carter, City and Islington College

Spencer Carter who after returning to education is now studying dentistry at King's College London

Spencer Carter, 33, decided to become a dentist after becoming disillusioned in his career working as a surveyor. Spencer’s dream to study dentistry came true after he passed an Access to Higher Education course in Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at City and Islington College in London.

Spencer had also previously worked for the RAF and had not studied A Levels.

Spencer has now studying at King’s College London’s renowned Dental Institute and intends to become a maxillofacial surgeon.

We asked him how he is finding university and how Government funded 24+ Loans helped him return to education.

How is your first year at university going?

It is going ok, it is very busy and hectic but I feel privileged to be studying at one of the best universities in the world. 

How did you hear about the College?

I had a friend who in his 20’s who decided that he wanted to go to university to study English and he did it through the Access route. I decided I wanted to do dentistry and began researching whether universities would accept students who had studied Access courses. 

Why did you choose Candi and decide to travel in from outside of London?

My two reasons for choosing City and Islington were that I could get to Angel from Essex in 45 minutes and I found that City and Islington had an excellent track record of getting Access students into university.

Why did you take out a Government funded 24+ Loan?

I heard about 24+ loans as a result of research on google. When you are considering returning to education there is a constant thought in your head of ‘Can I do this? Am I kidding myself?  I had to quit a decent well paid career to do this and I had no intention of failing.

What the 24+ loan gave me was that reassurance to take the first step as I knew the College fees would be paid for. However, studying dentistry means I am still prepared to take on debt. However, by choosing dentistry I know I am going in to a very well paid career and the benefits outweigh any negatives.

What would you say to students considering returning to education?

I see the debt I am taking on as an investment in my future. I think it is important that those returning to education think very carefully and research thoroughly to find out clearly what they will get from their investment at the end of it all. You have to be 100% committed and cannot go in to it light heartedly.

I always had a nagging thought in my head when I saw that King’s could accept someone from my background of - ‘really, do they really offer places to 32 year olds when they are over-subscribed with 18 year olds.’ I am evidence now that these routes are possible and that you can return to education, work hard, aim high and achieve your ambitions.

If Spencer finishes his degree she will not have to pay a penny back of his Government funded 24+ loan.

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