Pupils in Year 13 are making their decisions about whether to apply to university and which one they should choose.
One of the big issues this year is the new financing system, which will apply to students starting courses from September 2012.
BBC News has designed a calculator to give students repaying loans under the new system an idea of how much it may cost them to pay off their student loans. The new repayment system applies in England and Wales - there is more detail on fees and loans around the UK here.
The calculator uses estimates of predicted lifetime earnings based on the career areas people are considering pursuing, their age and sex.
All the figures are based on averages, so low and high earners in a particular category would pay different amounts to those given by the calculator. The earnings figures are for all employees, not just graduates, because graduate-only figures are not available. The calculator is designed to provide a general illustration of cost of financing in various scenarios, rather than to give precise predictions of how much individuals will have to pay.
The figures are all in 2011 money, so reflect how much particular amounts of money are worth to you today.
How much will you pay back overall
Area of professions
The calculator uses your planned profession to estimate your future earnings
Science: Chemists; biological scientists; physicists; geologists; Meteorologists
Engineering: Civil, mechanical, electrical and chemical engineers; design engineers; other engineers
Information technology: IT strategy and planning professionals; software professionals
Health: Medical practitioners; psychologists; pharmacists/pharmacologists; opticians; dental practitioners; veterinarians
Teaching: Higher education, further education, secondary education, primary education and special needs education teaching professionals; schools inspectors, registrars and administrators of educational Establishments
Research: Scientific and social science researchers; researchers not elsewhere classified
Legal: Solicitors; lawyers; judges; coroners Accountancy & statistics: Chartered, certified & management accountants; management consultants, actuaries, statisticians Economists
Architects, town planners, surveyors: Architects; town planners; surveyors
Public service: Public service administration professionals; social workers; probation officers; clergy
Librarians: Librarians; archivists and curators
National average: average earnings across all careers