An Association of Investment Trust Companies (AITC) study has shown that students expect to graduate with Â£6,199 of debt while parents estimate Â£7,080, but the real figure is Â£13,500.
Annabel Brodie-Smith, communications director at the AITC, commented: “It’s concerning that so few would be students and their families really comprehend the financial implications of going to university.
“Many young people go to university to enjoy some of the best years of their life but on graduation will find themselves struggling to repay their debt.”
Her warning comes as the current generation of A-Level students prepare to enter universities charging top-up fees, which will see them saddled with even more debts than their predecessors.
As student debt appears to increase each year, Ms Brodie-Smith urged parents of children not yet at university to start saving now to help future graduates.