Students are risking their safety to save money, while many others are going without food and heating in order to avoid university.
More than half of students have walked home alone after a night out, with one fifth sacrificing hot water or central heating and 39% going without food, a survey by StudentBeans.com found.
Oliver Brann, editor of the student site, said financial worries should not be reason for students to put themselves at risk.
"Whilst cutting back on pricey nights out or luxury food may be part of student life, walking home alone to avoid taxi costs or sacrificing hot water or central heating is really extreme.
"Now more than ever it is up to universities, parents and websites like studentbeans.com to support and educate students on the best ways to budget their money wisely."
Of the 1,401 students who responded to the survey, 66% said their course would not offer value for money if they were paying £9,000 a year in tuition fees.
A quarter of students are "very concerned" about being in debt after university and 47% were "slightly concerned".
Nearly half (42%) would consider attending an institution close to home and living with parents to save money. A similar amount said their student loan had run out before the end of term, with 79% saying they could not afford to go to university without one.
The survey found nearly half (45%) live off their student loan but try and save money from working part-time; 40% of students estimate they will owe the Students Loan Company £20,000 to £30,000 by the time they have completed their degree and 34% of students with part-time jobs work a minimum of 15 hours a week.
The student site also asked students what they had done at university to save money:
- Walked home alone so I didn't have to pay for a taxi: 51%
- Cut down on food intake: 50%
- Switched off the central heating: 49%
- Textbooks/educational material: 22%
A fifth of students sacrifice food in order to have more money to spend on going out and buying alcohol. More than half (56%) experience financial difficulties while at university, while 37% experience anxiety related to finances and 20% experience depression.
Visit our Student Finance page for helpful hints, tips and advice.