THOUSANDS of 18-year-olds are starting a degree course in Huddersfield - refusing to be put off by soaring costs.
Numbers of new undergraduates at the town's university are on the up after taking a big dip in the last two years.
They are heading for the lecture rooms despite warnings the average graduate will run up £12,000 of debt by the time they leave.
In addition, many will have to accept a low starting salary for their first job.
Help for students in financial trouble is being stepped up at the university by welfare officials.
University spokesman John Ramsdin said: "We are very pleased to welcome all the new students. There will be about 4,000 new starters, bringing our total up to 17,500.
"I am sure they will get a warm welcome from the people of the town as well as the University. It's just a pity their first day is marked by miserable weather!"
A new course of media with sports journalism is proving a big hit in Huddersfield.
Away from the cash problems, a range of events is being staged to welcome students.
Neighbouring clubs, pubs and restaurants are also putting out the welcome mat.
Newcomers are arriving as a £4m new student union building is shaping up on campus.
It is scheduled to open in January as a replacement for ageing Milton Hall.
The new centre will include a bar with purpose-built stage for performing artists.
There will also be a shop, off-licence, coffee bar and a new advice and information office.
Students who are coming from outside Huddersfield are being urged to make sure they register with a GP as soon as they get to university.