Half of students hold down jobs while studying, with many working more than 20 hours a week, a poll has suggested.
It reveals that students are still likely to rely on loans to get them through university, but parents and savings are also common sources of income.
The poll of around 2,000 students found that women are more likely to have a paid job while studying than men (52% compared to 42%).
Overall, half say that they have a part-time job either during term time or the holidays or both, or hold down full-time work.
Some 21% of those who have jobs said that they work 21 hours or more a week, found the Endsleigh survey.
Almost three quarters (73%) said that student loans are one of their main sources of income while studying, with 51% citing their parents and 39% saying savings.
For around one in four, a part-time job during term time is one of their main sources of income, found the poll conducted with the National Union of Students.
Sara Newell, student market manager for Endsleigh Insurance, said: "For many students, having a part-time job at university is no longer a choice but a necessity.
"There is clearly a lot of pressure on students to think about finances but there is advice out there and we would encourage students to start thinking about money before heading off to university so that cash flow worries don't stop students having a fantastic university experience."
Researchers questioned 2,072 university students in April and May.