Hidden Costs of Education

///Hidden Costs of Education

Have you started savings for your child’s education? Understanding the total cost of education might give you a reason to. When it comes to planning your child’s education, there are several factors most families consider, from the quality of the education, range of subject options, academic achievement, school values and ethos, and family tradition. And, although cost may not be the number one factor when making this important decision, research by ASG(1) suggests that the estimated total cost of a Catholic education(2) has risen by 57 per cent in the last decade, which makes cost a growing consideration for many families. Information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics also indicates that the cost of education across all sectors has risen by 64 per cent over the past 10 years, which is more than double the increase in inflation.(3)

Luckily, finding out the fees and levies associated with a particular school, and comparing schools across a range of criteria is relatively easy to do, especially with resources such as Catholic Schools Guide.

Hidden CostsWhat some parents fail to consider however are the additional costs associated with education that sometimes go unrecognised until their children actually start school.

Research conducted by ASG(1), an education savings and scholarship benefit fund provider in Australia, illustrates that costs such as uniforms, books, extracurricular activities, technology and excursions or school trips in 2017 can actually represent 27 per cent of the total costs for a child attending a Catholic secondary school in metropolitan Australia. Families planning on sending their child born in 2017 through a Catholic education could face additional costs of close to $50,000 over 13 years.

ASG CEO John Velegrinis says Australians are fortunate to have excellent government, systemic and private schools to choose from, but costs can spiral out of control. “We advocate parents use a disciplined approach by putting a little bit away each week so they can financially afford to meet their children’s educational goals and aspirations.”

Independent statistician and Managing Director of foreseechange Charlie Nelson says a range of economic factors influence the cost of education. “Employment growth, hourly wages and inflation all impact the cost of living, which puts extra strain on the family budget. With school fees likely to rise further, it has never been more important for parents to financially plan for their child’s future.”

Careful planning and budgeting now can of course help families ensure there are no surprises during the first year of school. ASG provides a cost and savings calculator on their website— www.asg.com.au which can help you understand the various estimated costs associated with the different types and stages of education, which may help you with your planning.

For comprehensive summary sheets detailing the cost of education in metropolitan and regional Australia visit: www.asg.com.au/edcosts

(1) Source: ASG Planning for Education Index, 2017

(2) Catholic education was included as part of the analysis for systemic education.

(3) Source ABS: 6401 Consumer Price Index, Sep 17

ASG conducts the ASG Planning for Education Index annually, asking parents to estimate education costs, which cover preschool, primary and secondary schools in Australia. Cost estimates are based on 12,500 responses collected by ASG. To help with the costs of education, ASG Funding Solutions is an annual education costs payment service that takes the financial pressure off parents, families and guardians and allows you to pay for your child’s school fees, and other education related expenses as billed by the school in manageable instalments over the year.

ASG is a member owned organisation, helping to create educational opportunities for children. ASG has been helping families and their children for more than 40 years. During this time, more than 540,000 children have been enrolled with ASG and more than $2.8 billion in education benefits and scholarship payments returned to members. For more information visit: www.asg.com.au