How much your child's education will cost


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At a time when wages are largely flat, many parents are concerned about the sharp rises in their kids' school fees.

The latest research shows that fees have jumped 64% in the decade to 2017, outstripping the rise in inflation by two-and-a-half times.

How much will your kids' education cost?

education educate school fees

The Australian Scholarship Group (ASG) calculates a child born this year who goes to a systemic or Catholic school will rack up a $239,672 education bill while a private school will cost a whopping $487,093. Thirty-five per cent of students, around 1.3 million, go to a non-government school, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

A child born in 2017 who finishes school at 18 will incur costs of $68,613 at a metropolitan government school, according to ASG, factoring in the cost of uniforms, extracurricular activities, travel, computers, sporting trips, stationery and textbooks. Most Australian parents - around 65% - opt for government schools.

But the exact amount depends on where you live, with Sydney schools the most expensive for educating a child in the private school system: $575,140 or 18% above the national metropolitan average of $487,093.

A private school education in Melbourne costs $536,515 while in Canberra fees amount to $447,307.

In regional areas, ASG found Victoria ($370,570) is the most expensive place to educate a child in the private school system, $28,759 more than the national regional average ($341,811) and well above the country's most affordable region for a private education, South Australia ($295,924).

For a systemic education, the index shows Sydney is also the most expensive city.

For a child born in 2017 the forecast cost is $250,862, 5% above the national metropolitan average ($239,672), followed by Adelaide ($246,786) and Brisbane ($243,964).

Regional Queensland is reported to be the most expensive regional area in Australia to educate a child in the systemic school system, with parents forecast to spend $199,328, $20,635 more than the national regional systemic average ($178,693).

Chief executive John Velegrinis says ASG's research predicts the cost of education will increase, irrespective of whether you send your child to a government, systemic or private school.

"The estimated cost of a government education across metropolitan Australia has jumped $13,587 in the past decade," he says.

"That is why we encourage parents to start planning for education as early as possible, even from the moment their child is born."

He says Australians are fortunate to have excellent government, systemic and private schools but costs can spiral out of control.

"If you have three children, the cost of educating them in Sydney's or Melbourne's private system could top $1.6 million. That's significantly more than the purchase price of the average family home."

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Susan has been a finance journalist for more than 30 years, beginning at the Australian Financial Review before moving to the Sydney Morning Herald. She edited a superannuation magazine, Superfunds, for the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, and writes regularly on superannuation and managed funds. She's also author of the best-selling book Women and Money.
March 16, 2017 10.25pm

Thanks for the helpful post!