Increasing costs of education are putting a strain on families, with a new study showing education costs in New Zealand are escalating, with the possibility of schooling costing families more than $300,000.
According to the ASG Planning for Education Index, for a child born in 2016, the forecast cost of a private school education in New Zealand is $326,773. For an average size family, the cost of 13 years of education could leave parents with an education bill of $637,207.
The ASG Planning for Education Index, based on almost 2000 responses, measures a range of variables including school fees, transport, uniforms, computers, school excursions and sporting trips to determine the cost of education.
The reveals state integrated schooling is estimated to cost $104,437 for a child born in 2016, with state schooling forecast to be $37,113 over the 13-year schooling period.
A comparison of costs for a child starting school in New Zealand this year, with a child starting school in 2021 (born 2016), reveals parents are forecast to pay 8%, 16% and 21% for a state, state integrated and private school education respectively.
John Velegrinis, ASG CEO, says it has never been more important for parents to plan for their child’s future.
“This is clear evidence that the increasing costs of education are putting strain on the family budget,” Velegrinis says.
“If you have two or three children, the cost of their education could be higher than the purchase price of the family home.”
Independent statistician and managing director of Melbourne company, foreseechange, Charlie Nelson, says the fact that school fees are increasing faster than incomes will undoubtedly have an effect on education affordability.
“With the average income in New Zealand increasing by 3.1% annually, considerably less than the rising cost of education, families will be hit harder than ever,” says Velegrinis.
Parents are still better off in New Zealand, with the national metropolitan average of a state education in Australia costing parents almost double the forecast cost ($71,562), according to the study.
Private education ($326,773) is also more affordable in New Zealand, with Australian families spending 53% more ($501,325) across Australian cities.
The index reports parents of secondary school children have spent 12% more on computers in 2016 compared to last year. However while parents are spending more, the cost of computers (CPI) have actually decreased in the last year.
Velegrinis says parents should start planning for their children’s education as early as possible, even from the moment their child is born.
“Regardless of whether you send your children to a state, state integrated or private school, the costs of that education will clearly increase,” he says.
“We’re very fortunate in New Zealand to have a variety of excellent state, state integrated and private schools,” adds Velegrinis.
“We advocate parents use a disciplined approach by putting a little bit away each week so they financially can afford their children’s educational goals and aspirations,” he says.