The average median cost of a government education over a 13-year period in metropolitan Australia is 8,727, the latest ASG Planning for Education Index has revealed.
Parents considering a Catholic education for their son or daughter in metropolitan Australia are expected to spend 27,027, while the average median cost of an independent education in Australia’s capital cities is a whopping 98,689.
ASG, the largest provider of education scholarship plans in Australia, found Brisbane was the most expensive national city for a government education, with the bill coming in at 5,601 — 10 per cent higher than the national average of 8,727.
Startlingly, school fees made up just a small fraction of the estimated total cost of a government education each year, with external tuition and devices both costing more.
The ASG research discovered Adelaide was the country’s most expensive city for a Catholic education, with the median total cost exceeding 31,000.
Whereas, Sydney was Australia’s most expensive city for an independent education, with parents expected to spend 61,999 over a 13-year period — 54.7 per cent above the national average of 76,338.
School fees were easily the most expensive component of an independent education in metropolitan Australia, costing parents approximately 4,116 per child per year.
Mother Sarah Charge, whose youngest daughter is about to start Year 9 at a Catholic school in Sydney, described the total cost of an education as “scary” when seen as a lump sum.
“The estimated total cost is a lot more than I thought it would be, however we’ve been fortunate to source second hand uniforms and texts books which helps keep costs down,” Ms Charge said.
“I’m also really surprised the estimated total cost of a Catholic education in Sydney is below the national average. It must be the only thing that is, especially when you compare it to accommodation and house prices.”
The ASG Planning for Education Index also showed the average median cost of a government education in regional Australia was 7,994.
Parents considering a Catholic education for their son or daughter in regional Australia are expected to spend 09,877, while the average median cost of an independent education in regional Australians 01,210.
The Index discovered regional New South Wales was Australia’s most expensive state for a government education (3,808), regional Queensland the most expensive for a Catholic education (13,211) and regional Victoria the most expensive state for an independent education (48,543).
ASG CEO Ross Higgins said the cost of education had risen at more than double the rate of inflation over the past decade.
“Education costs, including tuition costs, uniforms, transport and devices are demanding a far greater share of the family budget than in the past,” Mr Higgins said.
“More than ever, the costs associated with education are placing more of a burden on Australian families, who are already challenged by the rising cost of living.
“With less discretionary money to spend, it’s going to be very hard to pay for education, which means parents who have saved will be in a better position in the long run.”
Mr Higgins encouraged parents to put in place a dedicated savings plan, so they can financially afford to meet their children’s educational goals and aspirations.
ASG has also developed a Cost Calculator tool which may assist looking at this data as it applies to your circumstances.
The Index was based on data sourced from a survey of 2300 ASG members on ancillary costs and public information on school fees from the Good Schools Guide and My School website.