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Education Costs Up, Up and Away

Education Costs Up, Up and Away

Parents of a baby born this year can expect to pay nearly $10,000 for their child’s secondary schooling in a state school, nearly double this for an integrated school and almost $100,000 for a private school education. School boarding costs are extra.

This forecast has been released today by the ASG Scholarships Group, a mutual cooperative of parents planning for their children’s education, and is based on the results of a Colmar Brunton survey of ASG members.

Respondents were asked to estimate the annual costs for each child of school-related fees and expenses and, similarly, to forecast additional annual costs.

The figures show that the parents of a 13-year-old starting secondary school in 2018 and finishing in 2022 will most likely pay a total of $9060 for a state school education, nearly $18,500 for an integrated school and more than $95,500 for a private school education.

This covers the projected costs over five years of annual fees, basic school clothing, sports clothing, sports equipment and ‘incidentals’ such as stationery, trips and travel, tutoring, IT equipment and extra-curricular activities. Trips and travel make up the largest proportion of incidental costs.

“This survey proves the need for parents to plan ahead for their children’s schooling,” said Terry O’Connell, Managing Director of ASG. “The notion of a ‘free’ education can be a risky assumption and it is reasonable for parents to expect that the costs of educating their children will continue to increase in the future.

“While parents have some discretion in paying education charges, they cannot avoid the usual basic costs associated with educating teenagers – transport, clothing, lunches, textbooks and stationery.

“Many parents would be surprised at the expected costs over several years of secondary schooling, especially when they consider this may apply to two or three children. But what should be clear is that it is vital to plan early to meet these future expenses,” said Mr O’Connell.

“The younger the child is when they start, the less the strain on the family budget, and the more choices parents have,” he said.

The ASG Checklist and Forecast of Secondary Education Costs is a broad and conservative indicator of costs and charges which are likely to vary from school to school. At July 2004, the total number of schools in New Zealand was 2647, of which 325 were integrated schools and 114 were private schools. The total number of students attending schools was 764,654.

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