Why educating a child born in 2016 will break you


If you’ve welcomed a new addition to the family in the Year of the Monkey you’ll be sufficiently thrilled to withstand the jarring reality that educating your 2016 baby could cost more than half a million dollars.

This is the daunting estimate from Australian Scholarships Group (ASG), which each year costs the price of putting a child through school from Year One to Year 12.

In releasing the results of the 2016 Planning for Education Index, ASG CEO John Velegrinis said the cost of education has continued to rise at more than twice the rate of inflation over the past decade.

He said that not only was the growth outstripping increases in wages but that the pressure to fund a quality education was threatening to undermine people’s ability to afford their own home.


“If you have two or three children, the cost of a private education could be higher than the purchase price of the family home,” he said.


“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.”

While he believes Australians are fortunate in having a variety of excellent government, systemic and private schools, “regardless of whether you choose public, systemic (religious) or private schools, the costs of that education will clearly increase, which is why we advocate that parents start planning for education as early as possible, even from the moment their child is born,” he said.

Unsurprisingly, parents contemplating private schooling face the greatest potential impost, with the Planning for Education Index estimating the total cost at a whopping $552,351.00, if, that is, the child attends schools in Sydney.

Not only is a Sydney-based private school education 18 percent above the national metropolitan average for private schooling, it also represents an increase of more than $10,000 on last year’s estimate.

By contrast Brisbane, with an average cost of $360,044.00, offers the cheapest private school option in a metro area. Melbourne, which ranked second to Sydney with $512,283.00, boasted the most expensive public education, with the Index estimating a total cost of $75,193.

This was more expensive than Adelaide, Brisbane and second-ranked Sydney where a 2016 baby’s journey through the public system will set its parents back $73,063.

The Planning for Education Index is based on more than 12,500 responses and measures a range of variables including school fees, transport, uniforms, computers, school excursions and sporting trips to determine the cost of education.

While the overall result was continuing increases, there were some exceptions, with the study identifying school-related transport and school supplies as two areas where costs had fallen since 2015.

Summary of total education costs for a child born in 2016


Location Public Systemic Private
National Metro $66,862 $230,381 $468,397
Regional $50,920 $172,331 $328,981
Australian Capital Territory Metro $50,385 $223,940 $431,538
New South Wales Metro $73,063 $240,768 $552,351
Regional $52,598 $167,021 $349,941
Queensland Metro $58,843 $235,563 $360,044
Regional $50,478 $193,262 $326,762
South Australia Metro $57,459 $239,053 $365,976
Regional $49,593 $191,973 $287,128
Tasmania Metro $45,114 $196,089 $421,309
Regional $47,425 $160,664 $340,214
Victoria Metro $75,193 $214,958 $512,283
Regional $53,245 $154,703 $353,857
Western Australia Metro $55,250 $227,442 $393,870
Regional $43,594 $143,139 $308,323

ASG_Total-cropGraphs supplied courtesy Australian Scholarship Group