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As parents and grandparents, we want to give our children the best in life. This pressure is especially evident when it comes to our choice of school. Today, with the rising cost of living – and education – more and more families are facing the bitter reality that the best schools are becoming out of reach. But solutions do exist. And with the right knowledge, process and guidance, you can comfortably navigate the cost of education in Australia.

World pressures causing local impact

When we think of the current hot topics in Australia, the cost of living certainly tops the list. So it was no surprise that the annual national McCrindle Cost of Education survey found that 81% of respondents are stressed about finances.


With mortgage and rent pressures (selected by 46% of respondents) and utilities and rates (selected by 45% of respondents) topping the list, it was disheartening to see that 42% also stated grocery prices as one of their highest monthly stressors.


But what impact does this high cost of living have on our ability to cover the cost of education in Australia? Plenty. Over 66% of parents said that Australia’s cost of education was having a significant impact on their household finances.


We’re a nation that values education

Australians are strong advocates for quality education, with 4 in 5 parents (85%) believing schooling is essential for their children to thrive in life.


So it’s telling that despite education posing a significant strain on finances for two-thirds of the parenting population, we’re still focused on how to make it work for the future of our children.


But only 34% of Aussie parents feel they are financially equipped to contribute to lifelong education for their children – with 12% not feeling equipped at all. So it’s clear most of the parenting population could benefit from some long-term planning support.


Schooling costs more than just tuition

One of the common missteps parents make when determining the cost of education in Australia is to base averages on school fees alone. But the research shows that it’s the ‘hidden’ costs – or ancillaries – that often add up the most.


In fact, these extra items account for around 88% of total education costs in Government schools, 56% in Catholic schools and 48% in Independent schools. That means families have no choice but to factor in the costs of uniforms, transport, camps, excursions and electronic devices.


Is education expensive in Australia?

So, what is the average cost of education in Australia? The table below breaks down the combined averages of tuition fees and ancillary costs over 13 years – according to schooling sector and location.


And as you can see, it really adds up.






Major cities




Regional/remote areas




*These numbers are population-weighted and projected over a 13-year period and provided as a guide only. The actual costs cannot be guaranteed.


A look to the states and territories

When looking at national trends, we continue to see consistently high education costs across all states and territories.


Our most expensive locations by sector are:






Most expensive location

Victoria metro


NSW metro

Average 13-year cost





And our most affordable locations by sector are:






Most affordable location


NSW metro

WA metro

Average 13-year cost





Queensland has the most affordable education in regional settings across all sectors.


Zoning and location can add to your costs

We must not forget the issue of housing affordability.


Many Catholic and Government schools have zoning restrictions to ease classroom numbers, which prompts many families to relocate to fall ‘into the catchment zone’. So it’s not uncommon for highly sought-after schools to attract a premium when it comes to property prices and rent.


And the numbers don’t lie: McCrindle found that 35% of parents are influenced by the location of a school – forcing them to find the extra funds for relocation and higher rentals or mortgages.


So, when considering your ability to service your child’s education costs, be sure to factor this in too.


Smash your schooling savings plan with certainty

Quality education comes at a cost. But it’s also one you can plan for today – to ensure your child has a better tomorrow.


It would be easy to look at the figures in this article and feel a sense of dread or apprehension at how you will make this work. But as with everything in life, with the right knowledge and guidance, it is possible to comfortably afford the education you want for your child.


The key is to create a solid plan – and to take action.


For over 50 years, we’ve been helping Australian families afford the costs of education through our expertly managed education bond, Futurity EdSaver. Our solutions are designed to help parents and grandparents just like you save and accumulate funds for schooling expenses in a tax-effective way.


Your child’s education will likely be one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. It’s never too early to understand and prepare for these costs – so you can create the bright future you envisage for your children.


Need help planning for the cost of education? Speak with your Financial Adviser about Futurity’s Education Bond range – or contact us today.