Survey estimates cost of educating children

SND11-wk4-Education costs - JohnVelegrinis 300x224New Zealand families could spend up to $630,000 on their children’s education, according to the ASG Planning for Education Index released on Friday.

The survey found that for a child born in 2015, 13 years of private school education in New Zealand is estimated to cost $NZ323,814. State integrated schooling could cost up to $107,962, almost a third of the cost of private education, with state education costing up to $37,676.

ASG Education Programmes CEO John Velegrinis said that, regardless of whether choosing to educate a child in a state, state integrated or private school, parents need to start planning financially for education from the time their child is born.

“Education is one of life’s major investments – in some instances it’s an even bigger investment than the family home. What we’re advocating is that by putting a little bit away, parents are more likely to achieve the goals and aspirations they have for their children.”

More than 1000 ASG members responded to the independently peer reviewed survey, which included such variables as school fees, costs of transport, uniforms, computers, school excursions and sporting trips.

State education in New Zealand is more than 40 per cent cheaper than in Australia, costing families about $37,676 for a 13-year education, in comparison to $67,894 across the Tasman.

Sarah Kennett decided to plan and prepare early for her children’s education.

“When my three children were really young, books were a real focus and we read to them daily. They were reading books themselves and that was the start of them wanting to know what was going on in the world and valuing education.

“We live on a farm 40 minutes out of town, which can get a bit isolating, so I think having a good education gives them a bit more scope about the world of agriculture beyond the farm gates,” she said.

Sarah’s daughter Lana studied agriculture at Lincoln University and recently completed her post-graduate diploma in marketing.

“I put my scholarship money towards my accommodation costs. It’s so much easier living on campus, because classes and the library are right there, and you can socialise and collaborate with your peers, Lana said.

“Because mum and dad made that investment so many years ago, it really shows that they did care about our future.”

Mr Velegrinis said school fees are only one component of total education costs.

“There is a myriad of other costs involved including transport, uniforms and school books, excursions – which can create financial headaches if they’re not planned for.”

ASG’s online Education Costs Calculators available at enables families to estimate the cost of their child’s education.

For comprehensive summary sheets detailing the cost of education in metropolitan New Zealand visit:

* Participants in the ASG Planning for Education Index were asked to provide information on what type of school their children attended – state, state integrated or private. The survey took place in October 2014. A researcher and independent statistician reviewed the data and calculated the future cost of education using the New Zealand Department of Statistics approved CPI indexes.

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