ASG Planning for Education Index - The total costs of education

by Nicole Gundi | Jan 20, 2017

As a parent, have you ever sat down and calculated how much your children’s education could cost you? Not just school fees—but uniforms, technology costs, transport, extra-curricular activities and the like. 

Some parents say they’re too frightened to, while some families have set education as one of their biggest priorities and financial goals for their children. 

Regardless of what side of the fence you sit on, the 2017 ASG Planning for Education Index reveals the cost of a private education in metropolitan Australia has skyrocketed by 64 per cent in the past decade. For a child born in 2017, sending them to a systemic or religious school has also soared by 57 per cent in comparison to 2007 and the estimated cost of a government education has climbed 25 per cent.  

Sydney is the most expensive city in Australia to educate a child in the private ($575,140) and systemic ($250,862) school system, whereas Melbourne is the most expensive city for a government education over 13 years, where parents could expect to pay more than $77,000 according to the ASG Planning for Education Index. 

Mother with children crossing road

The index also reveals Brisbane is the cheapest city for a private school education at $372,000 and Hobart gets the gold medal as the most affordable city for a government ($45,832) and systemic education ($201,212) for a child born in 2017. 

Either way, education is getting more and more expensive as supported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics with the cost of education rising at two and a half times the rate of inflation in the last decade.

ASG CEO Velegrinis says Australians are fortunate to have excellent government, systemic and private schools to choose from, but costs can spiral out of control.

“If you have three children, the cost of educating them in Sydney or Melbourne’s private education system could top $1.6 million. That’s significantly more than the purchase price of the average family home.

We advocate parents use a disciplined approach by putting a little bit away each week so they can financially afford to meet their children’s educational goals and aspirations.”

ASG member and Noble Park mother of two Judith Little says she and her husband have had to put their own priorities on hold to save for their children’s education.

“Education is very important to us because my husband’s parents were both teachers and I work at a university, previously in admissions and now in orientation and transition. So we’re both attuned to what’s happening in the secondary sector and how they’re preparing students for life after school.   

We want to give Chilli (year 1) and Cadey (kindergarten) the opportunities we didn’t have, so at the end of the day there is less money in the budget for holidays and eating out, but that’s ok because we’ve got financial goals we want to reach and education is the biggest priority."

For more information on the ASG Planning for Education Index including metropolitan and regional cost estimates for a child born in 2017 go to to access the media releases, infographics and the ASG cost calculator.


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