About ASG's Education Costs Calculators

  • ASG provides these calculators as a tool for parents to estimate the future costs of their children's education.
  • The calculator enables parents to plan for their education choices and better understand the financial outcomes of those choices. 
  • These figures have been rounded to the nearest dollar amount, and provided as a guide only.
  • The impact of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) changes have been considered in calculating all total figures, and where applicable the relevant sub-index group has been applied accordingly to estimated costs.
  • ASG has endeavoured to provide a reasonable basis for planning, however no allowance has been made for the possibility that GST may be applied to education fees. These figures are the average estimated costs and represent the highest amount parents and families could expect to pay. Figures have been rounded and are provided as a guide only. ASG cannot guarantee that they will represent the actual costs of education for a particular child.
  • The estimates of the University costs calculations are provided in accordance with the state the students will attend university, the professions, and living options available to them as university students. Future cost estimates are forecast using Consumer Price Index (CPI) information
  • ASG's University costs calculations are based on the costs associated with studying in a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) at university in Australia. The costs estimates do not take into account possible government benefits or allowances because qualifying for such payments varies widely depending on individual circumstances, such as family income and location.
  • While full-fee paying places are available at some universities, this calculator does not include estimates for these places. In addition, it does not provide estimates on TAFE or the VET sector where the disparity of fees and charges between states would not make it possible to provide accurate costs estimates into the future.

What personal information is collected?

  • Parents are advised to email or print out the information for future reference, as no information is stored.
  • To review the information again at a future date, parents will need to re-enter the details.

Primary school and secondary school calculator FAQs

How have the schooling estimates been collected?

ASG conducted an online education costs survey among its members during September 2017.  In all, ASG received more than 2,900 survey responses. The survey asked parents to estimate the costs associated with tuition fees and levies (including voluntary contributions), extracurricular activities, clothing, necessities such as books and stationery, travel expenses and computer costs (including internet) that they paid for their children at government, faith based, and private centres and schools.  Estimates of expenditure, being based on a sample rather than a census, are subject to sampling error.  As such there is a level of uncertainty about actual expenditure, which depends on the sample size and inherent variability of expenditure. In order to reduce this uncertainty, cost estimates for 2017 were derived using a combination of 2013 and 2015 survey data, adjusted for inflation reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, as well as survey data from 2017.  

Costs for primary and secondary students

  • Additional data was collected to get a better understanding of how costs varied across the country. Members also identified the state or territory their child attends school and whether the school was in a metropolitan or regional area.
  • The national average has been calculated from the state data. Because ASG has more members in some states, the national average was weighted to reflect the Australian population of people aged five to 18 years.

 

Note for Northern Territory: A very small number of responses were received from the Northern Territory in the most recent survey.  As such, the provision of cost estimates for the Northern Territory in isolation would be highly unreliable and therefore have not been included.  It is recommended that those in the Northern Territory refer to the figures for adjoining states as a basis for planning.

Indexation

To provide these estimates, derived 2018 costs are increased at an average growth rate, based on the past 10 years of the relevant Consumer Price Index (CPI). Projecting future economic performance is not ASG's area of expertise and it makes no claims to this effect. Nevertheless, an allowance for inflation must be made in order to provide meaningful estimates of future education costs. The projected costs are all in current dollar terms, as this is the basis which most consumers understand.  There has been no adjustment for the time value of money.  Future price movements will be subject to factors such as the dollar exchange rate, government policy, and other factors which ASG makes no attempt to predict.

• Primary education is projected to increase at an average annual rate of 5.09% over the next 20 years.

• Secondary education is projected to increase at an average annual rate of 5.92% over the next 20 years.

• Extracurricular activities are projected to increase at an average annual rate of 1.97% over the next 20 years.

• Children’s clothing and footwear costs have actually dropped over the past 10 years, and are projected to continue decreasing at an average annual rate of 0.75% over the next 20 years.

• Necessities are indexed by the Books CPI sub-index, which is projected to increase at an average annual rate of 0.70% over the next 20 years.

• Transport costs are projected to increase at an average annual rate of 0.90% over the next 20 years.

• Computers and computer-related costs have actually dropped over the past 10 years, and are projected to continue decreasing at an average annual rate of 3.84% over the next 20 years, as technology improves and is more widely adopted according to the computing and telecommunications sub-index.

• All education is projected to increase at an average annual rate of 5.07% over the next 20 years

• The All Groups CPI index is projected to increase at an average annual rate of 2.35% over the next 20 years.

What are the annual costs comprised of?

The annual cost amounts include tuition fees and levies, extracurricular activities, clothing, necessities, travel, and computer and internet costs as provided by ASG members. These are outlined in detail below.

Fees:

Includes total tuition and/or annual fees, charges, levies (including voluntary levies), and fundraising contributions before government assistance.

Extracurricular:

Includes items such as outings, camps, private tuition/coaching, music lessons, instruments and sports equipment, sport/gym/drama/art/dance classes, or any other extracurricular activity costs appropriate to the stage of schooling for each child.

Clothing:

Includes school-related special clothing requirements, basic school uniform - summer and winter, blazer, shoes, sports kit appropriate to the stage of schooling for each child.

Necessities:

Includes items such as stationery, textbooks, school bags, art and craft materials, and other necessities appropriate to the stage of schooling for each child.

Travel:

Includes items such as car travelling expenses (calculated on the basis of travel for one child), public transport tickets and school buses.

Computer:

Includes computer hardware and software (e.g. purchase or rental of desktop computer and/or laptop computer, software applications and programs, computer levies, etc.) and internet access costs at home and/or at school.

University calculator FAQs

Please note: University costs to be updated March 2016

How have the university estimates been calculated?


ASG conducted desktop research into the costs of university. Information was gathered about the HECS-HELP (Higher Education Contribution Scheme) Costs for Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) at university (www.studyassist.gov.au) and the fees checked. This information was then linked to a select set of career paths.

2015 HECS-HELP Costs for Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) at university

2015 University Commonwealth Supported Place courses durations and fees

Subject

HECS-HELP Cost
Per Year

Band 3: Law, accounting, administration, economics, commerce, dentistry, medicine, veterinary science

$0-$10,266

Band 2: Mathematics, statistics, computing, built environment, other health, allied health, science, engineering, surveying, agriculture

$0-$8,768

Band 1: Humanities, behavioural science, social studies, education (see Notes), clinical psychology, foreign languages, visual and performing arts, nursing (see Notes)

$0-$6,152


Reference: http://studyassist.gov.au/

Research was also conducted into the costs associated with various living options for students, including students living at home with their parents, living in university halls of residence, living in shared independent living situations, and living through the Homestay program (boarding with families).

The estimates are based on the combined HECS-HELP Course costs and various living costs. They are then indexed by the relevant Consumer Price Index (CPI).

How are the profession estimates calculated?

Download a list of all the professions (careers) information.

Example professions representing the diversity of courses available under each HECS-HELP Subject Band were selected. The estimates reflect the annual HECS-HELP cost multiplied by the traditional length of course for each Subject Band. For example, law courses are generally four years. (Courses that are of a non-standard length are not represented.)

The impact of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases has been considered, and where applicable the relevant sub-index group has been applied accordingly to estimated costs.

How are the living-option estimates calculated?

Four student living alternatives are offered for calculating university costs: students living in the family home (with their parents), living in university halls of residence, living in shared independent rental accommodation (with two others), and living through the Homestay program (boarding with families).

Based on extensive desktop research, ASG has compiled a list of living expenses associated with university study, including the new Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF); textbooks, stationery, printing and photocopying; computer and internet costs; various accommodation costs; groceries and food costs, utilities and households services; public transport; leisure and entertainment; and ancillary costs.

How have the costs been estimated?

To provide these estimates, 2015 costs are increased at an average growth rate, based on the past five years of the relevant Consumer Price Index (CPI). In order to provide a more accurate forecast for utilities costs, ten rather than five years were used to soften the impact of particularly high utility prices over the past five years due to extraordinary infrastructure expenditure and taxation introductions. Forecasting future economic performance is not ASG's area of expertise and it makes no claims to this effect. Nevertheless, an allowance for inflation must be made in order to provide meaningful estimates of future university costs. For this calculator, CPI forecasts have been made 32 years ahead. Since different types of costs increase at different rates, a different index was used for each cost type.

What are the annual costs comprised of?

​Download the cost details.