Private Schools Making Parents Literally Bankrupt; Is It Worth It?
There is a certain prestige among those who attend private schools. It is no wonder parents go the extra mile to ensure that they could send their children to private schools.
Aside from prestige, it is also linked to social and academic standing. All of these come at a hefty price tag. Let’s delve deeper into something that is on everyone’s minds: are private schools worth it?
Private School Expenses
The news of parents going bankrupt because of unpaid school fees is not uncommon. In fact, it often begs the question if sending your kids to private schools as actually worth the investment. In Melbourne alone, an average of 24 families go bankrupt over a period of two years.
So what gives? Are private schools overly priced? Are the expenses associated with sending your child to a private school warranted?
One of the things that financial experts point to in this situation is the potential savings you could make by sending your child to a public school instead. Aside from the tuition, you should take into account other fees such as uniforms, tutors, books, and school supplies. Although they’re included in public school expenses they can often add up and leave you out of pocket.
Here is an example to help you better understand how it has pushed a lot of families towards bankruptcy.
The average cost of sending a child to a private school today would be approximately $20,000. If you send your child to a private school over a 6-year period, you already have roughly $120,000 by the end of that same period. If you use that same fund as annuity for 5% per annum, you would be able to generate roughly $1,000 per year off of that fund. Over the period of 6 years, you would have had added more than $6,000 into your child’s account.
The average income for most Australians today is at $62,000. It just shows you are spending nearly half of your annual income towards private school fees alone. It is not surprising how bankruptcy comes at such a staggering rate because there are more expenses involved, especially if you have several children.
Is It Worth the Investment?
If you are trying to weigh in on your decision to send your child to a private school, there are a few factors to consider. Are private schools worth it? Find out with these factors:
Academics: The smaller class size, strong academic curriculum and impressive teachers combine to make private schools superior in terms of academic quality. The private school administrators use this criteria to encourage parents into enrolling their children to their school.
However, there is no clear cut method to assess if these factors really provide distinctive advantage to students studying in private schools versus those enrolled in public schools. As a parent, it is your job to research to ensure that the private school expenses are worth it.
Social Opportunities: The social environment in a private school is much different when compared to that of a public school. This is one of the factors that parents take into account when deciding whether to send their children to a private or public school.
In a private school setting, your child will have the opportunity to mingle with and spend time with a certain group of people or kids. However, in public school, there tends to be much more diversity, with like-minded people from similar social or class circles. You should weigh in on these factors when you want to make sense of your potential big investment with a private school.
Finances: Your current financial situation is one of the biggest factors to look into when choosing to send your child to private school.
Can you afford to even send your child to private school? Most of the time it doesn’t take a financial expert to answer this question. You have to look at the annual cost of sending a child to private school versus your annual income. If you can afford it but still find it expensive, go back to the number one factor – the quality of education and academics.
This is not to say that sending your children to private schools is a bad idea. However, you will need to look at the bigger picture and consider how the school fees compare to your income.
If you had to consider inflation, you can also expect the fees to grow as the years pass by. Make sure you can sustain it and that you can truly say that it was worth the investment you made.
Consider if you’re making the right decision with taking your child to private school by assessing your funds and researching as much as you can before making a decision.