Singapore has among the best universities in the world. Plus, studying local is a lot cheaper than getting an overseas education.
To figure out whether you can afford your child’s university education locally, you’d need to find out how much the course costs per year and take into account the fact that that amount will probably be higher when Junior is ready to start his tertiary education.
The good news is that you have time on your side, so you may want to start saving towards that goal now, says Lee Chee Kian, senior client adviser at Providend.
If you are thinking about sending your child overseas for his degree, you’d need to plan carefully, says Rob Howland, a senior financial planner at AAM Advisory.
“The average cost today for a one-year course, which includes tuition and living costs for a foreign student, ranges between $65,000 and $85,000, depending on which country your child wants to study in. You can expect these costs to increase by five per cent per annum.”
Rob adds that the sooner you start saving the less you’d have to put aside every month as time progresses.
“In this regard, it’s very similar to taking out a mortgage,” he points out.
“The monthly repayments over a 20-year payment term are much more affordable than trying to pay down the same debt over a 10-year term. Starting a bank savings account for this is one option, but there are also other vehicles designed for this expense that’ll make your money work harder for you.”
Andrea Kennedy, a finance behaviour specialist from Wiser Wealth, also advises you to be rational and flexible if you do decide to send your child overseas.
“You would have to factor in your child’s living and social expenses as well – you don’t want him to be eating instant noodles every night while his friends are out enjoying a meal!
“And bear in mind, there’ll be many factors over which you have no control, such as exchange rates and investment returns, so you may not want to completely commit to the idea of a particular university.
“It’s also important to keep all options open to avoid disappointment if your child doesn’t get into the school of his choice or you can’t afford your top choice.”