A level results came out in the UK last week with over 300,000 students finding out whether they had made the grade. Fewer students received A and A* grades this year with a drop of 0.9 percentage points, the biggest fall since records began. 25.5% of grades were in the top brackets.
Those who achieved the grades required to go to their university of choice will have been celebrating and in all likelihood the cost of that university education will not have been at the forefront of their minds. But as the euphoria fades, the question of how to fund that degree will have to be addressed.
University students today have it hard, whether they are studying in the UK or elsewhere. University fees have spiraled up and up throughout the world, far outstripping inflation. In 2012 fees in the UK tripled. Today British students face fees in excess of £9,000 per year without taking into account living costs which are upwards of £500 per month, even for the most frugal of students. As a result, the average graduate leaves university with debts of more than £50,000. That might lead some to question whether that degree is even worth the cost.
Graduate Labour Market Statistics, compiled by the Department for Education, suggest that it is. According to figures in their 2018 report, graduates not only enjoy a substantially higher employment rate than non-graduates – 87.7% compared to 71.6% – but the average graduate median salary was £10,000 more than that of non-graduates. Simply put, within 10 years a university education pays for itself. On that basis, over a 40 year career the financial advantage adds up to £400,000 without even factoring in the likely potential career progression of graduates.
Universities UK Chief Executive, Alistair Jarvis, wholeheartedly agrees. He has described a university education as ‘a great, transformational opportunity’ and ‘life changing in so many ways’. These include many non-financial metrics. Graduates have the advantage over non-graduates in a whole host of ways including increased job security and satisfaction, better employability, lower incidence of poverty, higher retirement income and better health. They are also less likely to go to jail, smoke, drink excessively or become obese. Which parent wouldn’t want all that for their child?
And if they can have it all without racking up huge debts, so much the better. The good news is that there is a way to ease the financial burden for your child – by forward planning. The earlier you start that planning the better. It is logical that spreading the cost of a university education over, say, 18 years will make it far easier to accumulate the amount your child will need, or at least as big a contribution as you can manage. Add compound interest in to the mix and it’s not hard to see and understand that there’s no time like the present to set up an education fee plan.
Expats have additional factors to consider when saving such as future relocation plans and local fluctuations in inflation and currency exchange rates. This can seem overwhelming and that’s where professional help can be invaluable.
Here at Infinity we have a wealth of experience in helping expat families fund the best possible education for their children and giving them the best possible gift to set them up for the future: the chance to graduate debt-free.
Why not arrange to meet one of our highly trained consultants who can help you clarify your long term fee planning goals and recommend regular savings products which will help you build the wealth you require to achieve them? Contact us today