From education to employment

Research reveals parents to spend almost $45,000 on their child’s education

The Knowledge Academy found, on average, parents spend $44,221 on their child’s primary, secondary and higher education (HE) – the average yearly amount spent by parents on each stage of education in each country was multiplied by the typical length of each educational stage in that country, to derive the total amount spent on a child’s education. The figure increases considerably when including postgraduate degrees and attending an international university.

Understandably, the average spend increases as you progress through education. On average, parents will spend $12,820 per child for primary school, whereas secondary school is $2,291 more expensive, costing $15,111. Surprisingly, there is less of jump between secondary school and university, with just a $1,179 increase, as on average university spend is around $16,290.

The Knowledge Academy identified that in order to prepare for their child’s future, 71% of parents started to make plans about their child’s future education (and 60% started saving money) before their child had started primary school. also found from their analysis:

  • 31% of parents have forfeited ‘me time’ and/or given up hobbies to fund their child’s education
  • 25% have drastically reduced or completely stopped leisure activities and taking holidays
  • 23% have changed their working life to fit around their children
  • 20% have developed different social circles to fit in with their child’s needs 

The Knowledge Academy also investigated the means to which parents pay for their child’s education, as 87% of parents fund their child’s current education. Almost three quarters (74%) are funding their child’s education from day to day income, and less than a quarter (21%) are funding through education savings or an investment plan.

As a result, The Knowledge Academy found that 20% have contributed less towards their own long-term savings or investments and 21% have worked extra hours at work to fund their child’s educational needs. Yet, despite this, a staggering 3 in 5 parents (59%) are worried they aren’t doing enough for their children, to ensure they have a successful life in the future.

Joseph Scott, a spokesperson for The Knowledge Academy, said:

“It is a given that with education comes costs, and it is entirely worth it. Education is vital to succeed in life, and as the levels get higher, so does the price tag. However, as the research shows, most parents do not mind spending a large amount of money, and making sacrifices in their lives, to ensure that their child is getting the most out of their education to ensure they are on course to have a successful education and career.”

The Knowledge Academy also spoke to Marie Jones, a parent of an undergraduate student, from Hertfordshire. She said:

“Education is costly, even when you don’t pay for private education for your child. With the added extras, including school uniform, stationary, transport costs and so on – it all mounts up after a while and before you know it you’ve spent an absolute fortune. But I don’t mind, I know it will have a benefit for my child in the long run, which is the most important thing after all.”

No expense spared

From buying books and school uniform to paying for school or university tuition fees, parents spend a lot of money on their children’s education. As a result, sought to find out how much parents tend to spend on their child’s education from start to finish. Utilising a global report from HSBC, The Knowledge Academy investigated 15 countries around the world to find out how the spending differs.

The report by HSBC is based on a sample of parents from each country, with at least one child aged 23 or younger in education. The total expenditure per country was worked out by asking each parent approximately how much they contribute in total each year towards their child’s education (including school/university tuition fees, educational books, school uniform, transport, accommodation etc.). found that the average parental spend on education (includes both state, free and paid-for education), from high to low is as follows:

  1. Hong Kong – $132,161
  2. UAE – $99,378
  3. Singapore – $70,929
  4. USA – $58,464
  5. Taiwan – $56,424
  6. China – $42,892
  7. Australia – $36,402
  8. Malaysia – $25,479
  9. UK – $24,862
  10. Mexico – $22,812
  11. Canada – $22,602
  12. India – $18,909
  13. Indonesia – $18,422
  14. Egypt – $16,863
  15. France – $16,708

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