How to Save for School and College Fees

Aug 8, 2022

They say the best time to plant a tree was 20 years and the second best time is now. The same applies for your child’s school, college and university fees – even if whichever institution you want to pay for is a way off yet.

For better or worse, the best schools, colleges and universities tend to be those private institutions with (higher) tuition fees. And for better or worse, these institutions could set up your child for a better life.

Indeed, in a 2019 Government report, 57% of the Rich List and 48% of FTSE CEOs had been independently educated. In the media, around 43% had been privately educated and 36% graduated from Oxbridge. 

Even the armed forces has a high proportion of privately educated individuals among its highest ranks (49%), while 29% of MPs come from a private school background. 

Here’s how much you should be saving and some tips on how to meet your goals.

How much do you need to send your child to private school?

Fees for private schools vary region by region and school to school, so you’ll forgive us for relying on UK averages, which we’ve sourced from the Independent Schools Council (ISC) census.

According to the 2022 census, the average fees per term are as follows:

Age Group Fees for boarders at boarding school per term Day fees for boarding schools per term Fees for day school per term
Sixth Form £12,966 £7,684 £5,625
Secondary £12,139 £7,255 £5,495
Junior/Primary £8,951 £5,495 £4,827

Something that’s incredibly to remember is inflation in private school fees. Indeed, the average fee of £15,655 a year (pupils of all ages attending day school) is an increase of 3.1% since the ISC’s 2021 census. 

If you live in the North West, expect to pay an average school termly fee of £4,500. London families can expect to pay just under £6,250 per term.

Don’t forget about additional associated costs, including, but not limited to, transport, extra-curricular activities, books, laptops and uniforms. 

There are, however, scholarships and bursaries for private schools. Some 34% of all private school pupils get support with their fees.

Costs of going into higher education

If you want to help a relative go to college or university, you’ll have two costs to think about: tuition fees and the money they have to live on.

In the UK, universities can charge up to £9,250 a year in tuition fees. In Scotland, that figure is £1,820.

Students can cover the full cost of their tuition through a Government loan, but do you want them to burden themselves with decades of debt in tuition loans?

Then there’s the money for living costs (maintenance). There are maintenance loans to deal with that, but the higher your household income, the less they are entitled to. A full breakdown can be found on student websites and a Government calculator on GOV.UK.

Financial pressure can be detrimental to someone’s experience at university or college, and you probably don’t want to let your son or daughter put themselves into almost £50,000 of debt. 

But how much does it cost to actually achieve that? According to one prominent student organisation, about £57,000 is needed to go to college or university without incurring student debt. 

What can you do to save? 

A popular method people like to use to save are options like cashs ISAs or fixed terms accountants. It’s certainly safer to save in such a manner.

However, given the low interest rates we’re seeing at the moments, this might not be the best choice for you. True, they’re going up and are much higher than this time last year.

Furthermore, if the high inflation persists into 2023 and stays higher than interest rates, your savings could effectively begin to depreciate in value.

Therefore, we recommend you consider other wealth management solutions to maximise your savings, including smart investment decisions.

In our opinion, a bold approach is the best approach, and we’ll help you every step of the way to make sure your children and grandchildren get the best opportunities in their life.

We’ll ensure all your investments are safe, secure and work with your family in mind. 

Reach out to us at 01775 718850 to talk about your savings.

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