As your child begins to contemplate their future educational path, it's important to consider the costs associated with attending university. While the price tag may seem daunting, it's crucial to recognise that investing in a university education offers invaluable benefits that extend far beyond financial considerations. In this article, we will explore what it costs to go to university and why it is truly worth the investment for your child's future.
Understanding the costs
Tuition Fees: Tuition fees vary depending on the university and program of study. While they represent a significant expense, they are an investment in your child's intellectual growth and personal development. Check if you are eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place. Many students are eligible and this will reduce the amount you pay. Be sure to also investigate government loans and assistance to defer some or all of your fee payments.
Other fees: All students are required to pay a yearly Student Services and Amenities Fee. These funds improve student services and amenities that are non-academic in nature, like sporting activities and support services. The maximum Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) for 2023 is A$326 per year. From time to time, you may also be required to pay administrative and miscellaneous fees to cover administrative transactions or general services.
Living Expenses: In addition to tuition, there are living expenses to consider, including accommodation, meals, transportation, books, and personal needs. These costs vary depending on factors such as the location of the university and your child's lifestyle choices.
Supporting your child's investment
Plan finances: Engage in financial planning early on by exploring scholarships, bursaries, and other financial aid options. Encourage your child to research and apply for scholarships, as they can significantly reduce the financial burden. UniSC’s scholarships are awarded on academic performance, sporting achievements or community service, or a combination of all these things. It’s easy to apply with just one form required to apply for most scholarships.
Wise budgeting: Teach your child the importance of budgeting and managing finances responsibly. Help them develop effective money management skills to navigate their university years successfully.
Encouraging student involvement: Encourage your child to participate in activities, clubs and events. Involvement beyond academics enhances their overall university experience and strengthens their resume.
Emotional support: The university journey can be both exciting and challenging. Be there to support your child emotionally, offering guidance, and helping them navigate the ups and downs of academic and personal life.
Why it's worth the investment
Higher earning potential: Statistics consistently show that university graduates have higher earning potential compared to those who only complete high school. A university education equips students with specialised knowledge, critical thinking skills, and the ability to adapt to a rapidly evolving job market. Over their lifetime, graduates generally earn significantly more than their non-graduate counterparts.
Expanded career opportunities: A university degree opens doors to a wide range of career opportunities. According to labourmarketinsights.gov.au, 91.7% of new jobs will require post-school education, so it can be said that many professions will require a degree as a minimum qualification. By investing in higher education, your child will have access to a broader range of career options and increased chances of professional success.
Personal growth and development: University provides an environment that fosters personal growth, independence, and self-discovery. Students have the opportunity to engage with diverse perspectives, develop critical thinking abilities, and enhance their communication and teamwork skills. The university experience helps shape well-rounded individuals equipped for the challenges of life beyond graduation.
Networking and connections: Universities are hubs of intellectual activity, bringing together students, academics, and industry professionals. These environments provide ample networking opportunities that can lead to valuable connections in various fields. These connections can open doors to internships, mentorship opportunities, and potential employment prospects.
Personal fulfillment: Pursuing a subject of interest and passion provides a sense of fulfillment and purpose. University allows students to delve deep into their chosen field, exploring their intellectual curiosity and nurturing their talents. The joy of learning and personal growth derived from university experiences is immeasurable.
Earn while you learn: Many university programs give students the ability to either receive better paying part time work in their industry before they graduate, or provide opportunities for early exit options to get industry ready qualifications mid-way through their study.
While the cost of university education may appear daunting, it is a worthy investment in your child's future.
For help in understanding fees, you or your child can contact Student Central team for advice.