Early planning crucial as education costs soar

The financial difficulties that come with each step of the educational process are becoming more apparent as parents set out on the important path of leading their children through it.

Parents today face growing costs and uncertainty from the early years of preschool to the top of post-secondary education. This fact emphasises how crucial early and careful financial planning is to a child’s education.

The cost of education rises as children move through the elementary, middle and high school grades because of the increased need for resources like technology, textbooks, and specialised help.

Rising tuition rates, housing costs, the possibility of student loan debt and extra charges for individualised instruction and digital skills are all part of tertiary education.

For the forthcoming academic year, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) had received nearly 1.5 million applications as of last week. Since the deadline for applications is January 31, it is unclear how many people have applied.

On the other hand, last year saw more than 1.6-million applications for support. Ernest Khosa, the then-chair of the NSFAS board, declared at the time that 161 139 applications had been turned down, placing many in a vulnerable situation.

Despite the differences between these difficulties, all of them have one thing in common: parents must start saving early and consistently to give their kids a better chance of navigating the treacherous waters of college.

The demand for financing for education is rising, according to a recent Capitec Bank survey.

Of the 3 000 consumers surveyed, 17.5% said they would want funding for their education over the next five years, and 64% said they planned to pursue post-secondary education. Since their inception in October, more than 23 000 people have shown interest in Capitec’s educational loans.

Francois Viviers, group executive of marketing and communications at Capitec, said that 16% of respondents wanted to pay for their dependants’ elementary or high school education, and 17% want to pay for their own short courses or professional certifications.

“Learning options are in high demand across all levels, from certifications in elementary and high school to diplomas and bachelor and graduate degrees. We have funded research at numerous private universities, FET colleges and public universities. Applications for certified diving courses and pilot’s licences were also received,” he said.

A strong education provides people with the information, skills, and critical thinking abilities that employers value, addressing the vital link between education and employment.

However, South Africa’s growing young unemployment underscores how critical it is to have a solid educational foundation. Shweshwe Tlhapane, chief marketing officer of Momentum Insure, emphasised the need to stop a generation of lost children and pushed for assistance to motivate impoverished kids to continue their education and create bright futures.

Tlhapane declared: “We cannot afford another generation of lost youngsters who grow up without a diploma and without hope.”

“A tiny start towards encouraging disadvantaged children to continue with their academics, finish their education, and create a future for themselves is providing them with some care and attention.”

Top tips to make sure your kids’ educational path runs more smoothly:

Save as soon as possible: To take advantage of compound interest, start saving for your child’s education as early as possible.

Create a special fund: To maintain financial concentration and avoid unintentional expenditure, establish a distinct education fund.

Examine your financing options: If you are a parent and already struggling financially, investigate student loan, grant, and scholarship possibilities.
Financial organisations like Momentum and Capitec Bank offer customised options.

Remain up to date on financial assistance: Keep an eye out for grants and scholarships that are awarded based on certain criteria or academic success.

Instruct Students in Financial Literacy: Teach your child to be financially responsible and to create a budget so they can make decisions about their schooling.

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