MORE THAN TWO thirds of parents believe they will have to borrow to fund their children’s third level education - yet 45 per cent have made no provision for such costs, according to research published today.
The research published by Bank of Ireland Life, in association with online parent resource Schooldays.ie, found that almost 50 per cent of respondents were not aware of the actual cost of third level education, but over half believed it would cost in the region of €6,873 per year.
Of the families who experienced financial difficulty, 56 per cent said sought financial assistance from family while 23 per cent sought financial assistance from the government to fund education.
“Seventy-five per cent of parents believe that the best time to start saving for their children’s education is when their child is between 0-4 years old. However of those parents, 52 per cent started when their child was between 5-11 years old and almost a quarter of them are doing so with the children’s allowance,” said Damian Smith, Head of Investments at Bank of Ireland Life.
The research found that almost two thirds of parents surveyed were earning less over the past three years, and that approximately one family in five had suffered a job loss. Despite this, almost 70 per cent of families have made no change to the amount of pocket money they give their children in the last year while just over 12 per cent increased the allowance per child.
Pocket money for secondary school children ranged from €2 to €60 per week, while secondary school students that were engaged on employment of some kind earned an average of €19.42 per week. Meanwhile, pocket money for third level students ranged from €10 to €120 per week, while third level students that work were shown to earn an average of €43.50 per week.
Nearly half of parents surveyed said they have maintained the same spend for extra-curricular activities and 38 per cent of them have invested more in this type of activities than in the previous year before.
Some 63 per cent of the parents of primary school children spend between €100 and €500 on extra curricular activities per child each year, while almost one third of parents are spending over €500 per child on extra curricular activities per year.
When looking for savings in household finances, over 46 per cent of the families do so through a reduced spend on childcare.
Meanwhile, a further 36 per cent of parents would be prepared to pay for private secondary school education to improve exam results.
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