Cost of Education Benchmark Tool

Zurich research highlights sustained financial impact of Covid-19 on parents and provides a useful tool to help parents manage education costs. 

This year Zurich’s annual Cost of Education in Ireland research, which highlights the costs of sending children to educational institutions in Ireland, also examined the financial impact of Covid-19 on parents*.

Almost 40% of parents are now more likely to create a family savings fund to protect their family against the impact of potential future crises such as Covid-19. One third of parents surveyed believe their financial situation has been negatively affected by Covid-19.

In turn, almost one in five (19%) parents say they are suffering from an increased amount of financial strain in sending their children to school or college due to the economic impact of the pandemic.

Almost 40% of parents are now more likely to create a family savings fund to protect their family against the impact of potential future crises similar to Covid-19.

The research which highlights the costs of sending children to educational institutions in Ireland, finds that the average additional spend (e.g. on items like tablets/devices, stationery and art supplies) associated with school and college shutdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic is €706. Parents of third level students estimated that it costs them €7,704 (+€1,531 vs 2020) to send their child/children to college.

For parents planning for the significant costs associated with primary, secondary and third level education, they can use Zurich's Cost of Education Benchmarking Tool to see how their school and college costs compare to the average and pinpoint the expenses where they could be making greater savings. Parents can also use Zurich’s Cost of College Education Calculator to work out the estimated costs and to see how much they might need to save each month to meet these costs.

Commenting on the findings, Jonathan Daly, Head of Life Retail Distribution and Propositions at Zurich said: “The findings of this year’s research highlight the sustained financial strain that many families have had to endure since the outbreak of Covid-19 last year. In third level education, for example, increases in the cost of accommodation continue to be a significant expense”.

“However, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of saving money and early financial planning, with many families having had some form of savings in place to help reduce the strain. There is an opportunity now for families to make some of the money-saving habits sparked by the pandemic stick long-term. Opening a savings account when children are under a year old will allow you to prioritise education costs before they become a significant financial burden.”

Ensuring they can provide for their children’s education, from primary school right through to third level, is a priority for all parents. While education in Ireland is free in principle, the reality is that the costs of education are substantial and continue to rise. With a tailor-made savings plan from Zurich from €100 per month, parents can gradually build up the funds necessary to support their children’s education. Zurich encourages people to talk to an independent financial advisor to help set their savings goals, plan their budget, and choose the right plan for their family.

*Source: Zurich Cost of Education Survey 2021

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