If you ask Filipino parents about their dreams for their children, one inevitable answer would be “I want to be able to send them to good schools.”
This is hardly surprising, for we are a country that values good education. We view college diplomas as our children’s passport to a better life. Many a mother and father have reminded their children, “There is no better legacy I can leave you than your education.”
So during our most productive years, we make it our top priority to send our children to the best schools we can afford.
But are we prepared for how much “the best schools” will cost us when our children are old enough to enroll in them?
Elementary and High School When we say the best schools, we are usually thinking of big names: Ateneo, La Salle, San Pedro Poveda, Assumption College, Colegio de San Agustin, etc.
If your child is entering grade school in SY 2013-2014 in one of these schools, expect a tuition fee of at least P84,000* – but keep in mind that this figure covers tuition fee alone. When you add in the registration fees, special fees, miscellaneous fees, etc., that figure can easily increase by as much as 50%, so you’ll end up shelling out over a hundred thousand pesos per child per year.
Now consider this: The average tuition fee increase rate in Metro Manila is 12% per annum. If such is the case, then your first grader’s 2013 tuition fee of P84,000 could reach P186,000 by the time your child is in eighth grade(again, that’s just tuition fee).
Now let’s presume that your child will attend the same school for high school, i.e., grades 9 to 12. High school tuition fees are generally higher than grade school tuition fees, so the school that charges a first grader P84,000 today are most likely to be charging their freshmen P95,000. By the time your first grader reaches high school, that P95,000 would have inflated to around P235,000.
“But schools won’t always raise their tuition fees by 12% every year, right?” we weakly protest.
Well, that is also a possibility. So let’s try a more modest computation based on a 6% increase every other year. With such figures, your child will enter first grade at P84,000; graduate from middle school at P100,000; and enter high school at P135,000.