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The true cost of off-island schooling

Graduation mortar board cap on one hundred dollar bills concept for the cost of a college and university education
Graduation mortar board cap on one hundred dollar bills concept for the cost of a college and university education

By Samuel Rosenberg From CARIBBEAN360

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday June 12, 2015 – Experts consistently suggest that the cost of bringing up a child, from birth until they end their education, will eventually reach several hundred thousand dollars. One of the largest reality checks is when your children leave home to go to boarding school or college or university in another country. Carefully planning for these arrangements in advance can help ease your cash flow.

During August and September, many parents have to make substantial financial decisions about whether they can afford for their children to move on to the next stage of education. Many scholarships are available throughout the Caribbean and abroad which can help ease the financial burden but excellent grades are needed for a scholarship to be awarded.

When children leave home, they will quickly learn much more about managing their own money because, for most people in these circumstances, finances will be a challenge to manage. Parents or guardians will need to help children learn how to cope with earning money and paying bills, which all begins by creating a budget to allow them to plan for the best cash flow during this time.

Students that are able to work part-time during the holiday periods before and during this next stage of education will understand the reality of earning an income and spending it carefully.

Many students will have the opportunity to live on-campus or nearby. One of the largest drains on income can often be the cost of getting to and from the educational institution and not having to rely on public transportation can save considerable money, while also perhaps increasing the student’s fitness by walking or cycling regularly.

Students’ accommodation is vital to their emotional state during this learning stage of their lives, especially when this is balanced with the hormones raging as people begin real-life relationships with potential major implications. When you live on-campus you may be sharing a room with another person and this holds several advantages and disadvantages and it is important that the people get on well together.

Some students may live off-campus resulting in the additional costs of renting or owning a property. This is sometimes the choice of more wealthy parents because rooms can be let out to other students to bring in revenue as well.

The student will also be faced with utility bills as well as the possibility of furnishing the property and carrying out routine maintenance.

A student living on-campus may not have easy access to cooking facilities and this may increase their food costs.

Where a student is able to do some level of work to earn income, they will quickly understand the necessity of balancing income against expenses while not working so much that his or her education suffers.

samuel-rosenberg-1Understanding budgeting can help students learn new life skills.

samuel-rosenberg The writer is the founder and CEO of Axcel Finance Ltd., the leading regional microfinance institution. Share your thoughts and email your questions to [email protected]

IMAGE: Graduation mortar board cap on one hundred dollar bills concept

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