What is the real cost of high school? UCT Online High School releases downloadable guide

What is the real cost of high school? UCT Online High School releases downloadable guide. Image: Supplied

What is the real cost of high school? UCT Online High School releases downloadable guide

UCT Online High School releases informative guide (white paper) on real cost of schooling in South Africa.

What is the real cost of high school? UCT Online High School releases downloadable guide

What is the real cost of high school? UCT Online High School releases downloadable guide. Image: Supplied

For single parents, dual-income households, and even for those who have been saving for their children’s education for years, sending a child to high school is still likely to account for a significant chunk of parents’ monthly budget. School fees are just part of the total cost of high school, and other expenses like uniforms, books, lunch, transport and extra-curricular also need to be factored into parents’ financial planning. 

Not everyone is in the same position when choosing a high school for their child. For many, a local no-fee state school will be the only option; others may have a range of private schools that they can consider. In service of this, UCT Online High School, in collaboration with Valenture Institute, has compiled a downloadable, comprehensive and in-depth guide (or white paper*) authored by:

  • Martin Hall, Emeritus Professor at the UCT Graduate School of Business and Strategic Advisor for Valenture Institute, and
  • Thomas Wrigley, Blended Learning Specialist and Education Researcher at Valenture Institute.
UCT Online High School
Image caption: Prof. Martin Hall and Thomas Wrigley have authored a comprehensive informative guide (or white paper*) on the real cost of high school in South Africa.

*A white paper is an in-depth report on a specific topic that helps readers to understand an issue or problem and provides a solution. Hall and Wrigley’s white paper focuses on the full costs of attending different kinds of high schools in South Africa: no-fee state schools, state schools that charge fees, traditional private schools and the newer category of online schools. It unpacks all the costs associated with sending a child to high school and provides comprehensive guidelines that can help parents’ in their preparations for the financial transition to high school. 

The Real Cost of High School informative guide | What’s inside?

The Real Cost of High School informative guide focuses primarily on the real financial cost of high school options in South Africa, taking all the expenses into account. It takes a pragmatic approach to address the challenges associated with the rising cost of high school in South Africa, and it provides practical guidance through associated tools. What’s inside? 

  • Four steps that parents can follow to align their options with their available income and to narrow their choices to those that are within their means.
  • A High School cost calculator with two parts — a disposable income calculator that can help parents add up the numbers to give them a clear, simple view of what their budget allows, and a High School cost calculator to work out possible school options.

The authors of the paper stress that cost is a necessary condition that defines the educational opportunities open to families; once parents have established the financial possibilities, they will be in a strong position to take the specific needs of their family into account.

Why is saving for high school so important?

The informative guide references studies that show the benefits of a high-quality education: “the National Center for Educational Statistics in the US has found that employment rates for young adults closely track the highest qualifications they received before entering the world of work, with those holding a post-secondary school qualification about 30% more likely to be employed than those who had not completed high school”. This emphasises how the money parents invest in their child’s education directly impacts their career prospects later in life. 

It’s natural for parents to be wondering when they should start thinking seriously about the cost of their children’s high school education. Hall and Wrigley state that the best financial advice will always be, “as early as possible”. Thinking in the long term allows parents to put money aside for future needs.

The paper also outlines detailed examples of families in various financial positions and how they should go about preparing financially for high school and figuring out what savings plans they have available to them. The High School cost calculator is then a useful tool that enables parents to follow the steps that each family in the examples did. 

The bottom line is that the money parents spend on education benefits their children and improves their career potential. High quality, affordable education also benefits society in general, improving South Africa’s prospects and reducing inequality. 

UCT Online High School seeks to level the playing field by offering affordable, high-quality education that learners can access no matter where they live. For more information on the school, visit www.uctonlinehighschool.com