Singapore is currently lauded as one of Asia’s leading hubs for world-class tertiary education. It is the home to top Singapore universities such as the National University of Singapore, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and the Singapore Institute of Technology, as well as international schools like the Lasalle College of the Arts, the James Cook University and SIM Global Education.
Considering these choices, it is often common that parents and students alike do not consider how much it will cost them to get into these schools. As a result, some students do not have a Plan B, C, D to Z if they failed to enter their first-choice university because of the high tuition fee costs.
Current Price of University Education for 2018
The cost of university education in Singapore varies depending on where you will be enrolling: whether you will go to a local university or a private university (also called private education institutions).
For those who wish to enter local universities, university tuition fees are reduced by 50 to 80% thanks to the Ministry of Education Tuition Grant. There are some exclusions to the fees depending on the course, but it is still a big value especially if your child will continue their education.
Here is a short rundown of tuition fees for local universities in the country:
A 3-year undergraduate course can cost up to $27,000. However, medical, law and music courses are more expensive.
A 3-year undergraduate course can cost up to $27,000. However, their medical program can be as much as $168,000 throughout its duration and their Renaissance Engineering Program is around $79,200 for the entire 4.5-year duration.
A 3-year undergraduate course costs up to $34,000, but their 4-year Law course would cost $50,400.
A majority of their courses can cost from $24,000 to $28,000 in total. Their ICT, medical and engineering programs are around $36,000. Additional fees are added if students will take on classes with STI’s partner universities.
Since they do not offer degrees, their diploma courses can cost up to $15,000. The one-year top-up degree can cost up to $21,000 depending on the partner university your child will select.
Meanwhile, here is a short rundown of the tuition fees for private universities (officially called private education institutions) in the country:
For their full-time degrees, it can cost up to $20,000 or more. If students take the diploma and top up route, it can cost up to $30,000.
Similar to Kaplan, their full-time degrees can cost from $20,000. Meanwhile, their expensive degrees can be around $35,000 to $39,000.
A 3-year degree course can start from $41,000 to $45,000. Express courses can start from $21,000.
Undergraduate courses can start from $54,000 to $60,000.
Undergraduate course fees vary depending on your child’s course and the partner university attached to it. However, fees can start from $28,400 to $59,000.
Aside from the tuition fee itself, you will also need to consider the following as part of your child’s university fees:
1. Course application fees
2. Study materials
5. Daily Allowance
6. University Private Tuition
7. Miscellaneous fees
Ways to Fund Your Child’s University Education
Considering these high tuition fees and extra expenses, you will need to make up a lot of money to ensure your child will be able to study without stopping midway because of financial reasons.
Here are some of the ways you can check out to fund your child’s university studies:
For low and middle-income families, the Singaporean government and private organizations offer financial aid programs that can be availed for qualified students. These financial aids would release bursaries which could help cover a part of the cost.
If you wish to know if your family is qualified, you can check with the National Council of Social Service.
Similar to bursaries or financial aid, scholarships can also cover a part of the education cost, or cover it completely. Scholarships vary in terms of who offer it and what they will cover. Some scholarships will require your child to work for a company or government agency after their studies.
Since scholarship grants can reach up to $100,000, it can be challenging to secure one for your child since many students would also apply for it. However, there are scholarships which may be granted immediately if your child is in the top 3.
Post-Secondary Education Account
If your family has a Post-Secondary Education Account and it was not used completely, you can use it for your child’s undergraduate program.
If your husband joined the National Service and served for a tenure or reached a high rank, you can apply using the National Service Housing, Medical, and Education Awards to add more funds for your child’s PSEA.
Tuition Fee Loan or TFL
If all the other solutions are not available, you can check with the Ministry of Education and apply for their tuition fee loans.
Just like a standard loan, a tuition fee loan has a high-interest rate of 4.25% to 5% depending on the rates of DBS and OCBC. You can pay for the loans throughout your child’s education without worrying about the interest since they only charge it after your child graduates from their course.
CPF Education Scheme
If you currently possess a CPF Ordinary Account, you can activate the CPF Education Scheme to help your child fund their education fees.
CPF has an interest rate of 2.5% and the interest is already added when the loan is taken out. However, it is important to take note that the CPF Education Scheme can only be used if your child is enrolling in a local university. It is also not a guarantee that it can be availed so make sure your account is ok.
To pay for the program, your child can return it to CPF once they start working.
Should Your Child Choose Another Course Based on the University Tuition Fee?
When your child is checking the course and university for basis, they should not immediately back out from the course or university they want when they see the tuition fee attached to it.
First of all, each department or faculty has different starting salaries when your child completes them. For example, medical courses are the most expensive courses on the list and once they complete their classes, their starting pay is high.
Your child should also consider the job security of the course they select because while some courses are popular, it is possible there are not enough job openings to accommodate them.
Finally, your child should also consider if the course is something they wish to pursue completely and not because it was forced unto them. If your child selects on a course that they do not like, shifting to another course can be a nightmare and would only double the costs you will have to pay total. Your child may also regret completing it since it is not something they want for themselves, and working on the field may cause them stress.
Once your child is on their pre-university level, you and your child should sit together and plan accordingly to prepare for their university selection because it is a huge financial undertaking. As early as now, check all your available options on how you can fund your child’s education, especially if your child is leaning towards an expensive course level.
If you are prepared early, you can ensure that your child won’t have problems enrolling in the university they have selected once they pass their entrance exams and continue their classes. When they graduate, allow your kids to make it up to you by pursuing the career they want for themselves and let them help you pay the fees back.
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