5-O Agency : Together We Share, We Learn

~ Planning & Saving For Higher Education – No Longer An Option

Posted by faisalrenzo on June 3, 2011

While some may disagree that a university degree is a ticket to a better job, it is still regarded by many corporations to be a basic requirement when they interview candidates for many of the positions. With time, higher education has become an expensive journey and the cost rises every year.

The increase in the overall annual cost for university education ranges between 6% – 10% each year. So, in most cases, the cost of a university education would double from current fees paid within the next 10-12 years.

For many families with more than 1 child, this would be a significant expenditure that is necessary but would chip off a serious amount of the retirement fund that has been or will be set aside.

Start Early
Those are some scary numbers. If you’re a teenager reading this, you can help reduce this ‘financial burden’ for your parents. Here are some steps you can start taking today:

  • Save, save… and save. You will need this excess funds when you enter the university for your daily expenses (especially if you are studying abroad).
  • Research. Do some research on the programs you are interested in and identify the ones which offer you the opportunity to ‘shorten’ the length of study (by you studying during semester breaks) or programs which allow you to work while studying.

If you are a parent reading this, you need to make a conscientious effort to start now and you could take the following steps:

  • Go over your monthly finances and find a little extra money you can put away. Even RM100 a month can make a big difference over time.
  • Make a commitment to devote at least that amount each month, and to add to it as your income increases.
  • Shop around for the best interest return you can get for your money.

High Return
Because the cost of college is rising faster than inflation, it’s smart to invest your savings to get a higher interest rate than a typical bank can offer. Consider putting your money into:

  • Stocks
  • Mutual funds
  • Bonds

Child Education Plan
The child education policy is a life insurance product specially designed as a savings tool to provide an amount of money when the child reaches the age for entry into college Under this policy, the child is the life assured, while the parent/legal guardian is the policy owner. This has now become an essential component in any parent’s financial planning effort.

Help Paying for College
One important thing to keep in mind is that most of the time, you won’t necessarily have to come up with the entire cost of college. Many higher education institutions offer financial aid in the form of grants and loans. These are most often funded by the federal government. You would be wise to carry out some research on what is available.

The key thing to remember is that the sooner you start saving and working on this, the better off you (and your parent or child) would be. Many local institutions of higher learning now offer counseling services that would give you a good idea on what options are available and what possible path could be taken.

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