70% of parents are failing to save for kids’ future as college costs climb

08 August 2007
As A level students await their results, due out next week, new research commissioned by F&C Investments has revealed that parents are not saving up for their children’s futures with 70 per cent admitting that they have made no provision at all for study costs and 91% wishing for a return to the university grants scheme.

During the past month F&C, provider of investment trust savings schemes, conducted the survey of over 4,000 respondents to understand the extent to which parents and students are preparing for the increasing higher education costs.

The findings come as the Government is under increasing pressure from universities to raise the £3,000 cap on tuition fees despite the National Union of Students estimating that the average debt of those graduating in 2006 was a staggering £13,252.

Over half the parents and guardian questioned correctly estimated tuition fees to be around £3,000 and 56% claim to have been saving since the birth of their children.

It also seems that the saving methods of choice are bank or building society accounts (58%) and National Savings (21%) rather than share based schemes (11%), which F&C argues are more appropriate for long-term savings.

Depressingly, of the students questioned, over half (55%) expect it will take more than a decade to pay off the debts accrued whilst studying.

"The research suggests that parents and guardians are not unaware of the tuition costs involved in sending their kids to college, with 51% correctly stating that tuition fees are 'around £3,000' and a further 22% assuming these will be in excess of £5,000," said Jason Hollands, Head of Communications at F&C.

"Cash savings are of course very low risk but they also offer low returns and the real value will be slowly eroded by inflation. History overwhelmingly suggests that over long periods of time, such as 18 years, equities make much more sense.”

Learn more about children’s investment accounts