Rs. 42 million - The real cost of your child's education

By Mahesh Peri

Are you planning for your child's education? If your 3 year baby is getting into a play school in 2015 (which has become necessary for admission in schools), you will be spending close to Rs. 42 million on education alone. This is when he/she will study in government funded/aided schools and colleges. The fees component alone is Rs. 31 million and another 11 million would be incidental costs (transportation, books etc.) on education alone. To know how, read on.


The ROI for investment in a student in India is abysmal. As a prudent financial practice, it is no longer viable to fund your education with loans. Successful examples are like a lottery with odds of better ROI heavily loaded against you. Costs of education have galloped to catch up with west while the output measured as salaries, employability and knowledge haven't kept pace. Most MBAs are placed at a salary of less than 4 lacs (if at all they are placed). Three quarters of engineers don't get a job after passing out.

So, in pure arithmetic terms, are you better off saving that money and handing over a fixed deposit to your child after 22 years? Imagine a Rs. 42 Million FD to secure your child's future. In the interim, he can study in a good government school (as many of us did), understand real world, devoid of protection and enjoys his childhood and maybe pursue dreams and his passion instead of competing in the rat race.

Does it make sense? No tensions of marks, grades, courses, coaching, tuition, placements, interviews. Live your childhood, get tougher, pursue your dreams and save close to Rs. 42 million. IMAGINE.

The major assumptions are:

  1. Return on capital employed is assumed at 11%.
  2. School Fees for past years is actuals. For 2015, it is as of today.
  3. The fees are of a school built on government grants and where fees is decided by parents and school together. Pure private education is 100% more.
  4. For higher education, the fees are twice of what they are today in IITs and IIMs; that means doubling in 15 years and good Private engineering colleges fees are typically 2.5 times of IITs.
  5. The period of education from pre-school to PG is assumed as 21 years + one year for job placement.
  6. A fees inflation of 7% is assumed. In reality, it is more than 10%.
  7. Other costs are assumed at 35% of fees (transportation, books other fees etc). In many places, the other costs are as much as the total fees (100%).
  8. Tuition assumed for 3 years only of the 22 years. No coaching is assumed for UG entry while one year coaching is assumed for PG admission tests (CAT etc). Many students have tuitions through the life cycle. And most students go through coaching at UG level too.

Rs. 42 million - Cost of your child's education

Now decide. The financial planner in me has a definite reply, but the parent in me is uncertain. How about you?

Number Year Investment (INR)

Future Value (INR)

Description12015 140,000


Play School

22016 149,800






Prep42018 171,506


1st Class

52019 183,511


2nd Class

62020 196,357


3rd Class

72021 210,102


4th Class

82022 224,809


5th Class

92023 240,546


6th Class102024 257,384 999,495

7th Class

112025 275,401 963,477

8th Class

122026 294,679


9th Class

132027 565,307


10th Class + Tuitions

142028 904,878


11th Class + Tuitions

152029 1,318,220


12th Class + Tuitions

162030 600,000


Engineering172031 700,000


Engineering182032 800,000


Engineering192033 1,400,000


Engineering + Coaching

202034 1,500,000


MBA212035 1,500,000


MBA222036 300,000


Job Placement




In the next 22 years, with the interest of 0.11% and with an approximate inflation of 7% the future value of the total investment will be Rs. 41,804,561 (Rs. 42 million). Hence, this is the amount you may have to invest in your child's education.

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