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					For Immediate Release: 18 March 2008


                          University Costs Calculated
As more than 180,000 university undergraduate students settle into their first academic year, the Australian
Scholarships Group (ASG) has developed a unique new online tool to calculate the estimated costs that new
students (many with the help of their parents) will face in order to gain their university qualifications. [1]

ASG’s new online University Costs Calculator can show the cost comparisons that a student living at home
with his or her parents is estimated to face from 2008 if they choose a career, for example, as a:

Teacher (national priority courses for four years) with an estimated total cost of $56,792
Nurse (national priority courses for three years) with an estimated total cost of $41,918
Journalist (Band 1 HECS – Bachelor of Arts – three years) with an estimated total cost of $45,102
Engineer (Band 2 HECS – Bachelor of Engineering – four years) with an estimated total cost of $70,349
Dentist (Band 3 HECS – Bachelor of Dentistry – five years) with an estimated total cost of $96,189

ASG has developed its online University Costs Calculator as part of its commitment to supporting children’s
education. The online University Costs Calculator is the second calculator ASG has developed and it
supports ASG’s Secondary Schooling Costs Calculator.

ASG hopes that the University Costs Calculator will help encourage parents to plan for their children’s future
education and assist new university students to budget more accurately for their annual costs while studying.

“We know that the issues of independence, motivation, peer pressure, and finance all come into play when
students are considering whether to further their education,” ASG’s General Manager of Communities,
Mr Warwick James said.

“ASG’s University Costs Calculator combines course costs with living expenses based on various common
options. This enables parents and students to get the full picture in relation to costs associated with their
preferred further education choices.

“It’s a tool that encourages planning in both parents and students, and ultimately helps make the university
experience more attainable,” he said.

ASG’s new online University Costs Calculator helps parents and students determine the costs of university
based on their career choices and living options. A total of 77 possible career paths are profiled through the
Calculator that can be coupled with four choices of living options, including living at home with parents, living
in halls of residence, independent shared living, and boarding with families through programs such as
Homestay.

For example, based on national average figures ASG estimates a student beginning university in 2008 can
expect to pay a total of $55,749 for his or her three-year Bachelor of Accounting course and personal living
expenses while living at home with his or her parents. The same qualification will cost $88,586 if the student
is living in halls of residence, $90,805 for shared independent living, and $93,784 for boarding with a family
such as Homestay although these amounts will vary from state to state. (See ASG’s University Costs
Calculator for more information – www.asg.com.au – click on the calculator link.)

The calculator’s simple online interface allows parents or students to select a state or national average, key
in the birth or university start date details, then select a career path and living option to determine the current
and future cost of attending university.

ASG’s University Costs Calculator then presents the estimated total costs parents and students can expect
to pay for on a year-by-year and total basis for gaining a university education. The calculator presents
information for individual and subsequent students and provides year-by-year estimates in one simple
screen.

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Media Release: University Costs Calculated                                                                                       Page 2



No personal information is collected from parents or students using ASG’s calculator so it can be used with
confidence to fully explore university costs and affordability issues.

The new online University Costs Calculator represents the full spectrum of costs, including HECS fees for
Commonwealth Supported Places at university; textbooks, equipment and course supplies; computer and
internet access; accommodation (including establishment costs for accommodation); groceries and food;
utilities; public transport; entertainment; and ancillary costs such as phone calls, and medical expenses.

Amounts are then indexed by the appropriate Consumer Price Index (CPI) Growth Factor Amounts (available
from the Australian Bureau of Statistics averaged over the past five years up to September 2007).

Example career paths were selected that best represented the diversity of courses available under each
HECS Subject Band. The estimates reflect the annual HECS cost multiplied by the traditional length of
course for each Subject Band. For example, law courses are generally five years. Courses that are of a non-
standard length are not represented.

The HECS fee estimates have been indexed by the Tertiary Education Sub-Index of the Consumer Price
Index (CPI) Growth Factor Amount of 4.2%. Living options cost estimates have been indexed by the All
Groups Consumer Price Index (CPI) Growth Factor Amount of 2.75% (available from the Australian Bureau
of Statistics and averaged over the past five years up to September 2007).

“The Calculator is a really useful tool for every family and student concerned about planning for further
education,” Warwick James said. “It’s simple and freely available. If users want to keep a record of the
information, they simply print out the results or email the information to themselves.”

Both the Secondary and University Costs Calculators are available from ASG’s website at: www.asg.com.au
by clicking the calculator link. Details about how the estimates were calculated are available from the FAQ
and Help link with each of the calculators

ASG supports a range of community and education initiatives as part of its commitment to supporting
children’s education. Formed more than 30 years ago from a co-operative of parents, ASG is a not-for-profit
friendly society specialising in children’s education benefits programs.

ASG’s Education Program offers parents a proven, effective, and convenient way to plan for their children’s
future education utilising the benefits of collective mutual pooling. ASG’s Members can enjoy the benefit of a
specific tax concession allowed for educational benefits under the Tax Act.

To use ASG’s online University or Secondary Schooling Costs Calculators, visit: www.asg.com.au or for
more information about ASG and its programs, phone 1800 648 945.

Reference:
[1]        Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Australian Government, 2006 Full Year
           Student Data,
           http://www.dest.gov.au/sectors/higher_education/publications_resources/profiles/students_2006_selected_high
           er_education_statistics.htm

                                                               ******** ends ********

Media images are available for use at: www.asg.com.au/_images_unicalc

For more information, please contact:
Janet Thomas, Public Relations, Australian Scholarships Group
Ph: 03-9276 7758 Mobile: 0402 837 758 Email: publicrelations@asg.com.au Web: www.asg.com.au
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