How do some parents afford such high school fees?

By Madhurie Singh, March 21, 2012


Last week during a phone consulting I was asked reluctantly a question which I think everyone should be worried about but do not ask!

We shy away when it comes to asking some really important questions thinking ; “What will people think about me?”

Damn other people as no one is ever going to pay for your bills or give you any kind of funds or help. So you better ask questions even if it seems embarrassing. I still remember my teachers always got little worried whenever I raised my hand to ask questions in their classes. But asking bluntly and boldly has actually cleared my concepts better than anyone else.

Whenever my kids ask me any question I am reminded of this small conversation between my 4 year old and me a few years back.

I do not really remember the topic of discussion but he came and asked me something which I assumed he should know the answer at his age;

“Mom what it meaning of this?”

 “Don’t you know about it? “

 “No! That is why I am asking you. I would not ask you if I knew the answer!” He said as a matter of fact.

It’s a very simple reply but if you read between the lines, you will understand the important human psychology in it. The power of asking.

That is what even adults should be doing. Ask when you really do not know about something. When I lecture at the MBA colleges, I have many over smart dudes who purposely ask me questions they are very well aware of. That not only irritates the entire class but also projects the fools in the class.

Anyways back to the question which was asked by a parent.

How do parents afford such high fees? And if there are two kids what do they do?

Very valid query.

Well I cannot comment on what others do but I can only share a bit about my planning.

Firstly would not have gone to a school which is beyond my budget. So I had decided if the fee per year is between say x-y only then I would look further. When the fees are high in the lower class, it would make sense to avoid such schools. Yes if the school you like is willing to give admission even in the higher classes with little difficulty, it makes sense to keep tiny tots closer to you till class Ukg at least. I waited till my kids did their JrKg and sent them to St Mary’s and DPS in SrKg but regretted the decision of long hours, distance and not much being taught. Also suddenly from 10:1 ration to 40:1 ratio was not very appealing to me thought the kids were ok. So try not to send if possible until class 1 to a bigger, far off school. Yes the admissions in those schools which are branded (?) will not have seats but trust me if more and more parents took this decision, the life of the kids and you will be much better.


Now back to the answer. I have planned for the kids since very beginning at least for their education even at the cost of our retirement at that time. I was very rigid in my mind and clear that I will give them a head-start in their life by giving them a wealthy push.  The type of schools and colleges they choose is also very clear in my mind. Every now and then I am assessing to understand their passion and intelligence. This is to help me tweak the plans I have for them. Obviously I will not push them into something they detest or are nor capable of doing but a continuous guidance is must from early on. DO not wait till they finish their 10th or 12th to think what they should do next.

Start SIP of tiny amount right away to  create your own wealth by time they become 30years, may be not too high but good enough to start any decent project on their own.  

Similarly, if you have not planned earlier, start now and make the most of the fallen market, though in SIPs it’s the game of averaging that makes you a winner.

There are those schools which charge 3-5 lacs per annum too. Remember these are for a different class of society, who had been given push by their parents or grandparents. So keep away from them unless you are an NRI, a big businessman or an expatriate.




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