Parents face savings shock over university fees

In a survey of over 1,000 parents, carried out by the Association of Investment Companies, respondents calculated that fees would cost an average of £18,333, yet the true figure could be closer to £53,000, according to independent data from university guide

Just days after many students celebrated their A-level results, the research showed nearly eight in ten parents are struggling to save for their child’s further education, while 62 per cent admit that grandparents have stepped in to ease the pressure. The average contribution from older generations standing at £1,967 per year.

But Annabel Brodie-Smith, communications director at the AIC , said that putting £50 per month into the typical investment company has resulted in a fund worth £26,284 over the last 18 years, ensuring teenagers are well on their way to university.

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It follows data, published by fund house Fidelity, which revealed that investing £125 in a stocks and shares version of the Junior Isa per month would provide £27,000 for university fees, while a lower sum of £50 a month could lead to a fund worth £15,000.

Adviser comment:
Jason Hollands, managing director of London-based Bestinvest, said: “Given the long term nature of Junior Isas, parents investing for very young children should focus on equity funds. These are likely to have a high degree of volatility but offer the potential for greater returns. One option would be to split the Junior Isa between a global equity fund focused on developed markets, such as Aberdeen World Equity, and an emerging market fund, such as JP Morgan Global Emerging Markets Investment Trust. Alternatively, you may consider investing in a diversified global investment trusts such as Edinburgh Worldwide, Scottish Mortgage IT or RIT Capital Partners.”