Students on the rise: Aussies hitting the books in record numbers

Student life is becoming a more common experience in Australia, with more than half of Aussies now holding a post-school qualification - a bachelor's degree, diploma or trade certificate - according to 2016 census data released this October.

The census revealed that us Aussies are a highly educated bunch, with 56% of people aged 15 and over having some kind of recognised higher education, up from 46% in 2006.

Aussies living in the ACT were the most likely to go onto tertiary education, with 65% of the population holding a post-school qualification. At the other end of the scale, Tasmania had the lowest number at 51%, but for the first time, more than half of Aussies in every state and territory held a post-school qualification.

When it comes to what we’re studying, Management and Commerce - studied by no less than 2.1 million people - was the most popular field, followed by Engineering and Related Technologies (1.7 million people.)

RELATED: New fintech “Study Loans” aims to help cash-strapped students

But all this education doesn’t come cheap. According to the largest provider of education scholarship plans in Australia, ASG, an average 3-year university degree can cost between $19,513 and $32,565.

Add living expenses on top, and a student renting in a shared house could be up for a bill as high as $114,694 by the end of their three year degree.

“Although HECS will take care of your uni fees, there are plenty of other costs to consider when undertaking tertiary education,” said Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont.

“From paying rent, to textbooks, to groceries, to your transport to and from campus there are lots of costs big and small that add up quickly, so it’s important to make sure you’ve got your budget nailed down as soon as possible.”

Mozo’s top finance tips for students
  • Start saving - if you haven’t already. The very first step is to start saving your pennies now. Your savings can act as an emergency fund for events like if your car suddenly gives up the ghost or you need a last minute flight home. Make sure you stash your cash in a high interest savings account to grow, and consider a student-specific option as these often have no account or transaction fees.
  • Get yourself a piece of plastic. Used correctly, a credit card can be a great way of not only managing your month-to-month budget, but also building up a good credit score for the future. Just make sure that you’re paying off your balance in full and on time every single month to avoid paying extra interest on top. Take a look at some student credit cards to find the right fit for you.
  • Set aside some funds for fun. All this talk of budgeting and debt might seem intimidating, but don’t forget to have a bit of fun while you’re at university! A good way to make sure your social life doesn’t start to eat into your budget too much, is to have a student bank account dedicated to spending money, after you’ve paid all your bills. That way, you know exactly how much you have spare to spend.

For more tips and tricks on keeping your finances under control during your uni days, head over to our student section.