Education expenses in the spotlight for students

(Photo: Ivy of IvyWise College Admission Blog)

(Photo: Ivy of IvyWise College Admission Blog)

Getting to the end of high school and being unsure about your future options can be quite intimidating.

Now, however, there are an overwhelming amount of options beyond studying on a university campus.

Jessica Singh, the Manager of Open University Australia’s (OUA) Corporate Communications, PR and Sponsorship, suggests that studying online brings about a number of opportunities for students.

Last year, there were 89 countries studying through OUA.

Ms Singh says that it allows the forum discussions to have a global perspective.

“One of the benefits of Open University is the flexibility to study at the time, place and pace that you choose,” she said.

“People like the fact that they don’t have to compromise, they can continue to earn while they learn.

“It’s very unique. There are no entry requirements for most first year undergraduate courses, which takes away a lot of the pressure.”
Students now have the opportunity to study for further qualifications at TAFE through an apprenticeship or move straight into the workforce.

Ben Sloane chose a different option, studying Aeronautical Engineering through the Defence Force Undergraduate program.

He believes there are a number of benefits to studying with the Defence Force.

“As a young Defence Force engineer, you are guaranteed a job for five years,” he said.

“You get exposure and experience in different fields.

“There is [also] the benefit of not having to pay for it which mean you don’t have a massive debt hanging over your head.”

He said he never considered fees as an issue, and had early entry at Wollongong University as a back-up option.

There is a nine-year contract, five of which are working in a division of the military; and up until the second year, students can leave without HECS debt.

Open Universities Australia has a different financial scheme that allows students to pay unit by unit, instead of committing to an entire degree.

“The cost is about the same; if after a few units you decide to change into a more suitable course, you have that flexibility without added costs,” said Ms Singh.

While the all expenses paid Defence Force degree may look tempting, Mr Sloane argues that it isn’t that simple.

If the Defence Force free degree is looking tempting, Mr Sloane argues that it isn’t that simple.

“Most people often can’t handle the military aspects of the training, don’t have the aptitude and bomb out after first year,” Mr Sloane said.

“I’d say that 95 per cent of Australian Defence Force Academy students wanted to work in the military, so not having to pay fees is just a bonus.”

Words: TESS BRUNTON

Audio/Visual: DOMINIQUE MCGOVERN

Video: LIZZIE HUNTER

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