First Term School Holidays & University Hunting

Today is the last day of school for the first term and the week long school holidays begins. But this school holidays ain’t a holiday for me.   Alycia has to be in school for three days from Saturday through Monday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (until 6 p.m. on Sunday) for her drama club camp and the hubs and I have to take turns doing school runs, even on Sunday!   I was looking forward to sleep ins during the holidays but it turns out I have to do even more as the transporter is off duty during the school holidays😩

Guess what I’ve been up to for the past few days?

I’ve been researching local private universities for Alycia 😁  I know she’s only going to sit for her SPM next year. But I’m just being me – super excited that my first born will be going to college / university in less than two years and I can’t help but to find out what her pre-university options are.

UEC (Form 6), Foundation, Matriculation, A-Levels, SAM, MUFY (Monash University Foundation Year), IB, ADP, Diploma…. just which one will Alycia choose / be eligible to?

Cost is the main determining factor on which college / university we will settle on. And of course, on Alycia’s SPM results.

I am very keen on a 3+0 degree program in Monash University (ranked top 10 in Australia, 59th in the world) – Malaysia campus and so is Alycia but the cost is O.M.G.!  We have 2 other children to plan for of as well.

With Monash, we will have to fork out a minimum of RM150,000 for 1 – 1.5 years of Foundation and 3 years of degree program, all done locally, excluding cost of accommodation in campus.  This amount will be an additional >RM50,000 should Alycia decide to study another year for the Honours.

My other options are Sunway University and Taylors University.  God willing, if Alycia does well in her SPM, she will be able to do her one year pre-university (UEC) in her current high school, which only costs about RM600 a month, excluding books and other miscellaneous fees. This will give us a savings of at least RM10,000, which is quite a bit.  A-Levels costs at least RM25k in better quality colleges/universities.

By this year end, I can only imagine Alycia and I visiting education fairs and me being the CFO, doing a lot of calculations 🤪

With 3 kids going to university that will cost over RM600k, I wonder whether we will be left with any savings to enjoy our so-called dream retirement of traveling the world 😱  For this reason, I keep telling the hubs that he has to continue running his catering business until he is AT LEAST 70 years old, so that we can travel the world and enjoy our sunset years.  It also doesn’t make sense to stop working altogether now that we’re no longer considered “old” in our 60s or 70s and are still physically capable of making money. In fact, it would be a disadvantage to stop working as that would give rise to cognitive decline. Just look at our dear prime minister!

I am just wondering, do you have a plan to save a certain amount of money every month for your kids’ college and university funds? I am also very interested to know where you intend to send your kids for tertiary education and the costs involved.  Any comments will be much appreciated  ☺️

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5 thoughts on “First Term School Holidays & University Hunting

  1. We are Malaysians living in the US and my oldest is in her second year at college. She received an alltuition paid merit scholarship (based on test scores) and we just need to fork out for her room and board. For four years, we would be spending about USD50k. Second kid entering college this fall, no scholarship as they upped the test scores. Total cost should be USD120k for four years. We are now preparing our third one to max her test scores. Most important is to see what their strengths and interests are, and so help them decide on an appropriate major. Changing majors, transferring colleges can be expensive in the long run. All the best with your planning!

    1. Congrats to you on your eldest getting a full scholarship! That’s a big windfall!
      I’ve been telling my girls to study hard to get at least a partial scholarship. Over here, full bursaries are only given to straight As students.
      Agree that changing majors / colleges partway is very costly and I’ve been telling my girls that we can’t afford for them to do that. Thus, I’ve been constantly talking to them and telling them what they should major in based on their strengths and interests.
      Thanks for taking time to comment Su! 🙂

      1. No problem! Education is top priority for many parents so I know what you are goong through. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions about studying in the US. I also had my children tested for aptitudes. This is not the usual personality test but measures analytical and diagnostic ability, fine motor skills and many other aptitudes. At the end, we met with a consultant who gave us advice on best majors, colleges and job pathways based on our children’s strength. How I wish I had that when I was younger!

        1. That sounds very helpful! I hope we have such services too here. I’ll definitely keep you in mind and will email you should I plan to send any of my girls to the US for further studies. My #2 says she wants to major in dancing in a well known uni in the US *roll eyes*
          Thanks for your useful insights of the education in the US, Su!

  2. No problem! Education is top priority for many parents and I am glad to be of help. Please email me if you have any other questions. We had all our kids assessed for aptitudes and interests. These are not the usual personality tests but they measure fine motor skills, grip, hearing, processing skills in terms of reading and number recognition/memory, mental visualization, language aptitude etc. At the end of the testing, we met with a consultant who gave us advice on what our children’s strengths, weaknesses are and how to overcome them in college and later at work. How I wish I had that when I was younger! I have so many stories to share about what we learned about our kids, but not enough space here!! 😁

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