Parents’ big back to school stress: Paying tuition fees and expenses

September 2, 2014 1:53 pm

With the summer holidays now over, back to school anxiety will be heightened in family homes across the UAE. Whether it’s stocking up on supplies, buying in new uniforms or preparing children for a stricter daily routine, family life will be in a state of upheaval.

But what stresses parents out the most, during the frenzy of starting a new academic year, is paying the school fees. Almost 40% of respondents in a new Back to School study say that paying for tuition is their biggest worry ahead of the school season.

The survey of more than 700 residents and UAE nationals was commissioned by from, the region’s leading price comparison website, and leading Arabic women’s lifestyle site

This remains the single most concerning factor for parents, irrespective of nationality, income level or the number of children they have.

The second biggest stressor is also cost-related; paying additional expenses beyond tuition is a worry for a quarter of those polled. However, getting back into a routine is the third concern rattling parents ahead of the new academic year.

Those on higher incomes have slightly different worries, with those earning over Dhs30,000 a month placing the new routine as their second biggest concern over the added extra school expenses. While just over half of those polled give their children less than Dhs100 a month, a quarter are more generous, dishing out up to Dhs300 a month.

However, UAE nationals are the most generous, with almost a third giving their children over Dhs,000, compared to 58% of expat Asians who give their children less than Dhs100 a month.

Ambareen Musa, Founder and CEO of, said, “We polled over 700 parents to find out how the back to school process affects households and it was no surprise that the financial headache of paying the school fees came out on top. School fees in the UAE range anywhere from Dhs2,500 to 100,000, making it a sizeable chunk of your income. But the fact that so many parents also feel stressed about paying for all the added extras shows that education comes with a financial burden many of us underestimate.”

For more stats and information please contact:
Suzanne Locke
Head of Content