Heritage Education Funds International has paid out a total of $46.7 million to families in Bermuda to fund their educational needs.
The organisation, which runs savings plans aimed at helping with the costs of postsecondary education, added that it has paid out $2.88 million in Bermuda in the first nine months of this year alone.
And during the past three years, the company has paid out more than $8.8 million to families on the island in savings and Educational Assistance Payments, commonly known as “scholarships”.
HEFI, which has offered its services on the island for more than three decades, stressed that with tuition costs for postsecondary education continuing to rise at an average of 5 per cent annually, saving for education is especially important.
If this trend continues, tuition for a four-year degree programme could exceed $160,000 in ten years, depending on the programme of study and the location, HEFI estimates.
Gerry Swan, HEFI’s director of Heritage Agency (Bermuda) Ltd, said: “We recommend parents start saving for their children’s college or university education as soon as they are born.
“Using a conservative 5 per cent rate of appreciation, parents may need more than $350,000 for a child born this year, to pursue a four-year degree programme in the US.
“The Heritage Plan is designed to encourage parents to save as much as they can comfortably afford now to reduce that financial burden when the time comes.”
He said his team was working to broaden HEFI’s reach across the island.
“We want more families to be aware of the Heritage International Scholarship Trust Plan and, more importantly, we want to make our education savings plan available to more parents and grandparents allowing them the comfort of knowing that through proper planning and prudent investing, funds will be there when they need it most.”
Student participants in the Heritage Education Savings Plan, who received their third and final EAP this year, benefited from a return of 6.4 per cent per annum.
The Heritage Plan is a US-dollar denominated savings plan which has, to date, benefited thousands of students from Bermuda attending postsecondary institutions at home, in the USA, Canada, the UK and other parts of the world.
Jason Maguire, president and chief executive officer of HEFI, said: “We are very proud of these numbers as they indicate that more families in Bermuda than ever before have been using our ESP to help fund postsecondary studies for their children and grandchildren.
“Year after year, HEFI continues to reach important milestones and exceed expectations.
“This is due, in no small part, to all of the Bermudian families and friends who want a better world for their children — one where their academic success isn’t limited by the price tag on education.”