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Japanese Private University

Students Pinched as

Financial Support

from Home Falls


Rising rents and falling financial input from parents has increased the need for university students to carefully manage budgets.

Private university students in Tokyo are increasingly needing to get by on less. A 2018 survey by the Tokyo Federation of Private University Faculty and Staff Unions found that the average financial support sent by parents to new students boarding at private universities in the capital dropped by ¥3,000 from the previous year to ¥83,100. This marked the lowest amount of family input recorded since the survey began in 1985. 

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While parental contributions have dropped, rent costs have gradually risen. The average rent for university students in 2018 was ¥62,800, up ¥1,200 from the previous year. Rent accounted for a record-high 75.6% of costs covered by family-provided financial support. After paying rent, students are left with only ¥23,000, equivalent to just ¥677 a day, for living costs. This is nearly a quarter less than the ¥2,460 that students had in 1990.

Many experts point to a fall in household income as a possible cause. While average earnings increased in 2018 by 3% to ¥9.39 million, it is still ¥1.32 million less than in 1993 when it stood at ¥10.72 million.

Cost of boarding at university includes additional expenses like deposits and household items as well as examination and class fees. These average out to ¥2,962,918 each year, equivalent to 31.9% of annual household income. More than 90% of parents who responded to the survey said that they were bearing either a heavy or very heavy burden in sending their child to school.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)