What is the net present value (NPV) of undertaking a full-time Australian undergraduate business degree as an Australian citizen? Only include the cash flows over the duration of the degree, ignore any benefits or costs of the degree after it's completed.
Assume the following:
- The degree takes 3 years to complete and all students pass all subjects.
- There are 2 semesters per year and 4 subjects per semester.
- University fees per subject per semester are $1,277, paid at the start of each semester. Fees are expected to remain constant in real terms for the next 3 years.
- There are 52 weeks per year.
- The first semester is just about to start (t=0). The first semester lasts for 19 weeks (t=0 to 19).
- The second semester starts immediately afterwards (t=19) and lasts for another 19 weeks (t=19 to 38).
- The summer holidays begin after the second semester ends and last for 14 weeks (t=38 to 52). Then the first semester begins the next year, and so on.
- Working full time at the grocery store instead of studying full-time pays $20/hr and you can work 35 hours per week. Wages are paid at the end of each week and are expected to remain constant in real terms.
- Full-time students can work full-time during the summer holiday at the grocery store for the same rate of $20/hr for 35 hours per week.
- The discount rate is 9.8% pa. All rates and cash flows are real. Inflation is expected to be 3% pa. All rates are effective annual.
The NPV of costs from undertaking the university degree is: