The 10+ Most Expensive Schools to Attend in Australia 2021

17 min read
The 10+ Most Expensive Schools to Attend in Australia 2021

Ever wondered just how much it costs to attend Australia’s Most Expensive Schools?

In Australia, some of the well-off have taken this to an even higher level of seriousness, enrolling their children in the most expensive learning institutions in a bid to mould holistic and all-round individuals out of them. This theory does seem to hold as most of these schools were once home to the most successful and renowned leaders, professionals and talents across the world.

The Australian Newspaper recently reported that Melbourne is the most expensive city in Australia to privately educate your child.  The average overall cost to educate a child in a private school in Victoria is $536,683, with Sydney and Hobart coming in close behind.

Note About The School Fee’s Published

All the following Schools fee’s are taken directly from their website.  All the fee’s are for year 11 – 12 students attending full time.  We also quote the price if the school is a boarding school (which is usually just the tuition plus boarding fee).  International students usually have a different (ie more expensive) fee again.

Our List of the Most Expensive Schools to Attend in Australia:

1. Geelong Grammar School (VIC)

  • Location: Geelong
  • Cost per Year: $42,792.00 per annum
  • Co-education

Having started in 1855, Geelong Grammar Schools prides itself as a pioneer of modern education providing an exceptional education over its many years of existence. The school is located in the magnificent Victoria state and lies on a vast 245-hectare land on the edge of the Cario Bay. There is also the Timbertop campus that exposes Grade 9 students to the remote location of the foothills of the Victorian Alps. Inspired by Kurt Hahn, the German educator, this educational adventure exposes the students at this level to intellectual, emotional and physical challenges for the development of confidence, the discovery of personal strengths and learning the value of co-operative endeavour.

This school’s four campuses are home to approximately 1,500 boys and girls from Early Learning to Year 12, with at least 800 boarders. It also has close to 180 teaching staff and at least 340 staff to ensure the smooth running of the school. For Years 7 to 10, students usually go through the Positive Education Program that helps build character, cultivate positivity and encourages them to find purpose in life and lead meaningful lives.

There are also quite a number of scholarships offered to students at Geelong Grammar including academic, music, choral, sports and general excellence scholarships. International students can also be enrolled here.

Famous Ex-Students of Geelong Grammar School:

  • Rupert Murdoch
  • Portia de Rossi
  • Charles, Prince of Wales
  • Missy Higgins
  • Kerry Packer

Most Expensive Schools

2. Sydney Church of England Girls Grammar School (NSW)

  • Location: Darlinghurst, New South Wales
  • Cost Per Year: $41,090 per annum
  • All Girls School

SCEGGS is located in inner-Sydney and was founded in 1895, SCEGGS Darlinghurst is one of the oldest schools in Australia’s history. It is a K-12 Anglican Girls’ school that enrols children in both its Primary level which is Kindergarten to Year 6, and Secondary level from Year 7 to 12. Located near Sydney’s city centre, SCEGGS Darlinghurst provides an excellent learning environment for students from this metropolitan area, as they are able to utilise the best educational resources within the city.

SCEGGS does have boarders but is predominately a day school.

Being an all girls’ school, SCEGGS Darlinghurst aims to educate its students with the confidence, competence and articulation that is essential for the success of any young woman in this environment that values individuality and diversity. It has an excellent academic record that makes it one of the most successful independent girls’ schools in Sydney and Australia at large.

Cost to Attend SCEGGS:

  • As much as its school fees averages at approximately AU$41,090 per annum (figures correct as of July 2021).  There are numerous scholarships that can be applied for and won on the basis of competence and performance. There is also a trust fund that parents and other members of the SCEGGS community can join to help maintain the school’s independence.
  • In addition to the annual fee, there is a $780 technology levee.

Famous Ex Students Include:

  • Claudia Karvan (Australian Actress)
  • Dr Joan Freeman (Nuclear Physicist)
  • Roxy Jacenko
  • Blanche d’Alpuget, Bob Hawke’s second wife
  • Pamela Stephenson, Comedian and wife of Billy Connolly

Most Expensive Schools in Australia

3. Ascham School (NSW)

  • Location: Edgecliff, Sydney NSW
  • Cost Per Year: $39,900.00 per annum
  • All Girls School

Ascham School in Sydney was founded in 1886 and cites that it will prepare a girl both academically and personally to ‘Meet the needs of the 21st Century’.  The school is non-denominational and offers both day school and boarding school for girls. The school caters for girls from Prep through to Year 12 and is the only school in Australia that uses ‘The Dalton Plan’ which is a unique plan that lets the student focus on their interests, and also allows the weaker students to get the extra support they need in the area they are falling down in.

The school boasts a state of the art theatre, an indoor heated pool, gymnasium, tennis courts and playing fields.  It also has three libraries.

Cost to Go to Ascham School:

Just to confirm a place at Ascham School will set you back a $6000 acceptance fee.

  • Day school fee for Year 12 Student $34,500.00 per annum
  • Boarding school fee for Year 12 Student $58,900.00 per annum

Famous students that attended Ascham School include:

  • Mia Freedman (Editor of Mamamia)
  • Poppy Montgomery (Actress)
  • Marta Dusseldorp (Actress)

ascham school | Stay at Home

4. Mount Scopus Memorial College (VIC)

  • Location: Burwood, Victoria
  • Cost: $38,850.00 per year
  • Co-Educational

Mount Scopus Memorial College is Modern Othodox Jewish College and was the first co-educational Jewish day school opened in Melbourne.  The school offers education from Kindergarden through to Year 12. The total enrolment numbers at the school total 1299 students.

Unlike most of the other expensive schools on this list, the Mount Scopus Memorial College does not offer boarding for students.

Famous Ex-Students of Mount Scopus Memorial College:

  • Geoffrey Edelstein
  • Josh Frydenberg
  • Peter Alexander

Most Expensive Schools

5. Sydney Grammar School (NSW)

  • Location: Sydney NSW
  • Cost Per Year: $38,043
  • All Boys School

Located in New South Wales, Sydney Grammar School is a K-12 boys’ school that has been providing holistic education to Australia’s finest men in history including Sir Edmund Barton and Sir George Fuller. It was founded in 1830 with its ancestor, the Sydney Public Grammar School founded in 1825, making it one of Australia’s oldest schools. The school has three separate campuses, Edgecliff with is K – year 6, St Ives which is Preschool – Year 6 and College Street which is high school.

Its preparatory section is composed of two schools: the Edgecliff Paddington School (K6) catering for students between Kindergarten to Year 6 and the St. Ives Preparatory School also catering for students from Preschool to Year 6. Sydney Grammar School’s secondary section is located in College Street, Sydney and admits students from Year 7 to 12. With a wide array of learning opportunities, activities and open days, each student at Sydney Grammar School get to advance in the fields they enjoy most, yet grows into an all-round individual.

Scholarships are also available for exceptional students in the diverse fields offered in the school. Old Sydneians also get to interact throughout their lifetime as they help keep the school independent.

Cost to Go To Sydney Grammar:

To apply for a place at Sydney Grammar School, an entrance fee of $6341.00 is required.

  • Day Student Fee for a Year 12 Student: $38,043.00 per annum
  • Type:  Boys School
  • Location: Darlinghurst NSW

Famous Former Students Include:

  • Sir Edmund Barton, former Prime Minister of Australia
  • Banjo Paterson, poet and author


6. Cranbrook School (NSW)

  • Location: Sydney NSW
  • Cost per Year: $38,862.00
  • Boys Only School

Cranbrook in Sydney’s East is one of THE most expensive schools in the whole of Australia.  Senior School Fees for an average year 12 student who is also boarding will cost $73,536 per year.  Non-boarding year 12 students will pay $38,862.00 per annum.

The school has a vast 100-year history and caters for boys from preschool through to year 12.

Cost to Go To Cranbrook School:

For your child to attend Cranbrook School – there is a non-refundable enrolment fee of $7,275.00.  Even to attend their pre-school a deposit of $3,000 is required.

  • Day Student Fee for Year 12 Student is $38,862 per annum.
  • A year 11-12 student who attends Cranbrook and is also boarding will set you back $71,601 per annum

Famous students that attended the prestigious school include:

  • Garry McDonald (the Actor that portrayed Norman Gunston in Mother & Son)
  • David Griffin – ex-Lord Mayor of Sydney
  • David Gyngell – CEO of Channel Nine
  • James Packer – Chairman of CPH Investments and Crown Limited
  • Kerry Packer – Former media tycoon.

Australia's Most Expensive Schools

7. The Scots College

  • Location: Sydney NSW
  • Cost Per Year: $33,098.00
  • All Boys School

Boasting of the famous professionals in the world such as Gerald Lawrie, Robert McDougall, Jim Boyce, Stewart Boyce, Stuart Pinkerton, Arnold Brown and John Berryman, The Scots College is definitely one of the best boys’ learning institutions around the world. Located in Sydney, this school is home to close to 1000 students mainly from Sydney, New South Wales.

To apply for enrollment at The Scots College, a non-refundable registration fee of $500 is payable to the school followed by a series of interviews. Priority is given to grandsons and sons of Old Boys, brothers of current students, boarders, academic and music scholars and sons of ministers of recognised protestant churches.

If an offer is given, a non-refundable entrance fee of $5000 is charged.

The Scots College also is a boarding school.

It does offer a variety of academic and musical scholorships with the yearly scholarships open for application in September of every year.

Cost to Go To The Scots College:

  • Day Student Fee for a Year 12 Student: $33,098.00 per annum.

Famous ex-students:

  • Lee Freedman (horse trainer)
  • Charlie Teo (Neurosurgeon)
  • Peter Dowding (former Premier of Western Australia)


8. Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Sydney

  • Location: Sydney, NSW
  • Cost Per Year:  $36,000 per year
  • All Girls School

The Presbyterian Ladies’ College offers education to young girls from Kindergarten to Year 12, with boarding facilities for Years 7 to 12. PLC is a place where excellence in all aspects of life is extended. The girls are brought up into disciplined, caring, confident and accomplished young ladies of integrity and purpose.

The school includes an aquatic institute, a gymnasium, performing arts complex, research centre and more.  The school offers its students over 50 different activities including public speaking, debating, visual arts, environmental studies.

Over 90% of PLC students were in the top 1% of the State receiving ATAR’s over 99.

Cost to Go to Presbyterian Ladies’ College:

A pre-enrolment fee (just to apply to attend) is $440.00.  Then an enrolment fee (non refundable) of $3175.00 is required.

  • Day student fees for Year 12 Student: $36,000 per annum
  • Boarding students require an additional $30,240 per annum

Famous past students include:

  • Rachel Corbett (Former Radio Presenter for Triple M)
  • Dr Kathleen Cunningham
  • Jessie Strahorn Aspinall
  • Katherine-Anne Stewart
  • Fenella Kernebone (Radio Presenter for Triple J)

Most Expensive Schools in Australia

9. The King’s School for Boys

  • Location: Sydney, NSW
  • Cost Per Year: $38,284.00 per annum
  • All Boys School

The King’s School in Parramatta is an all-boys school providing education to the Sydney elite since 1831.  It offers education to boys from pre-kindergarten (4 years of age) right through to Year 12.  It is one of the largest boarding schools in Australia with a significant number of students hailing from rural areas.

Cost to Go to The King’s School for Boys

To register to go to The King’s School for Boys there is a non-refundable application fee of $250, following by an admission fee of $4,500.00 per student.

  • A day student in year 12 will pay $38,284.00 per annum
  • A boarding student will pay an additional $27,253 on top of the day student fee.
  • See the full fees structure here

Famous past-students include:

  • Mike Baird (Premier of NSW)
  • Russell Cooper (ex-Premier of QLD)
  • William Forster (ex-Premier of QLD)
  • Sir Charles Gregory Wade KCMG (ex-Premier of NSW)
  • Maha Vajiralongkorn (King of Thailand)
  • Stirling Mortlock (Wallabies Player)

Australia's Most Expensive Schools

10. Melbourne Girls Grammar

  • Location: Melbourne VIC
  • Cost per Year:  $36,784.00 per annum
  • All Girls School

This Anglican Girls’ school located in the magnificent Melbourne city of the Victoria state strives to provide an exceptional education for the girl child from ELC to Year 12. The programs here are divided into four: the Early Learning, Junior Years, Middle Years and Senior Years programs. There are also eLearning, wellbeing, co-curricular and leadership programs, all in a bid to ensure each of the young girls’ strengths are fully nurtured and cultivated.

The Melbourne Girls Grammar was established in 1893.  At the time, the school had only 9 students and 1 boarder.

Melbourne Girls Grammar offers boarding which is an additional $28,684 per year for years 7 – 12.

Cost to Go to Melbourne Girls Grammar:

Famous Past Students Include:

  • Yumi Styles (television presenter)
  • Stephanie McIntosh (actor of Neighbours)
  • Sally Walker – Vice-Chancellor of Deakin University


11. St Catherine’s School (VIC)

  • Location: Toorak, Melbourne VIC
  • Cost per year $36,040
  • Boarding additional $30,480 per annum

St Catherine’s School located in Toorak, Melbourne is an all-girls school that encourages its students to ‘Be bold, to inquire, to question and to contribute’.  St Catherine’s is a non-denominational Christian school and boarding school with 730 students from pre-school through to year 12.

Established in 1896, the school was originally named ‘Castlemaine Ladies’ College’.  The school moved to ‘Kilbride House’ in 1922 (pictured below).

Famous people who attended St Catherine’s:

  • Dame Elisabeth Murdoch AC DBE
  • Sophie Mirabella (Liberal MP)
  • Laren Hewitt (Olympic track athlete)
  • Natalie Bloom (founder of Bloom Cosmetics)

Australia's Most Expensive Schools

12. Trinity Grammar School (NSW_

  • Location: Sydney
  • Cost per Year: $37,030 per annum
  • All Boys School

Trinity Grammar was founded by George Chambers way back in 1913 with only 29 students. Driven by its motto, translating to “Give Glory to God,” this school caters to all academic, musical and most of all, spiritual needs. This helps the boys realise their passions, potential and purpose in life with the best learning opportunities provided. Trinity ensures that each child is given the required personal attention and taught in ways that get the best out of him, hence growth in body, mind and spirit.

Trinity Grammar School has three campuses with the Preparatory School (Pre-K-6) in Strathfield, the Junior School (K-6) in Summer Hill and the Middle & Senior (7-12) in Summer Hill. It hosts at least 2000 students. It has the most extensive curriculum that makes it one of the best boys’ schools in New South Wales, especially for IB students. Each student is given an opportunity to discover their talents and skills through academic clubs, sports and creative arts among others. Most of these are at a competitive level, with the Cadet Unit hosting the largest number of students in the school.

Cost to Go To Trinity Grammar School:

An application fee of $200.00 is required up front.  Then a non-refundable enrolment fee of $2,800.00 is paid upon confirmation.

  • Day school fees for Year 12 student: $34,770.00 per annum.
  • Boarding school fees for Year 12 student is an additional $31,520.00 plus $1500 laundry fees.
  • See the full fee structure here

Famous past students include:

  • Andrew Gordon, Executive Chairman of the WIN Corporation Pty Ltd
  • Marc Fennell, Presenter of Triple J
  • Angus Sampson, Actor
  • Akmal Saleh, comedian

Australia's Most Expensive Schools

12. Knox Grammar School (NSW)

  • Location: Wahroonga NSW
  • Cost to attend: $34,110 per annum
  • Boarding + $31,560

Knox Grammar School was opened in 1924 and is a Presbyterian all-boys school on three campuses with a total of 3,000 students. It is a K – 12 boys school where boys are ‘Transformed into mature young men who are equipped for life beyond school’.

To apply for Knox Grammar School, the application fee is $380.  Then there is an enrolment fee of $2,620.00 and an entrance fee (to be paid two years prior to commencement) at $2,300.

Famous Ex-Students of Knox Grammar School:

  • Peter FitzSimons (Columnist for Sydney Morning Herald)
  • Hugh Jackman (Amazing Actor)
  • John Laws (radio shock jock)
  • Hugo Weaving (Actor)
  • Gough Whitlam (Former Prime Minister of Australia)

Australia's Most Expensive Schools

13. Haileybury College (VIC)

  • Location: Melbourne, VIC
  • Cost per Year: $33,560.00 per annum
  • Co-Education

With its campuses in Keysborough, Darwin, Berwick and Brighton, Haileybury College is one of the best independent schools in Australia. Its incredibly high academic achievements, a broad range of curricular and co-curricular activities, small class sizes and state-of-the-art activities are among the many things that make this the school of choice for the wealthy population of Australia. Learning is based on age, gender, potential, interests and each student’s different learning styles.

Haileybury College offers five main programs including the Early Learning Centre, Junior School, Middle School, Pre-Senior and Senior School programs, each suited for the child’s age and learning abilities. There is also the Parallel Learning program that separates the male and female students to learn in different classes under the single-gender class arrangement. The boys and girls can only interact after class time. This school accepts international students and also has quite a number of scholarship offers to its students.

Cost to Go to Haileybury College:

Famous Ex Students Include:

  • Kim Dalton, Head of ABC Television
  • Ross Wilson, musician

Australia's Most Expensive Schools

14. Christ Church Grammar School (WA)

  • Location: Claremont, Perth, Western Australia
  • Cost Per Year:  $28,920.00 per annum
  • Boys Only School

Being the only of its kind located in Perth, Western Australia, Christ Church Grammar offers diversity in learning. Started in 1910, this school has grown into one of the most ideal educational institutions for Australian boys, having a population of at least 1600 students. This school strives at catering for each student’s individual differences, enhancing personal bests and providing structure and also feedback.

At Christ Church Grammar, school systems are divided into Preparatory School from Pre-primary to Year 6 and Senior School from Year 7 to 12, with a curriculum that best suits their age groups and their diverse strengths. Apart from education, these boys get the best Pastoral care and get a chance to learn their individual and collective strengths through a variety of indoor and outdoor learning activities. Sports, creative arts and other extra-curricular activities are encouraged among the students, a factor that has led to great legends such as the young cricketer Bradley Hope.

Cost to Go to Christ Church Grammar School

A non-refundable application fee of $150.00 is required up front.

Famous Past Students Include:

  • Matt Burston
  • Wayne Martin
  • Sir William Heseltine


15. Hale School (WA)

  • Location: Wembley Downs, Western Australia
  • Boys Only School
  • Cost per annum $24,750

Hale is an all boys school located in Wembley Downs in Perth.  It has been around since 1858 and the school grounds are AH-MAZZZING!!!

Cost to Go To Hale School:

Before you even THINK to go to Hale School, there is a $150 application fee (non-refundable), followed by an $8100 non-refundable enrolment fee.  Fee’s depend on the year the child is in and how many of the same family attend – but a typical single year 12 boy would looking at $26,910 per year.

  • Day School $26,910 per annum
  • Boarding: Add another $24,750

Famous Past Students Include:

  • Andrew Forrest (CEO of Fortescue Metals Group)
  • Lang Hancock (Iron Ore Magnate and father of Gina Rinehart)
  • Basil Zempilas (Channel 7 TV Presenter)

Australia's Most Expensive Schools

The above list of the most expensive schools in Australia is based on the average fees payable by Year 12 students. Apart from scholarships, some of these private schools usually offer the students’ parents school fees discounts with regard to a number of factors, such as having multiple children attending the school. These schools are basically the most prestigious in Australia and host children of the top financial tier in Australia and the world at large.

Will you send your kids to one of Australia’s most expensive schools?Most Expensive Schools to Attend in Australia | Stay At Home Mum

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Jody Allen

Jody is the founder and essence of Stay at Home Mum. An insatiable appetite for reading from a very young age had Jody harbouring dreams of being a pu...Read Moreblished author since primary school. That deep-seeded need to write found its way to the public eye in 2011 with the launch of SAHM. Fast forward 4 years and a few thousand articles Jody has fulfilled her dream of being published in print. With the 2014 launch of Once a Month Cooking and 2015's Live Well on Less, thanks to Penguin Random House, Jody shows no signs of slowing down. The master of true native content, Jody lives and experiences first hand every word of advertorial she pens. Mum to two magnificent boys and wife to her beloved Brendan; Jody's voice is a sure fire winner when you need to talk to Mums. Read Less

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