Choosing the most expensive school for your child might seem like a waste of money until you realize that it pays off in the long run.
Most expensive schools, especially if they place among the top few percentiles in the country, can offer better opportunities for your child to get into a good university, which will propel them into a career path that is much more lucrative than that of other students who went to less expensive schools.
It’s natural to want your children to attend the best school possible, for many reasons.
But sometimes you may be tempted to think that the best school is where the biggest trophy is — the one where graduates go on to make millions and earn six-figure salaries.
Many schools in South Africa can be considered to some extent as expensive.
Some of them have been on the top of the list for years and most of them have earned it with the combination of quality education along with marginal cost.
However, there are also expensive schools that have been gaining popularity over time and that have been generating revenues for their owners.
In this article, we have compiled some of the most expensive schools in South Africa and provided good reasons why you should choose them so that your children have the best shot at getting into a top university.
Top 10 Most Expensive Schools in South Africa
Education is a major investment. It’s also a major responsibility, both financially and emotionally.
As an aspiring parent, you want to do everything within your power to ensure your child has the best possible start in life.
If you’re like most parents, you probably have your sights set on an expensive school that promises to provide a high-quality education.
But what makes “expensive” for one family may not be for another.
While some families wouldn’t think twice about paying R50,000 per year for their child’s education, others would be outraged at the idea of spending more than R20,000 per year on their child’s schooling.
The general rule of thumb is that the more expensive the school, the higher the quality of education it provides.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of South Africa’s most expensive schools:
1. Hilton College – R331,550
The most expensive school in South Africa is Hilton College, which costs R331,550 to attend per academic year.
The college has over 500 students from more than 80 countries and offers programs in English and Afrikaans.
Its main campus is located near Hilton town in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
The college ranks among the leading private institutions for the quality of its education and the level of its campus facilities, according to the South African Institute of Race Relations.
With this in mind, it’s not surprising that Hilton College ranks among the top schools in South Africa.
2. Michaelhouse – R303,600
The most expensive school in South Africa is Michaelhouse. This private boarding school was founded in 1896 and has a rich history of educating the children of the wealthy and powerful.
The school offers a traditional education focused on classics, languages, music, art, and sport.
It’s an Anglican school which means that it follows the ethos set out by the Church of England but has a lot of freedom to design its curriculum.
The education at Michaelhouse is extremely expensive. The fee per year is around R303,600 (approximately $20,000).
However, if you’re a parent who can afford that kind of money you will be given access to the best educational facilities in South Africa.
The fees are incredibly high because they are paid not only for tuition but also for accommodation at the school.
If you’re looking for an elite boarding school then Michaelhouse might be perfect for you.
As well as excellent education, you’ll also be able to enjoy some of South Africa’s finest facilities and amenities.
This makes Michaelhouse one of the most expensive schools in South Africa.
3. St. Andrews College Grahamstown – R291,000
The school is a private Anglican boarding school and is regarded as one of the best private schools in South Africa.
A co-educational school, it caters to students of all faiths and cultures. The school has a proud tradition of academic achievement and sporting prowess.
It has a strong sense of community as well as being vibrant and thriving.
Students are encouraged to participate in various extra-curricular activities ranging from debating, performing arts, music, and drama to sports.
There are also many opportunities to get involved in charitable work at the school.
St Andrews College Grahamstown is one of the most expensive private schools in the Western Cape, South Africa, St. Andrews International School offers a highly competitive entry with an annual fee of R291,000 per annum.
4. Roedean School – R287,558
Roedean School is one of the best elite girls boarding schools located in Johannesburg, South Africa.
It was founded in 1904 and teaches 7- to 13-year-old girls from all over the world.
The school has a long history of producing social, economic, and academic leaders.
Roedean has a rigorous academic curriculum that includes foreign languages, music, dance, and drama.
Students are encouraged to take part in creative activities such as photography, painting, sculpture, and ceramics.
Roedean’s facilities include separate boarding houses for each grade level (with full-time housemasters), two libraries, six outdoor playing fields, and two indoor playing fields.
There is also an extensive art studio (with animation classes) and a community center with three large gyms.
Students who attend Roedean School pay R287,558 per year for tuition and boarding
5. St. John’s School Houghton – R284,198
St John’s College is an Independent Anglican day and boarding boys’ school situated in Houghton Estate, Johannesburg, South Africa.
The school was founded in 1898 by the Reverend John T. Darragh. Today, St John’s is one of the leading schools in South Africa.
This school provides an excellent education for boys and girls from all over the world.
The International Baccalaureate program prepares students for a variety of careers and university studies.
St John’s School Houghton prides itself on providing an educational experience that promotes critical-thinking skills and a love of learning.
The college also has many extra-curricular activities for its students including tennis, rugby, cricket, and athletics.
They also have a well-equipped gymnasium with state-of-the-art equipment for games such as basketball and netball.
If you are applying for a place at St John’s College please be aware that you will be expected to meet expectations set by the school and its strict traditions of respect and discipline.
Students who attend pay R284,198 per year for tuition and boarding.
6. Bishops Diocesan College – R277,800
The Diocesan College, is a private, English medium, boarding, and day high school for boys situated in the suburb of Rondebosch in Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.
The school began as a missionary school for boys, where pupils were taught Christian doctrine, Latin, and Greek.
In 1869 it became a state-owned institution under the control of the Metropolitan Diocese of Cape Town.
Dedicated to the education of boys from a variety of backgrounds, the school has been highly acclaimed for its sporting achievements, being ranked as one of the top schools in South Africa.
Over the years, many notable figures have been associated with the School.
This boarding and day learning institution for boys costs around R277,800 annual fee.
7. Kearsney College Botha – R277,200
Kearsney College Botha ranks among the best school in South Africa. It is located in Botha Hills near Durban in KwaZulu-Natal and offers high-quality education in South Africa.
Kearsney College is one of the best schools in South Africa and prides itself on being one of the most diverse schools in South Africa with students from all over the world.
Kearsney College has had a strong academic performance with gold medalists in the past three years.
The Kearsney College offers a variety of extracurricular activities including sports such as netball, athletics, cross country running, and swimming as well as arts and crafts activities.
The campus offers student accommodation as well as boarding facilities for children who require extended care. and its current annual fee is R277,200.
The goal of the Kearsney Institute is to build leaders who can serve their communities, with a unique and holistic approach to education.
A big part of that is grounding their students and preparing them for the real world.
8. St Mary’s School Waverley – R272,240
St Mary’s School is an Anglican private English medium and residential school for girls located in the Waverley district of Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.
It is one of the best and most intellectual institutions in Gauteng. It is Johannesburg’s oldest school, having been founded in 1888.
it offers an expansive curriculum and rich extracurricular activities in a nurturing environment that prepares every girl to be a successful individual in a global society. The school charges an R272,240 fee per year.
The school prides itself on its nurturing learning environment, providing students with opportunities to develop their full potential through holistic education, where personal development is not sacrificed for academic achievement.
The school also offers full-day enrichment classes which are taught by our expert teachers. These classes cater to all ages from pre-nursery to high school.
Each class consists of at least six hours of lessons over three consecutive days. This ensures that parents get a complete break from their young children for at least three days during the week.
9. St Andrew’s School Bedfordview – R265,270
This institution’s education has been benchmarked worldwide and regionally since its inception in 1902 in Bedfordview, Johannesburg.
It was founded by two Scots, Jessie Johnson and Jean Fletcher. The private Christian school accepts both boarders and day students.
With an annual cost of R265,270, St Andrew’s is one of Johannesburg’s most expensive girls’ private schools. Historic structures and buildings are preserved at the school.
In 2007, the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation designated the school as a Heritage Site.
10. St Alban’s College Lynnwood Glen – R264,900
St. Alban’s College is a private, boarding, English medium, and day high school for boys in the Pretoria suburb of Lynnwood Glen, Gauteng, South Africa. Anton Murray created it in 1963.
During his time at St. Alban’s, Anton Murray introduced many new ideas and programs that have been very successful in building up this school into what it is today.
St. Alban’s College was established to cater to the academic needs of boys who were unable to attend public schools on account of their area or religious affiliation, or because they did not have the financial means to do so.
The school has a very strong academic profile with over 6% of the academic staff being expatriates from various countries around the world.
The college boasts an enrolment of over 2,000 students and has one of the largest numbers of international students at any single high school in South Africa. To study here, a parent must pay a yearly tuition fee of R264,900 per child.