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2022-11-25 11:35 PM

Most Expensive Schools in South Africa

By Lethabo Ntsoane

Hilton College, with an annual fee of R343,155.00 is the most expensive school in South Africa in 2022. Fees in the top 10 schools increased by 4.2% on average. St Andrew’s School for Girls had the highest fee increase, with a 5.5% increase.

Hilton College had the lowest annual fee increase, increasing its fees by 3.5% for the fiscal year 2022. In 2022, 6 schools charge fees in excess of R300,000.00 per year, making it the year with the most schools charging fees in excess of R300,000.00. The year with the second highest number of schools charging fees in excess of R300,000.00 is 2021, with three schools.

Gauteng province has the most schools on the top 10 list of the most expensive schools in South Africa, with 5. Two of the top ten schools from Gauteng Province charge annual fees in excess of R300,000.00.

The top 10 schools are all boarding schools, with the boarding fee accounting for more than 40% of the total annual fees. Boys boarding schools dominate the list, accounting for 7 of the top 10 entries.

The most expensive schools in South Africa for the year 2022 are listed below. 

10 Most Expensive Schools in South Africa

#Name of SchoolAnnual fees
1Hilton College R343,155.00
2MichaelhouseR328,000.00
3St Andrew’s College R320,064.00
4Roedean School for Girls R310,994.00
5St John’s College R304,995.00
6Kearney College R303,710.00
7St Mary’s Johannesburg R293,050.00
8Bishops CollegeR289,700.00
9St Alban’s CollegeR287,850.00
10St Andrew’s School for Girls R287,850.00

1. Hilton College

Hilton College, with a yearly fee of R343,155.00, is the most expensive school in South Africa for the calendar year 2022. The fee covers a variety of administrative and medical costs, including:

  • Tuition;
  • Food;
  • Games;
  • Minor medical attention;
  • The use of a sanatorium;
  • Library; and
  • Laundry

Hilton College is South Africa’s most expensive school since the fees cover a wide range of expenses. The school charges a non-refundable entrance fee of R85,788.75, which is equal to one term’s tuition.

Foreign students with families living outside of South Africa must pay a “foreign pupil’s deposit” equal to one term’s fees. The fee is intended to cover the costs of repatriation in the event that such a situation arises. The deposit paid by the foreign student is refundable.

Hilton Collage allows parents to enrol their children in an insurance program. This scheme covers a claim if a student is absent for 10 consecutive days or 5 consecutive days if absent due to injury.

A medical insurance policy is also available, with a limit of R120,000.00 per year. There is coverage for permanent disability of up to R750,000.00. All Hilton College students must have accidental insurance cover. 

2. Michaelhouse

Michaelhouse is the second most expensive school in South Africa and it charges an annual fee of R328,000.00. In addition to the tuition fee, a non-refundable acceptance fee is charged. The acceptance fee for South African residents is R41,000.00, while the fee for non-South African residents is R82,000.00.

Michaelhouse provides a discount to students who pay their tuition in full in advance. When paying in advance, a 3% discount is applied, resulting in a payment of R316,520.00.

In addition to tuition, Michaelhouse charges the following fees:

  • Registration fees of R950.00 which is non-refundable.
  • Voluntary development levy of R5,900.00.
  • Debtors administration fee of R4,650.00

Additional costs apply for items such as stationery, textbooks, personal purchases, and uniform. 

3. St Andrews College, Grahamstown

St Andrew’s College is South Africa’s third most expensive school, with an annual fee of R320,064.00. For students in Grades 8 to 12, the fee includes boarding and tuition.

Fees must be paid in advance, on or before the first day of each school term. As a result, parents/guardians/sponsors will be required to pay R106,688.00 per term in advance.

Additional fees may apply, and these fees may include:

  • Transportation;
  • Rowing levy for students that participate in rowing. An annual levy of R5,725.00 applies;
  • Laundry;
  • Breakages; and more.

4. Roedean School for Girls

Roedean School for Girls is South Africa’s fourth most expensive school, with an annual fee of R310,994.00. Tuition and boarding fees are included in the fees. Before entering boarding, new students must pay a refundable boarding deposit equal to one term’s fees.

Apart from the fees, Roedean School for Girls is one of the best-performing schools in South Africa. The school has a 100% matric pass rate, with all students who pass qualifying for a university entry Bachelor’s degree.

Roedean achieved 338 distinctions from 79 Matric students in 2021. Each student received an average of 4.3 distinctions. Furthermore, the school produced 86% of the NSC (National Senior Certificate) symbols A and B.

Roedean School for Girls is clearly a national performer, and the fees it charges are justified by its students’ academic achievements.

5. St John’s College

St John’s College is the 5th most expensive school in South Africa. The annual fee is R304,995.00. The annual fee includes a tuition fee of R179,933.00 and a boarding fee of R125,062.00.

A refundable deposit of R61,834.00 is required for the application tuition fee, and a refundable deposit of R42,977.00 is required for the boarding fee. Other charges suggested by the school include:

  • Development levy;
  • PA special projects;
  • Security levy; and
  • Rowing levy

Additional costs, such as bus service and/or hot lunches, may be incurred. There are three ways to pay your fees. Fees may be paid monthly for 11 months, per term, or annually.

6. Kearsney College

Kearsney College has the sixth highest annual fee in South Africa, at R303,710.00. From January 2022 to November 2022, the KwaZulu-Natal school allows fees to be paid in 11 monthly installments of R27,610.00.

When submitting an application to Kearsney College, an application fee of R820.00 is required. An acceptance fee of R32,700.00 is due upon admission and is non-refundable.

Kearsney offers discounts to customers who pay their annual fees in one installment. Those who made an initial deposit by 30/11/2021 received a 4.5% discount, those who made an initial deposit by 31/12/2021 received a 3.5% discount, and those who made a deposit by 31/01/2022 received a 2.5% discount.

Kearsney bills you in the following monthly installments:

  • Scholar’s Personal Accident Insurance of R246.00,
  • Music tuition fee of R800.00 per instrument,
  • Transportation fee of R270.00 to R1,660.00,

Kearsney also charges the following fees per term if applicable:

  • Academic inclusion levy of R1,035.00,
  • Literacy support levy of R335.00,
  • High performance program of R620.00,
  • Day scholar overnight boarding charge of R210.00 per night,
  • Immigration status levy of R620.00, and
  • Parents’ society levy of R800.00.

7. St Mary’s School

St Mary’s School is the 7th most expensive school in South Africa, with an annual fee of R293,050.00. The school fees are divided into two parts, the first of which is R163,550.00 for tuition. A R56,200.00 deposit is required for tuition.

The second component of the school fees is boarding fees, which come with a variety of benefits for the student. An annual fee of R129,500.00 is payable. A R44,500.00 deposit is required in addition to the annual boarding fee.

St Mary’s also charges a R7500.00 annual development levy. Accounts that are past due are subject to a 2% monthly interest charge. When applying at St Mary’s, you must pay an application fee.

With a 100% matric pass rate, the school is one of the best performing in South Africa. The school was able to graduate 98% of students with a Bachelor’s degree. The school’s performance is excellent, with 396 distinctions across all subjects taught at the school.

8. Bishops College

Bishops College has the eighth-highest annual fee in South Africa, at R289,700.00. The fee includes boarding and tuition, which cost R119,180.00 and R170,520.00 per year, respectively.

Those who pay the fees in one lump sum are eligible for a rebate. Those who settle their account with a single payment receive a 1.2% rebate and can save R3,476.00.

Bishops College, also known as Diocesan College, is a boys’ high school. The school is a national sports powerhouse, producing business leaders and professionals.

The school is well-known for producing South Africa’s best matric results. Bishops College had a 100% Matric pass rate in 2021 and a 98.7% Bachelor’s pass rate. Along with such outstanding results, students received 570 distinctions across a variety of subjects.

9. St Alban’s College

St Alban’s College is South Africa’s 9th most expensive school, with an annual fee of R287,850.00. The school charges an R650.00 application fee. The school also levies non-refundable levies such as:

  • Day scholars enrollment levy of R54,550.00,
  • Boarding enrolment levy of R102,450.00

St Alban’s College offers discounts on accounts that are settled with a single deposit. The discount rate ranges from 2.5% to 4% of the total annual fee.

10. St Andrew’s School for Girls

With an annual fee of R287,850.00, St Andrew’s School for Girls is the 10th most expensive school in South Africa in 2022. The school is a Christian day and boarding school for girls only.

The annual fee consists of an R129,910.00 boarding fee and an R152,165.00 tuition fee. Overdue accounts are subject to a monthly interest charge by the school.

St Andrew’s School for Girls accepts three fee payment methods. The first option is to pay the entire annual fee all at once. The second option is to make termly payments of R97,440.00 per term. There are three terms at St Andrew’s School for Girls.

The final payment option is to make monthly payments of R15,265.00 and R13,030.00 for tuition and boarding fees, respectively. A R45,600.00 refundable deposit is required.

Conclusion

Academically and otherwise, the most expensive schools in South Africa are among the best-performing schools in the country. The majority of these schools are boarding schools, where the boarding fee offsets the tuition. Boarding fees typically account for 40% or more of the total fees.

Some of the greatest South Africans are alumni of South Africa’s ten most expensive schools. Furthermore, the schools have a strong academic backbone. In Matric, students from these schools achieve an average of three or more distinctions per school.

Clearly, there is a link between the level of education and the fees that must be paid in these schools. The school provides extracurricular activities that many students in South Africa can only dream of, as well as a vast network of achievers.

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Lethabo Ntsoane

Lethabo Ntsoane holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of South Africa. He is a Financial Product commentator at Rateweb. He is an expect financial product analyst with years of experience in reviewing products and offering commentary. Lethabo majors in financial news, reviews and financial tips. He can be contacted: Email: lethabo@rateweb.co.za Twitter: @NtsoaneLethabo