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All parents want their children to have the best education they can afford. But what does it cost to send your child to an elite school? And do those who graduate from the most expensive schools in Australia have better results?

It’s a question many parents ask themselves - do we send our kids to public or private school? For some, the private school system may seem out of reach or they have a strong belief in the public education system, so it’s public schools all the way. While for others, a private school education is simply a given with schools being chosen before children are born. No discussion needed.


As firm believers in planning for your child’s education, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at the top ten most expensive schools in Australia in 2021. We’ve even found some notable former students at these schools. (A few surprised us!)


What’s the most expensive school in Australia?

1. Geelong Grammar School (GGS)

Cost per year for a Year 12 day student - $42,500

Location: Geelong, Victoria

If you’ve ever had the trivia question, what’s the most expensive school in Australia, you now know the answer. Geelong Grammar School is an advocate of positive education which encourages children to develop their sense of wellbeing and social responsibility together with their academic achievements.

Notable students – Rupert Murdoch, Kerry Packer, Missy Higgins, Malcolm Fraser, Portia De Rossi


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

Cost per year for a Year 12 day student - $41,090

Location: Darlinghurst, New South Wales

Founded in 1895, SCEGGS is an Anglican girl’s school and one of the oldest schools in Australia.

Notable students – Claudia Karvan, Dr Joan Freeman, Margaret Whitlam, Roxy Jacenko


3. Cranbrook School

Cost per year for a Year 12 day student - $38,862

Location: Bellevue Hill, NSW

Established in July 1918, the Anglican boy’s school’s mission was to provide the best possible education for each boy entrusted to its care.

Notable students – James Packer, Kerry Packer, Garry McDonald, David Griffin


4. Mount Scopus Memorial College

Cost per year for a Year 12 day student - $38,850

Location: Burwood, VIC

This school is recognised as one of the world's leading Jewish day schools. Opened in 1949, it’s a co-educational school known for outstanding Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) results and has a focus on the performing arts and sports.

Notable students – Josh Frydenberg, Peter Alexander, Geoffrey Edelsten


5. The King’s School for Boys

Cost per year for a Year 12 day student - $38,284

Location: North Parramatta, NSW

Educating boys since 1831, the school accepts day students but is primarily a boarding school, with many students coming from rural areas.

Notable students – Mike Baird, Sir Charles Gregory Wade KCMG, Stirling Mortlock, Russell Cooper


6. Trinity Grammar School

Cost per year for a Year 12 day student - $37,030

Location: Summer Hill and Strathfield, NSW

At Trinity, each boy is given an opportunity to discover their talents and skills through academic clubs, sports and creative arts.

Notable students – Andrew Gordon, Marc Fennell, Angus Sampson, Akmal Saleh


7. Presbyterian Ladies’ College (Sydney)

Cost per year for a Year 12 day student - $36,000

Location: Croydon (Sydney), NSW

Founded in 1888, with only 39 girls enrolled, today over 1,200 students strive to become disciplined, caring, confident and accomplished young ladies of integrity and purpose.

Notable students – Rachel Corbett, Dr Kathleen Cunningham, Jessie Strahorn Aspinall, Katherine-Anne Stewart


8. Melbourne Girls Grammar (MGGS)

Cost per year for a Year 12 day student - $35,288

Location: South Yarra, Victoria

The school is over 125 years old and is now a progressive, contemporary independent school.

Notable students – Sally Walker, Yumi Styles, Stephanie McIntosh


9. Sydney Grammar School

Cost per year for a Year 12 day student - $35,241

Location: Darlinghurst, NSW

The all boys school was founded by an Act of Parliament in 1854 but didn’t officially open until 1857.

Notable students – Sir Edmund Barton, Banjo Paterson


10. Ascham School

Cost per year for a Year 12 day student - $34,500

Location: Edgecliff, NSW

This non-denominational school was founded in 1886. It’s the only school in Australia to use The Dalton Plan, a highly flexible structure based on the three pillars of assignment, lesson and study, making it valuable for girls of all abilities.

Notable students – Mia Freedman, Poppy Montgomery


11. The Scots College

Cost per year for a Year 12 day student - $33,098

Location: Rose Bay, NSW

Ok so we’ve cheekily added in a bonus school for you to take the list to 11. The Presbyterian boy’s school promotes a culture of self-confidence, self-worth, dynamic thinking and optimism. Scots offers the Glengarry Outdoor Education Program, an exclusive six month residential experience compulsory for all Year 9 students.

Notable students – Charlie Teo, Peter Dowding


Please note that as some schools are less forthcoming than others about their fees, costs are correct to the best of our researching capabilities, but you should enquire directly to the school for their latest fee information.


What do private schools deliver above other schools?


Public schools must accept all students who wish to attend from the local catchment area. Private schools on the other hand, through a sometimes extensive application, interview and selection process, can pick and choose their students.


Private schools have greater financial resources so can be perceived to offer not only better quality facilities but wide-ranging extracurricular activities as well. What they offer depends on the school but can include outdoor experiences, overseas trips and larger libraries.


However the biggest difference between public and private schools is time. Private schools, with their greater resources, tend to have smaller class sizes and teachers can give students more one-on-one time. Time may not matter to the clever kid who zips through school life with ease. But for students who find scholastic disciplines a bit tougher, one-on-one time can make all the difference, and is a common reason for parents choosing to send their children to one of the most expensive schools in Australia.


Do private school kids get better results?


To be honest, this depends on what you’re reading. There are studies, voices and advocates for both the Australian public school system and private schools.


But wouldn’t it be great as parents and grandparents for you to have the choice available to you. Knowing if you wanted to send your child to one of the most expensive schools in Australia, you could do so.


How reassuring to know that, when the time comes, you have the funds available to make the decision you want, not the decision your bank balance dictates.


Education is the greatest gift you can give to your child, so start planning for your child’s education future today.