School fees South Africa
Kearsney College (instagram,
  • The most expensive day school in South Africa now costs R209,000 for a Grade 12 year.
  • This is more than an undergraduate degree in commerce, law, or arts degree costs at many tertiary institutions.
  • The country's top four most expensive day schools remain unchanged from last year - and now cost over R170,000.
  • Fee increases, and some new entrants, have changed the lower half of the list for the 2022 school year.
  • And unlike last year, all schools have hiked their fees - in some cases by more than 7%.
  • These are the most expensive day schools in South Africa for the 2022 academic year. 
  • For more stories go to

* This article has been updated below.

South Africa's most expensive day school is now comfortably over the R200,000 mark for a Grade 12 year. And the remainder of the schools that make up the top ten now cost over R160,000.

The honour of the most expensive day school in South Africa remains with Kearsney College, as it has for several years now. Due to its 4.9% fee increase this year, parents must pay R209,000 in tuition fees alone.

St John's College, Roedean School, and Bishops Diocesan College round out the top four with fees over R170,000 per year - a ranking that remains unchanged from 2021.

See also | The most expensive boarding schools in South Africa in 2022 – with six over R300,000

By way of comparison, a year of undergraduate tertiary tuition in commerce, law, or engineering at an institution like the University of Cape Town or the University of the Witwatersrand typically costs between R50,000 to R70,000. This means a year of Grade 12 at one of these private day schools costs roughly the same as an undergraduate degree in law, commerce, or the arts at some universities.

Changes in the top 10

Below the top four most expensive schools are several changes in the rankings. Crawford College Sandton, with a 7% increase, climbs the rankings, as does St Alban's, with a 5.5% fee increase. 

St Mary's School, with a slightly smaller 4.8% increase, has now dropped from fifth position to seventh. And two new entries to Business Insider's list - Reddam Waterfall and Helderfontein - edge ahead of St Stithians College and Cedarwood School.

There's now also very little to separate the country's most expensive day schools around the R160,000 mark, with schools like King David High School Linksfield and Redhill High School not far behind.


Unlike last year, when several schools chose not to increase fees or increased them only slightly, most in the top ten have increased fees by between 4% and 7.9%. The lowest fee increase in the top ten was at St John's College, which raised fees by 4%. But several schools, including Bishops Diocesan College, and Crawford College Sandton, chose to increase fees by 7% or more.

In rand value, the highest year-on-year fee increase came at Bishops, who now charges R11,900 more for Grade 12 tuition than it did last year.

Extras not included

When comparing fees, it's important to note what is and is not included. Several schools require admission and other fees and may require separate payments for IEB exams. Some extra-curricular activities also attract fees for equipment or excursions.

These are the most expensive day schools in South Africa for 2022:

South Africa's most expensive day schools.
South Africa's most expensive day schools.

* This article was updated to include corrected fees provided to Business Insider by Clifton College. The original article stated that Clifton College increased its fees by 7.9% between 2021 and 2022. However, with the correct base fee for 2022 the increase was in fact 5.1% - pushing Clifton College down to eighth place in the rankings, and not the fifth as originally published.

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