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15 Most Expensive Schools in South Africa (2024)

South Africa, renowned for its rich cultural tapestry and breathtaking landscapes, has been a hub for several prestigious institutions that offer world-class education.

While the nation is home to a plethora of schools, a select few are known for their exclusivity, offering unparalleled academic experiences combined with top-notch amenities. But excellence, as they say, often comes at a price.

Let’s journey through the corridors of the most elite schools in the country, uncovering what makes them worth every penny.

15 Most Expensive Schools in South Africa

These institutions stand out not just for their stellar academic programs, but also for the comprehensive development they promise their students, shaping them into well-rounded individuals ready to take on the world.

1. Hilton College

Nestled in the heart of the scenic KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, Hilton College stands tall as an epitome of educational excellence. Established in the late 19th century, it has grown to become one of the most sought-after all-boys boarding schools in South Africa.

The sprawling 1,700-hectare campus offers not just top-tier academic facilities but also vast fields for sports and extracurricular activities. Its emphasis on holistic development ensures that boys graduate as well-rounded individuals, ready to take on the world’s challenges.

2. Michaelhouse School

Just a short distance from Hilton College, Michaelhouse School is a beacon of rich heritage blended with modern educational approaches.

Founded in the early 20th century, it offers boys an environment that melds academic vigor with a plethora of extracurricular options. The school’s chapel, with its iconic dome, stands as a symbol of its deep-rooted traditions. Michaelhouse takes pride in its community outreach programs, instilling in its students a sense of responsibility towards society.

3. Roedean School

Perched in the bustling city of Johannesburg, Roedean School is dedicated to grooming young girls into empowered women of tomorrow. Its British origins are evident in the school’s ethos, which emphasizes both scholastic and co-curricular excellence.

The campus, overlooking the city skyline, boasts state-of-the-art facilities, from science labs to performing arts studios. Roedean alumni often make their mark in various fields, thanks to the leadership and creative skills they hone here.

4. St. Mary’s School

As one of Johannesburg’s oldest schools, St. Mary’s holds a special place in the city’s educational tapestry. Catering to girls, the school promises a comprehensive education system that intertwines rigorous academics with vibrant extracurricular activities. Its strong emphasis on arts ensures that students get ample opportunities to explore their creative sides, be it in music, dance, or visual arts.

5. Bishops Diocesan College

Positioned against the backdrop of the stunning Table Mountain in Cape Town, Bishops Diocesan College is more than just an educational institution; it’s a legacy.

Catering to boys, Bishops is known for its robust academic programs and its emphasis on sports. The school’s rich history, combined with its modern pedagogies, makes it a preferred choice for those seeking a balanced education.

6. St. Andrew’s College

Grahamstown, known for its educational institutions, houses St. Andrew’s College – a prestigious all-boys school. With a history spanning over a century and a half, St. Andrew’s beautifully marries its colonial-era architecture with modern amenities. The school is renowned for its emphasis on both academics and co-curricular activities, ensuring its students are well-prepared for the future.

7. Kingswood College

Also gracing Grahamstown is Kingswood College, an institution that promises its students a comprehensive educational journey. Catering to both boys and girls, Kingswood places equal emphasis on scholastic achievements and co-curricular pursuits. Whether it’s its famed choir or its robust rugby team, Kingswood ensures its students get ample opportunities to hone their talents.

8. St. Stithians College

Situated in the heart of Johannesburg, St. Stithians College is an institution that celebrates diversity and individuality. Offering education to both boys and girls, it emphasizes a student-centric approach. Its sprawling campus boasts facilities that cater to a myriad of interests, from science and technology to arts and sports.

9. St. Alban’s College

Pretoria’s jewel, St. Alban’s College, is an all-boys institution that promises a holistic education. Founded in the mid-20th century, it has rapidly grown to become one of the country’s premier boarding schools. With its comprehensive curriculum and a vast array of extracurricular activities, St. Alban’s ensures its students are well-poised for success in university and beyond.

10. St. Martin’s School

In the southern part of Johannesburg lies St. Martin’s School, an institution known for its commitment to inclusive education. Catering to both boys and girls, it offers a curriculum that’s both rigorous and flexible. The school prides itself on its cultural diversity, ensuring students get a global perspective.

11. Crawford College

With its presence across South Africa, Crawford College is a modern-day educational institution that emphasizes innovative learning. Its campuses, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, offer students a conducive environment for both academic and personal growth. The school’s focus on critical thinking ensures its students are ready for the challenges of the 21st century.

12. Kearsney College

Positioned in Botha’s Hill, Kearsney College offers a diverse curriculum that caters to varied interests. Its emphasis on both academics and extracurricular activities ensures students receive a well-rounded education. The school’s rich sporting tradition is complemented by its strong academic programs, making it a top choice for many.

13. Redhill School

Johannesburg’s Redhill School stands as a testament to academic excellence. With its rich history spanning over a century, the school has evolved to incorporate modern teaching methodologies. Its diverse student body and comprehensive curriculum ensure that students are well-prepared for a globalized world.

14. Somerset College

Nestled in the picturesque Western Cape, Somerset College believes in the power of balanced learning. With its emphasis on both scholastic and co-curricular activities, the school ensures that students are nurtured holistically. Its expansive campus is a haven for nature lovers, making learning a truly enriching experience.

15. Dainfern College

Located in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, Dainfern College is an institution that champions exploratory learning. With its state-of-the-art facilities and a diverse curriculum, students are encouraged to innovate, question, and grow. The school’s emphasis on community service ensures students develop a sense of empathy and responsibility towards society.

Related FAQs and Answers

Before we wrap up, let’s address some commonly pondered questions about these elite educational institutions.

1. Why are these schools more expensive than others?

Each of these schools offers top-tier facilities, experienced faculty, and an extensive array of extracurriculars, justifying their premium fees.

2. Do these schools offer scholarships?

Most of these prestigious institutions have scholarship programs, ensuring that deserving students can benefit from the world-class education they offer, regardless of financial constraints.

3. Are international students accepted?

Yes, many of these schools have a diverse student body, including students from different countries, enriching the cultural experience.

4. How do these schools fare in global rankings?

Many of these institutions consistently rank high in both national and global rankings, reflecting their commitment to excellence.

5. What’s the student-teacher ratio in these schools?

These elite schools typically have a low student-teacher ratio, ensuring personalized attention and a more tailored learning experience.

6. Do these schools prepare students for international curricula?

Several of these schools offer international curricula options like the International Baccalaureate, ensuring students are globally competitive.

7. Are boarding facilities available?

Most of these schools offer state-of-the-art boarding facilities, ensuring students have a comfortable and enriching stay.

8. How do these schools handle holistic development?

Apart from academics, these schools emphasize sports, arts, community service, and leadership programs, ensuring students grow in every aspect.

9. Are there opportunities for cultural exchanges?

Many of these institutions have tie-ups with schools globally, allowing students to participate in exchange programs and gain international exposure.

10. How do these schools adapt to changing educational trends?

With a commitment to providing the best, these schools continuously update their curriculum, pedagogies, and facilities to align with global educational advancements.



Education, especially at its pinnacle, is not just about textbooks and grades. It’s about shaping individuals, ready to face challenges, lead, innovate, and make a difference.

The schools listed here, with their unmatched reputation, facilities, and dedication, embody this philosophy. While they might be among the most expensive, the experiences, knowledge, and values they impart to their students are truly priceless.

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