Over an enjoyable glass of champagne at a parents catch up for my daughter’s school class last night, the usual topics were discussed – school fees, which school next etc. The fact is that sending children to a private school now, can cost more than attending some of the best universities/colleges, and this is before you have bought books and uniforms.
So why do parents invest so much in their child’s education? Often it’s the chance to build a “network” for when they eventually join the workforce, for others it’s the state-of the-art facilities, access to top teachers to get the best education and coaches that can help turn someone into an Olympian.
In the US the average cost of attending a private school (grades one through twelve) is around $45,000 for boarding students and $20,000 for day students according to the National Association of Independent Schools.
But that price can be seemingly cheap compared to other locations in the world (aka Switzerland). Here are a few of the best named by CNBC and The Wall Street Journal.
Institut Le Rosey, Switzerland
Boarding student annual tuition: $99,566
400 students in primary and secondary years
Perks: Students can study up to four languages; extensive facilities include 10 tennis courts, an equestrian center and skateboard park; campus sits on almost 70 acres of land; alumni include monarchs and other royals.
Collège Alpin International Beau Soleil, Switzerland
Boarding student annual tuition: $93,158
Perks: A view of the French Alps; expeditions to places like Madagascar; a diverse student body with not more than 10 percent of any one nationality represented at a time.
Lawrence Academy, Massachusetts USA
Boarding student annual tuition: $52,640; Day student: $40,510
400 students in grades 9 through 12
Perks: 100-acres campus; Sony Language Laboratory; experiential learning activities such as dog sledding in Minnesota and studying bats in Australian rain forests.
Eton College, England
Boarding student annual tuition: $50,213
1300 boys from age 13 to 18
Perks: Students study two modern languages in addition to English and mandatory Latin instruction; famous alumni include Olympic athletes and 19 British ministers; great odds for college admissions.
United World College Of South East Asia (UWC), Singapore
Boarding student annual tuition for high school: $48,403 Day student: $24,884
3,000 students in kindergarten through grade 12
Perks: Extensive sporting facilities such as 20 badminton courts, six volleyball courts and two Olympic-sized swimming pools; a student body comprising of over 39 nationalities; an environmentally-friendly campus with the world’s largest solar powered air conditioning system.
The Hotchkiss School, Connecticut USA
Boarding student annual tuition: $45,350; Day student: $38,650
600 students in grades 9 through 12
Perks: 827-acre campus; athletic facilities include 15 outdoor tennis courts, two hockey rinks and a golf course; students hail from across the U.S. and 28 other countries; seven levels of language instruction offered in Chinese, French, German, Latin, Greek, Spanish, and Russian.
If you are attending one of these schools the old saying must be true “school is the best days of our lives”!