03 Nov How Much Does Private High School Cost?

How Much Does Private High School Cost?

Sending your child to private school is one of the biggest financial decisions in a parent’s life.

Whilst public schools do not cost anything to attend, private schools are infamous for their often extremely extremely high tuition fees. However, there are many intangible benefits associated with attending a private high school, such as specialized tutoring, smaller classes, and academic advantages when it comes to university admission.

But how much exactly are parents expected to put down for their child?

The cost of tuition at different private high schools will vary based on location, services offered, and perceived prestige. Let’s have a look at the typical costs associated with sending your child to a private high school.

Private high school classroom in Toronto

Domestic students

The costs for domestic Canadian students attending private high school varies widely.

There are privates schools available in every province, but by far the most are located in Ontario. This is likely due to the fact Ontario is the most populous province in the country, with over 14 million residents.

Private schools are available for all levels of education, from preschool to grade 12. The younger the student the cheaper the tuition fees typically are. This is because in the lower grades, parents have a wider range of education options for their children and so schools have to be a bit more price competitive.

Costs for high school aged students including grade 6 to grade 12 can range from a few thousand dollars a year to over $70,000. Whilst this may seem incredibly high, the cost of attending covers not only the tuition but often a variety of special services as well. Private tutoring, gifted classes, and high end field trips are all often built into the tuition fee.

Some costs that parents might not be aware of when thinking about sending their child to private high school are extras such as uniforms, excursions, musical lessons, textbooks, and other extracurricular activities. These costs can easily run into the thousands of dollars over the course of a high school career, so should be factored into any budget.

There are some private high schools in Ontario that actually offer completely free tuition to domestic students. Cestar High School offers zero tuition fees for domestic students and a 100% guaranteed acceptance. Combining small class sizes with university placement assistance, Cestar High School is an ideal environment for any student looking to get the most out of their education.

International Students

As is the case with many different countries, the costs for International Students to attend private high school are usually higher than for domestic students. Some of the costs that an overseas student might need to consider include:

Admission Fees

The first fee that most international students will need to pay is an admission fee to their chosen school. This fee covers the administration costs of processing applications and is usually a few hundred dollars.

Private high school teacher in Toronto

High School Tuition

The single largest cost associated with attending a private high school in Ontario as an international student will of course be the tuition. Whilst domestic students often pay lower fees due to government subsidies or grants, international students often are unable to take advantage of these and thus have to pay higher amounts.

These fees can range into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, which can quickly make private high schools prohibitively expensive for overseas students.

Something that many international students can do to lower the financial impact of private high school is apply for various scholarships and bursaries. Many private high schools will have entrance scholarships that partially or even fully cover the tuitions costs for the student.

Cestar High School offers a scholarship program for any international student wishing to attend. The scholarship is open to any student who currently maintains an 85% or above average at their current high school and submits their transcripts along with recommendations from their teachers and community leaders.

Guardianship Fees

Whilst domestic students will usually have a parent or guardian established near their private high school of choice, this is sometimes not the case for an international student.

In the event that an overseas student that is under 18 years old and wishes to attend a private high school in Canada without an accompanying adult, they will likely need to pay guardianship fees.

These fees are paid to the school and provide a legal guardian for the student during their studies in the form of the school itself or a teacher within the school. This is often mandatory if no guardian candidate is brought forward by the student at the time of the application, and is usually a few thousand dollars.

Medical Insurance

A common requirement of all visas and conditions of entry into Canada involves having adequate medical insurance.

This is to ensure that should the student require medical assistance during their studies at their private high school, they will be able to afford the necessary treatments. Some schools will build this into the fees they charge and others will require the student to find their own medical insurance.

Depending on the level of coverage, medical insurance can run from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand.

Basic Allowances

Also known as living costs, basic allowances cover everything needed to survive in a new city including food, board, laundry, entertainment and transport.

This is perhaps the most widely variable cost associated with attending a private high school in Canada as it will depend entirely on where in the country the school is located. The basic allowances for a high school in the prairies of Saskatchewan will certainly be lower than the living costs associated with attending a private high school in the middle of downtown Toronto. These can either be built into the amount charged by the private high school or be up to the student to organise themselves.

On a monthly basis these costs can range from around $1,000 to over $3,000 depending on location and spending habits.

Books & Other Expenses

Much like domestic students, international students will need to purchase textbooks, uniforms, stationary, pay for field trips and more.

There are plenty of ways to save money in this field by shopping secondhand or trading with previous students, but these costs should definitely be considered when looking at going to a private high school.

Cestar High School offers one of the most comprehensive private high school schooling experiences at an extremely reasonable cost for international students. If you are looking to begin your educational career in Canada, contact us today.


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