The most expensive boarding and private schools in the world have educated many of the most highly-esteemed leaders, celebrities, and entrepreneurs. These educational facilities are not cheap, with tuitions ranging from $42,000 to well over $100,000 per year. To make our list, it wasn’t enough to just be expensive; we focused on expensive schools that are also exclusive based on academics, world-class sports programs, and the type of people who seek them out.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School (USA): $42,000
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is a private college preparatory day school located in Potomac, Maryland. The school says on its website that its focus is based around research-informed teaching and learning.
At approximately $42,000 per year, this highly sought after private school, which is located just 30 minutes from the White House, is the cheapest private school features on our list. The school accepts students from age two through 12th grade. The school features a 7:1 student to teacher ratio.
St. Michaels University School (Canada) $47,000
St. Michaels University School is the product of two schools that first merged in 1971. Located in the picturesque city of Victoria, British Columbia, the school features a 6:1 student to teacher ratio.
St. Michaels is a K through 12th-grade day and boarding school that focuses on preparing students for university-level education. The school’s current head-teacher, Mark Turner, was formerly the head of two England-based schools, Shrewsbury School and Abingdon School, both of which are also on our list.
Stowe School (UK): $33,000
Stowe School is located in Buckinghamshire, England. The private school opened in 1923 and first educated only young men. Starting in 2003, the school became co-ed.
The school has seen a fair share of famous faces including billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson and famed actor Henry Cavill. If you have $33,000 per year to spend, there are very few schools that will provide the type of education you’ll find here. The 13:1 student to teacher ratio is higher than some other schools on our list but still not bad.
Malvern St James (UK): $48,000
Malvern St. James is a school for girls located in the beautiful town of Great Malvern, in central England. The school was founded in 1893 as Malvern Girls’ College and in 2006 it changed its name after merging with St James’ School.
This private school is world-renowned not only for academics but also for sports. Students leaving the school have often excelled; take for example Dame Clara Furse, the former CEO of the London Stock Exchange. It is also the alma mater of Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester. It’s not a cheap option at $48,000 per year. The school touts a 7:1 student to teacher ratio.
Cheltenham Ladies’ College (UK): $48,000
At a cost of $48,000 per year, this all-girls preparatory school in Gloucestershire, England is sure to break the bank for the less affluent. The school was founded in 1853 and has continued to score “excellent” marks during outside audits.
Elon Musk’s former wife, Talulah Riley, attended this private school and so did Darkest Hour actress Kristin Scott Thomas. It’s not cheap, but the networking opportunities alone may be worth a small fortune.
Cranbrook School (Australia): $48,000 a year
Cranbrook School, located in Sydney, Australia, comes at a cost of $48,000 per year. This all-boys private school is the most expensive option in Australia. It’s also the alma mater of billionaire James Packer. The school boasts an 8:1 student to teacher ratio.
The school is relatively new, founded in 1918. Since that time, students have excelled both in academic studies and sports, for which the private institution has been praised. It’s more expensive than many colleges but alumni generally agree it’s worth the cost.
Marlborough College (UK): $49,000
The co-ed focused Marlborough College was the school of choice for The Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton, among other famous figures.
The school, which costs approximately $49,000 per year to attend, was founded in 1843. If you live in the area your per annum cost drops to $42,000. With a stellar reputation for its academics programs, graduating from this private school will likely lead to acceptance at most Ivy League-level schools throughout the world. Students are treated to an incredibly low 4:1 student to teacher ratio.
St Edward’s School (UK): $49,000
At $49,000 per annum, St Edward’s School in Oxford, England, is a co-ed boarding and day school for ages 13-18. The school prides itself on having a stellar Rugby team to match an amazing academic track record.
If you’re Game of Thrones fan, this is the alma mater school for actress Emilia Clarke. Other alumni span the gamut of business, entertainment, and sports, placing graduates in the company of some very successful potential contacts. The school’s 15:1 student ratio is among the higher end of our list.
Abingdon School (UK): $52,000
Abingdon School in the UK was the first all-boys public boarding school to welcome a female headmistress when Felicity Lusk took the position in 2010. The school is now led by Michael Windsor.
This school will cost you $52,000 per year for attendance. Fun fact: the famed alternative rock band Radiohead was formed after the group’s members met while attending the school. We’re not really surprised, as many of the top private and boarding schools on our list feature programs that offer a high level of focus on the arts. The school features a 15:1 student to teacher ratio.
Harrow School (UK): $52,000
The Harrow School is the second oldest on our list. Founded in 1572, the institution is the home of alumni Winston Churchill and Benedict Cumberbatch.
This all-boys school has a sterling reputation for both academics and sports. With a focus on providing world-class facilities, it’s not really surprising that students are asked to pay $52,000 per year for the right to attend. The school is located in northwest London which offers a prime location to go along with its prime education. The school features a 12:1 student to teacher ratio.
Appleby College (Canada): $52,000
Appleby College is an international independent school that’s located in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. The school was founded in 1911 and has remained a preparatory school since that time.
Renowned for churning out high-level politicians, Abbleby not cheap at $52,000. The cost of attendance helps fund incredible sports facilities that ensure students are physically challenged at the same level their minds are challenged. The school is renowned for convincing its alumni to pitch in and mentor students as they prepare for their next steps in life. Appleby’s student to teacher ratio is just 9:1 which is decent for a larger private school.
Eton College (UK): $53,000
Eton College was started by King Henry VI in 1440 and was originally called “Kynge’s College of Our Ladye of Eton besyde Windesore.” The school was founded to educate 70 poor boys who could then attend King’s College. The school would later have Prince William and Prince Harry among its ranks.
Actors Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston also attended Eton College. It may have been started to educate the poor but tuition is now $53,000 per year. The school boasts an impressive 8:1 student to teacher ratio.
Hurtwood House (UK): $54,000
Located in Surrey, this co-ed school claims to be “the most exciting school in England.” We’re definitely not excited about the $54,000 costs associated with attendance for a single year.
This school features world-class arts facilities and is renowned for its massive theatrical productions. The school recently spent $104,000 for a production of Grease. With a heavy focus on the arts, it’s probably not surprising to learn that Jack Huston and Emily Blunt are among the school’s famous alumni. The 6:1 student to teacher ratio is excellent for a school of its renown.
Groton School (USA): $56,000
Groton School is a private Episcopal college preparatory boarding school located in Massachusetts. The school was founded in 1884 and has expanded over the years to include a world-class sports program with facilities to match, an art gallery, and a performing arts center any performer would love to utilize.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt attended this world-famous boarding school, as did many Roosevelt family members in the years that followed. You or your children can attend this famous institute if you have $56,000 per year to spare. The school’s 4:1 student to teacher ratio is superb and one of the lowest on our list.
Deerfield Academy (USA): $59,000
Deerfield Academy, located in Massachusetts, opened its doors in 1797 and has remained a top-tier private school since that time. The school is co-ed and acclaimed for its education and sports programs.
Among the school’s alumni are King Abdullah of Jordan and Time Warner CEO Jeffrey L. Bewkes. The cost of attendance is nearly $60,000 per year. If life in politics is on the horizon, many of New England’s top politicians have attended Deerfield Academy. The school features an excellent 5:1 student to teacher ratio.
Portsmouth Abbey School (USA): $60,000
As you can see from this photo, Portsmouth Abbey School, located on Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay, features a beautiful 525 acres for both learning and sports programs.
This $60,000 per year school was founded in 1926 by Benedictine monks. The school is also eco-friendly, powering 40% of its facilities using a wind turbine. Robert F. Kennedy is an alumnus of this world-class institution. It sounds and looks like an amazing opportunity but students can attend highly sought after universities throughout the world for far less money. The school’s 7:1 student to teacher ratio is pretty good too.
Georgetown Preparatory School (USA): $60,000
Georgetown Preparatory School in Maryland is a private Jesuit school and one of the most selective Catholic schools in the United States. No expense has been spared at this school, which helps explain the annual $60,000 cost of attendance.
Attending Georgetown Preparatory School means gaining access to top-notch facilities including a world-class recording studio. The school is renowned not just for its standard educational offerings but also for its sports and arts programs. The student to teacher ratio is 9:1 which isn’t too bad but a slightly higher than we’d like for the cost of attendance.
St. Andrew’s School (USA): $60,000
This is the second St. Andrew’s on our list but instead of residing in Washington, D.C. this private school is located in Middletown, Delaware. Founded in 1929, the co-ed school is the filming location for the famous Robin Williams moving Dead Poets Society.
Not only does this school require a $60,000 per year payment but seniors are also required to submit a university-level thesis during the final term. If academic rigor is on a student’s list of hopeful achievements, why not start them early at St. Andrew’s? As an added bonus, there is a 6:1 student to teacher ratio.
The Thacher School (USA): $61,000
The Thacher School, located in the Ojai Valley of California, is a highly exclusive school with an annual cost of $61,000. This private school is unusual partly because students are required to ride and look after their very own horse during their first year.
The school includes some impressive alumnus including Howard Hughes and actor Noah Wyle. Physical activity is a big part of the curriculum, which makes it a great option for the health-conscious. The school features a 6:1 student to teacher ratio.
Westminster School (USA): $61,000
Westminster School is located in Simsbury, Connecticut, and it’s one of the smaller schools on our list. Despite its size, it’s a well-equipped institution that stays on the cutting edge.
Much like other private institutions on our list, Westminster provides a high-level of arts on its curriculum. The school’s theater program includes a well-equipped Shakespearean-style theater. Peter Fonda is an alumnus of this school, which runs an average cost of $61,000. Westminster School features a 5:1 student to teacher ratio.
The Governor’s Academy (USA): $62,000
Governor Dummer Academy changed its name in 2005 to The Governor’s Academy after concerns that its original name was off-putting to potential students.
The name might not have been appealing but the school’s academic and sporting programs are among the best in the United States and perhaps the world. A notable alumnus from this private school is the first mixed-race person elected to public office in the US, Wentworth Cheswell. Attending the academy comes with a hefty $62,000 per year cost. The 5:1 student to teacher ratio helps ensure that students receive all the one-on-one help they need.
St. George’s School (USA): $62,000
The photo we chose to feature for St. George’s seems modern, and indeed the building features modern appeal, however, this school has been around since 1896. Located in Middletown, Rhode Island, the school features an annual cost of approximately $62,000.
The school is prestigious enough to feature family members from the Astor and Vanderbilt families. Prescott Bush also attended this private institution. It’s an exclusive club but once welcomed inside its hallowed halls, the sky is truly the limit. The 6:1 student to teacher ratio isn’t too bad.
Brooks School (USA): $62,000
If you haven’t figured it out yet, many of the world’s top private and boarding schools are located in Massachusetts. That’s the case with Brooks School, an institution that is relatively young, having been founded in 1926.
With incredibly small class sizes and excellent sports facilities, this school comes with a high cost of $62,000 per year. For that cost, you’ll be in the company of Steve Forbes and Olympic gold medal-winner Elle Logan. Brooks School features a 5:1 student to teacher ratio.
Middlesex School (USA): $62,000
It seems like we can’t walk more than a few steps in Massachusetts without running into another world-class college preparatory school. Middlesex School dates back to 1909 and is home to many famous alumni including comedian Steve Carell and Instagram founder Kevin Systrom.
At $62,000 per year, students not only pay for a world-class education, but they are also encouraged by the school’s faculty to volunteer in the local community. Servant leadership starts with a solid education and that appears to be what’s offered at Middlesex. The school features an impressive 4:1 student to teacher ratio.
Blair Academy (USA): $66,500
Located in New Jersey, the co-ed Blair Academy has been around since 1848, although the cost of attendance was much lower when it was established than today’s $66,000 per year cost. For that price, students are treated to a 6:1 student to teacher ratio.
The private institution also encourages classroom discussion. Famous writers, musicians, and business people have attended this well regarded private school. With small class sizes and an excellent alumnus network, it’s well worth the cost, even if that cost is astronomically high. The school features a 6:1 student to teacher ratio.
Emma Willard School For Girls (USA): $64,000
Founded as the Troy Female Seminary in 1814, the school, created by women’s rights activist Emma Willard, was eventually renamed in honor of its founder. This was the very first higher education institution established in America that caters to female students.
Women attending this $64,000 per year school are empowered with programs that turn them into leaders in their field. Jane Fonda attended Emma Willard and many other famous businesswomen and leaders have graced the school’s hallowed halls. The school features a 6:1 student to teacher ratio.
Berkshire School (USA): $62,000
The Berkshire School is located in Sheffield, Massachusetts. It also happens to be home to one of the gorgeous school campuses in all of America.
If math and science are a focal point for you or your child, the Berkshire School offers world-class programs in both practices. That probably explains why it was home to alumnus and Nobel Prize winner William Standish Knowles. This level of education doesn’t come cheap though, with an annual cost of $62,000. The Berkshire School features a 4:1 student to teacher ratio.
Tabor Academy (USA): $62,000
Located on the Sippican Harbor, Tabor Academy is often referred to as the “School by the Sea.” While the location is beautiful, the school’s $62,000 per annum cost also provides a world-class learning experience that prepares today’s youth for the next chapter in their personal journeys.
This New England private school is widely recognized for its marine science program and its world-class sailing team that is unrivaled at its level. If competitive sailing is in your future, you’ll want to claw your way into Tabor Academy. The school features a 6:1 student to teacher ratio.
Kent School (USA): $63,000
Kent School was the creation of Episcopalian Reverend Frederick Herbert Sill who founded the institution way back in 1906. The original goal was to educate boys from poor families.
Today, the school costs nearly $63,000 to attend on a per-year basis. Keeping with its roots, the school offers generous scholarships that allow students from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend. Among Kent’s alumnus are Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey. The school features a 6:1 student to teacher ratio.
Millbrook School (USA): $63,000
$63,000 is not a cheap price to pay for a non-college level education but Millbrook School, located in Dutchess County, New York, offers some very unique on-site facilities.
Among the school’s many offerings are a private conservation zoo and a wetlands reserves that are both located right on campus. It just seems right that Thomas Lovejoy, the former director of the World Wildlife Fund, is an alumnus of this famous institute. The school features an 11:1 student to teacher ratio.
Cate School (USA): $63,000
The Cate School, located in Carpinteria, California was established in 1910 and it’s one of the hardest schools to gain acceptance to in the United States.
The $63,000 tuition cost is steep but money and power won’t lead to a higher chance of approval, as this private school values intelligence and sports acumen over hoards of cash donated by desperate parents. It’s exclusive and it shows in the school’s stellar academics record among graduates. The school features a 4:1 student to teacher ratio.
Oregon Episcopal School (USA): $63,000
The Oregon Episcopal School in Portland was founded in 1869 and is now a co-ed school that is renowned for its research-based science program.
Attending this school can add a serious level of competitive advantage to a college application. The school’s students have claimed top prizes in some of the best science fairs in the United States. The school is impressive and so is the $63,000 annual cost of attendance that comes along with enrollment. The Oregon Episcopal School features a 7:1 student to teacher ratio.
Concord Academy (USA): $63,000
Concord Academy is a co-ed private school is another Massachusetts establishment that once again proves the state has locked down early education programs for the wealthy and a few lucky scholarship recipients. The cost of enrollment? $63,000, and it includes a 6:1 student to teacher ratio.
The school is well-known for its lack of a dress code and incredibly high exam scores. It’s routinely regarded as one of the top boarding schools in America. The alumnus network includes Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President John F. Kennedy. The school features an 8:1 student to teacher ratio.
Northfield Mount Hermon (USA): $64,000
Northfield Mount Hermon School is one of the most expensive boarding schools in America at an annual cost of $64,000. It’s also one of the best-equipped schools in the country for academics, arts, and sports.
Hollywood star Uma Thurman and singer-songwriter Natalie Cole both attended this prestigious school. With a picturesque location, students will feel right at home when attending this school, which is also located in Massachusetts. The school features a 6:1 student to teacher ratio.
The Webb Schools (USA): $64,000
The Webb Schools are actually two schools located in one location. The program was built around the Vivian Webb School for girls and the Webb School of California for boys. Both schools share a location in Claremont, California.
The boys’ school is much older, having been founded in 1922, while the girls’ school opened its doors in 1981. Both schools feature a per year tuition of $64,000. Fun fact: rocker David Lee Roth attended the Webb School of California for boys. The school features a 7:1 student to teacher ratio.
The Lawrenceville School (USA): $64,000
Established back in 1810, the Lawrenceville School is a New Jersey establishment that called former Disney CEO Michael Eisner among its alumnus. The school is renowned for its sports programs, especially in baseball, squash, and hockey.
While sports are a big focus of the school, students also score at the top of college admissions tests. The cost of attendance is not cheap at $64,000 but it’s par for the course for America’s top private institutions. The school features an 8:1 student to teacher ratio.
St. Albans School (USA) $65,000
St. Albans in Washington D.C. is the most expensive boarding school in the United States and it has pushed out some impressive alumni including author Gore Vidal and former US Secretary of State, John Kerry.
St. Albans is an all-boys school and it really does stand alone at the top of America’s private schools. If you manage to pay the $65,000 per year cost of enrollment and you excel at this school, the sky’s the limit. The school features an 8:1 student to teacher ratio.
The Masters School (USA): $66,000
The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, New York, was founded as an all-girls school but went co-ed in 1997. It’s considered among the very best in America.
What may be most notable about The Masters School is the use of the Harkness method which places students in an oval formation so they can discuss various topics and ideas with their teachers and fellow students. Fun fact: the famed DJ-duo, The Chainsmokers, attended this private school. The cost of tuition is steep at $66,000 but it feels almost like a steal if you live in the Westchester County area. The 16:1 student to teacher ratio is the highest on our list.
Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz (Switzerland): $83,000
Switzerland is home to the 10 most expensive private schools in the world and the cheapest of those options is Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz. At a cost of $83,000, this option is still incredibly expensive but the school is also world-renowned.
The school was founded in 1904. What’s really unique about this school is the option for students to choose a curriculum in International Baccalaureate, German Abitur, or Swiss Matura. Classes at this private school are also taught in English or German. The 4:1 student to teacher ratio is among the best in the world.
The American School (TASIS) (Switzerland:) $85,000
This American college preparatory boarding school is the oldest of its kind in Europe. Founded in 1956, the school places a heavy focus on the arts and emphasizes international travel, which it hopes will create well-rounded students before graduation.
The school, with its $85,000 per year cost, was attended by Hollywood actor Billy Zane. If you attend this preparatory boarding school and earn high marks, you’ll be able to practically write your own admission ticket for the university of your choice. The 7:1 student to teacher ratio is pretty high considering the very steep cost of enrollment.
Institut Auf Dem Rosenberg (Switzerland): $85,000
Institut auf dem Rosenberg in St. Gallen requires that students dress in formal attire at all times. At an incredibly high cost of $85,000, we’re sure those students already have access to formal wardrobes.
Perhaps part of the school’s shockingly high tuition costs can be attributed to its Viennese-style ball that wraps up the school year. Nobel Prize-winning chemist Mario J. Molina is among the school’s prestigious and world-renowned alumnus. The 4:1 student to teacher ratio is among the best in the world.
Leysin American School (Switzerland) $86,000
At a cost of $86,000 per year, the Leysin American School is a world-renowned private school that welcomes students from all over the world. This school has educated family members from the Vanderbilt and Rockefeller families, along with various other students.
The uber-wealthy love to send their children to this school and its ski club, grand ballroom, and state-of-the-art arts center showcases the wealth that surrounds the private school and those who attend. For $86,000, the 8:1 student to teacher ratio seems pretty high.
Brillantmont International School (Switzerland): $87,000
$87,000 is a lot to pay for a single year of non-college level education. However, that’s exactly what students offer for a chance to attend Brillantmont International School in Switzerland.
Founded in 1882, Brillantmont International School places a very strong focus on technology. As a playground for the rich, this private school also features a lot of high-class extra-curricular activities including skiing and horseback riding. It’s a world-class facility offering a world-class education. For that $87,000, students are treated to a 4:1 student to teacher ratio.
Collège du Léman (Switzerland): $90,000
Collège du Léman, located in Versoix, Switzerland is the first of the schools on our list to breach the $90,000 per year cost of enrollment. Like other Swiss locations, students can ski, ride horses, and take part in extensive theater classes.
One of the biggest sticking points at this private school is an emphasis on language. Many students who graduate from Collège du Léman leave with a trilingual background that can serve them well in the future. With multiple languages offered, the school features a 9:2 student to teacher ratio.
St. George’s International School (Switzerland): $104,000
As the first school on our list to top $100,000 per year, the exceptional St. George’s International School in Switzerland is in a league that most private schools have not come close to matching.
The co-ed school features students from all over the world. Its focus is preparing students for an International General Certificate of Secondary Education or the International Baccalaureate. Students can take classes in English or French, and there are some very fun extra-curricular activities including rock climbing and music production. Among its alumnus is actress Glenn Close. The high cost of enrollment features a 10:1 student to teacher ratio.
Collège Alpin International Beau Soleil (Switzerland): $104,000
The prices keep climbing for Switzerland’s world-renowned private schools with The Collège Alpin International Beau Soleil reaching $104,000 per year. Located in the picturesque village of Villars-sur-Ollon, this is the world’s most exclusive private school.
If you pay the school’s tuition you also need to add $5,000 uniforms to the cost of attendance. Also, one group of students is selected every year to scale Mount Kilimanjaro which costs $2,000 to $4,000 per climb. The school features a 4:1 student to teacher ratio.
Aiglon College (Switzerland): $112,000
Aiglon College in Villars allows students to take English leaving exams or receive an International Baccalaureate. This $112,000 school is the first on our list to break the $110,000 rate per year.
Not only is the education stellar, but students are also highly encouraged to stay active with various luxury activities such as ski mountaineering. The school is specifically well known because it has hosted various members of royal families from around the world. The 5:1 student to teacher ratio is very respectable.
Institut Le Rosey (Switzerland): $117,000
The final school on our list, also located in Switzerland, is also the most expensive private non-college level school in the world. The Institut Le Rosey in Rolle is the world’s most expensive boarding school at a cost of $117,000.
For that insanely high cost, students at the school get to live in a medieval château and during the winter months, they are taught at the school’s outpost in exclusive Gstaad. To give you an idea of how wealthy this school’s students are, it’s the school of choice for the Rothschilds. If you score a scholarship consider yourself incredibly lucky! The 5:1 student to teacher ratio is respectable but still high for a tuition of $117,000 per year.