Why Are Private Schools So Expensive? Top 9 Reasons for High Tuition Fees

Why are private schools so expensive? This is probably one of the most asked questions. But what really do you think the average private school tuition in America is? $10,000? If you said that, you would be wrong. The actual answer is over $15,405 according to Private School Review. And it’s not even close.

The most expensive private school in the U.S. — in NY — has an annual tuition of $63,530. But why are private schools so expensive?

In this article, you will get answers to your question and find out why private schools’ tuition fees are far higher than government/state schools.

Private schools are a great opportunity for students to get a good education but, as you know, they can be pricey. This blog explores why private schools are so expensive and the causes of their high tuition fees.

What Are Private Schools?

A private school is a school that delivers all or some education programs privately rather than as part of the government-supported public system. Its funding may be through voluntary payment by the pupils’ families, by fee-paying students, or through charitable support. 

Private schools often charge tuition and some also provide boarding: residential accommodation is available on-site. This is sometimes required by affiliated religious organizations.

Private schools offer a cost-effective alternative to public institutions, as well as personal fulfillment. These institutions are funded by companies or individuals who seek to fulfill the vision of their founders, through personal innovation or modernization.

The beauty of private colleges is that they inspire, educate, and prepare students who will impact the world long after they leave their classrooms.

Why Are Private Schools So Expensive?

Private schools can be an investment that offers both financial returns and intangible benefits to children.

Some offer schooling in foreign languages or have access to sports facilities that public schools simply cannot afford.

The high quality of the education students receive is usually worth the added expense, but not for everybody.

Private schools are considered to be an expensive means of education. But there are many aspects to consider while deciding on the price of private schools. This can be due to the lavish infrastructure, extra academic facilities, or recreational facilities provided by the school. 

Here are some reasons why private tuition is expensive:

1. Funding Comes from Donations, Investors, and Tuition Fees Rather than the Government

Since public education is largely funded by the government, private schools are more expensive.

The government does not fund private schools.

The revenue they generate comes from donations, investments, and tuition fees, just like any other private enterprise.

The funding received in form of tuition, donations, or investments pays for more than just a building and hired teachers.

2. Expensive Teacher Salaries

The chief reason why private schools are expensive is due to the expensive teachers employed by these schools, which in general cost much more than government schools. 

Most private schools employ fully qualified teachers who normally have additional courses to attend to be able to teach their students. 

Furthermore, you will find that for private schools, teachers will receive many benefits that include free meals and accommodation. The headteachers of these schools may also get very high salaries.

3. Extracurricular Activities Are an Added Cost 

Activities like music lessons, language lessons, clubs, school events, and expensive school trips are major expenses of private schools. Extracurricular activities help shape the sense of yourself and your value in society

As with most things, you get what you pay for. Private school costs increase when they incorporate extracurricular activities into the basic fee. 

Extracurricular activities can be great for promoting the character, sportsmanship, and leadership skills of your children. But, it also means they can cost a lot of money.

4. Greater Administration Cost Compared to Their Public School Counterparts

Private schools cost more because here the administration cost is higher than in their public school counterparts.

These costs often go to fund extravagant salaries, advertising, and perks such as free flights and cars.

Parents of private school students pay this higher administrative cost in the form of higher fees and school donations.

5. It Helps Fund Programs Financed by the School

On average, most public schools receive most of their money from the government, either from property taxes or from state subsidies. However, private schools have a handicap because they can’t generate as much funding as government school can.

Your fees help them fund exciting new programs that promote academic excellence, character development, and personal growth. These can also include charity drives, community programs, school events, etc.

6. Expensive Equipment and State-Of-The-Art Facilities 

Private schools are so expensive because of the facilities that they have to offer. Private schools own their land, buildings, and equipment that they use to conduct classes and lessons. 

This equipment and facilities can include:

  • State-of-the-art gym and pool 
  • Sport facilities
  • An innovative environment with the latest tech and gadgets
  • A well-equipped auditorium
  • A well-equipped boarding house
  • Fully-equipped art and music room, etc.

These costly necessities are often too much for a school to pay for on their own, so they’re forced to pass the cost on to the students through tuition. The more a school incurs in expenses, the higher its tuition costs will go.

7. The School Supplies Are Expensive

School supplies are expensive because schools have to choose quality over cost. This is part of the reason privately owned schools cost more than public schools. 

The schools usually don’t want to spend money on something cheap and unreliable. And so they spend more on better goods such as textbooks, gadgets, uniforms, writing and teaching material, cleaning equipment, etc. 

8. High Cost of Security 

Private schools are also expensive because they hire a lot of security guards to ensure the safety of their students.

Security measures to protect students and teachers from attacks may be a contributing factor to the high cost of private education.

These barriers and security personnel also prevent vandalism and theft from the school. As a parent spending a lot on the tuition fees of your children, you’ll want to make sure the safety of your kids is guaranteed. 

9. Cleaning Costs and School Maintenance 

The tidiness of the school is an important factor that can affect the overall atmosphere of a school.

Privately owned schools spend a lot of money on cleaning and equipment maintenance, which makes schooling more expensive.

Unlike public schools that save money by being less meticulous with their cleaning schedule, which would demonstrate by students’ messy desks and lockers. 

Costs also cover the salaries of cleaners as well as additional staff employed by the school.

What Are the Benefits of Private School Education? 

The benefits of private education outweigh the costs, both personally and financially.

Privately owned schools focus on delivering quality education to you at the most affordable price. They also provide a unique learning environment that is independent of government involvement. 

In addition, privately-owned schools are often considered some of the best schools in the world because of their small class sizes, highly experienced teachers, and unique curriculum.

What Are the Disadvantages of Expensive Private School Tuition?

One of the disadvantages of expensive private school tuition is that it can be very hard to afford. Private school tuition costs more because private schools tend to be smaller and have more services than public schools. 

Plus, private schools tend to be more academically challenging than public schools. These two factors lead to higher teachers’ salaries and greater investment of resources into the materials for each student.

Because private schools are not state-funded, they have to rely on tuition fees to provide their students with the best possible education. This can be expensive. 

The likelihood is that you will need to pay for your child’s uniform, school dinners, trips, and any extras he may want or need in class or on the athletic fields. Depending on the school, you may also have to pay for things like art supplies.


Are private schools better than public schools? 

Yes, most private education is better than public-funded education.

Test scores, graduation rates, and college admission statistics show that students attending private schools consistently outperform their public school counterparts.

Despite the higher cost of private education, parents and students alike recognize and appreciate the academic and non-academic benefits that come with private education. 

Evidence also shows that students attending private schools are less likely to drop out before graduating, making them more likely to earn a college degree than students who attended public schools.

What are the challenges faced by private schools?

Private schools face challenges such as limited resources and funding. This is especially because most of the school’s resources are provided by its founder, investors, and tuition fees that are charged to students.

Another challenge is the fact that private schools are not subsidized by the government, unlike public schools, making them expensive to run for all concerned. 

Parents pay for affiliation dues, subsidies, water fees, electricity bills, and even security services in the form of tuition.

Parents also face challenges like high costs for tuition for students, maintaining high standards of academics and curriculum, sourcing the best faculty for each department, keeping up with changes in technology, etc.

Do private schools offer scholarships?

Yes, private schools offer scholarships. They offer need-based and merit-based scholarships which range from full scholarships to partial scholarships. However, the majority of scholarships are merit-based and require a separate application and admissions dossier. 


Private schools are expensive, because they often employ experienced teachers, use expensive equipment and state-of-the-art facilities, and require parents to pay extra fees for supplies and materials.

In addition, privately-owned schools cost a considerable amount of money to attend and so parents who want the best education for their kids, often send them to such institutions.

However, these fees can be very high and you must think about whether this is the right option for your child. Not all public schools are low quality and not all private schools offer the best learning environment. 

Finally, should you consider the cost of private schooling to be too expensive, you can always consider other options. One of which is home-based schooling through online learning. Read more about online learning, its effectiveness, and how it can be delivered. 

I hope you found this post helpful. Thanks for reading.