How much are private school fees? The not-so-hidden application costs in Victoria

Applying to non-government schools is not only a daunting process, but it can also be expensive. It’s important to know the costs involved and what you’re paying for. 

You might experience time outlays and (not-so) hidden costs such as application fees. These fees are a ubiquitous charge made in the early stages of your child’s enrolment process. It is aimed to cover the cost of processing your child’s application.

But application fees can vary wildly between schools. We're here to find out why that is and how much they are.

What do application fees cover?

Depending on the school you’re applying for, typically application fees are used to cover the costs associated with processing and evaluating your child’s application. This can include postage and printing costs, as well as the cost of staff reviewing and evaluating your child’s applications and/or conducting interviews.

In some cases, schools may also use a portion of the application fee to fund scholarships or bursaries, helping education become more affordable for families who may be struggling financially.

How much are they?

Across many low-fee, suburban Victorian schools, the average application fee sits somewhere between $50–150. For example, St Francis’ Catholic College Melton charges an application fee of $50 for students entering Years 7–12, as does Balcombe Grammar in the well-healed Mount Martha.

Geelong Grammar, an institution that boasts a strong list of ex-students such as King Charles III, charges $150 per application.

On the other spectrum in regional Victoria, The Geelong College charges a relatively high application fee: a non-refundable $500 for those entering Years 7–12.

These fees are non-refundable and often required to be paid years prior to a child being of an age to enrol, allowing your child to join the waitlist.

Still, many schools charge no application fees at all, as is the case with the Islamic College of Melbourne and Catholic schools in the Diocese of Sale.

We’ve put together a selection of application fees charged by popular Victorian private schools below:

Balcombe Grammar - $50

St Francis College Melton - $50

Ballarat Clarendon College - $100

Camberwell Girls Grammar School - $100

Carey Baptist Grammar - $100

Goulburn Valley Grammar - $100

Lauriston Girls’ School - $100

Methodist Ladies’ College - $100

Mount Lilydale Mercy College - $100

Scotch College - $100

St Bede’s College - $100

St Francis Xavier College - $100

St Leonard’s College - $100

St Pauls Anglican Grammar (Traralgon) - $100

Star of the Sea College - $100

Woodleigh School - $100

Alphington Grammar School - $110

Penleigh and Essendon Grammar - $110

Trinity Grammar - $110

Camberwell Grammar School - $130

Sacre Coeur - $135

Academy of Mary Immaculate - $150

Ballarat Grammar - $150

Caulfield Grammar - $150

Edinburgh College - $150

Fintona Girls’ School - $150

Geelong Grammar - $150 (domestic), $350 (international)

Bialik College - $150

Lighthouse Christian College - $150

Kilbreda College - $150

Korowa Anglican Girls School - $150

Melbourne Girls’ Grammar - $150

Mount Scopus Memorial College - $150

St Michael’s Grammar School - $150

Tintern Grammar School - $150

Westbourne Grammar School - $150

Xavier College - $150

Yarra Valley Grammar School - $150

Brighton Grammar School - $200

Firbank Grammar School - $200

Lavalla Catholic College - $200

Peninsula Grammar - $200

St Mary’s College (St Kilda/Windsor) - $200

Wesley College - $200

Haileybury College - $250

Nunawading Christian College - $250

Presbyterian Ladies’ College - $300

St Kevin’s College - $500

The Geelong College - $500

Do schools offer a fee concession or exemption?

Some may waive or reduce their application fees for families who are experiencing financial hardship. You will need to enquire about your eligibility for such a concession or exemption.

You might also want to consider other costs associated with the enrolment process, such as assessment fees, tuition fees and boarding fees, where applicable. When applying to an academically selective school, you might also encounter an ‘assessment fee’.

Be reminded that some schools offer scholarships or bursaries, which can help provide the financial support that you need. 

Check out our range of scholarships and bursaries here.

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