The world's most expensive boarding schools
Elite educational establishments with eye-watering fees
This September, First Son Barron Trump begins sixth grade at the exclusive St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland with President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania shelling out a hefty $38,590 (£30k) a year for the privilege. These fees may seem steep, but the most prestigious boarding schools in the world are even more expensive to attend, as we reveal.
Malvern St James, UK: $49,089 (£38.2k) a year
This highly-regarded school for girls in Great Malvern, central England was founded in 1893 as Malvern Girls' College and merged with St James' School in 2006, hence the new name. Renowned for its students' strong academic performance and sporting prowess, Malvern St James was rated 'excellent' following its most recent inspection. The school is the alma mater of novelist Barbara Cartland and Caroline Lucas, the co-leader of UK political party the Green Party.
Harrow School, UK: $49,500 (£38.6k) a year
Founded in 1572, Harrow School in north-west London has educated the great and the good – alumni include Winston Churchill, Indian statesman Jawaharlal Nehru and actor Benedict Cumberbatch. Like its rival Eton College, which doesn't make this list, the all-boys' school has a sterling academic and sporting reputation, world-class facilities and a uniform which includes a boater hat, morning suit and cane.
Tonbridge School, UK: $50,000 (£40k) a year
Tonbridge School in Kent is even older than Harrow – it was founded way back in 1553. As you'd imagine, facilities at the ancient boys' school are top-notch and students excel in everything from drama to sport. Old Tonbrigians of note include penicillin pioneer Norman Heatley, Vodafone boss John Bond and Downton Abbey actor Dan Stevens.
Appleby College, Canada: $53,740 (£41.8k) a year
Popular with the country's elite, Appleby College is Canada's most expensive independent school, and then some. Established in 1911, the co-ed school boasts an outstanding liberal arts educational ethos and enviable sporting facilities, and is known for churning out senior politicians – Senators Norman Atkins and Dan Hays are former students.
Hurtwood House, UK: $54,309 (£42.6K) a year
This co-ed sixth-form college in Surrey is Britain's most pricey boarding school. A beacon for creative types, the establishment is famed for its arts facilities and for putting on lavish productions, including a recent staging of the musical Grease which had a budget of $105,000 (£80k). Unsurprisingly, an impressive line-up of actors went to Hurtwood House, including Emily Blunt and Jack Huston.
Cranbrook School, Australia: $55,229 (£42.9k) a year
Cranbrook School in Sydney is Australia's most reputable independent boys' school, and also its most expensive. Ancient by Australian standards, the school dates back to 1918 and has commanded much respect over the years for academic and sporting excellence. Famous old boys of the school include billionaire James Packer and Murray Rose, the Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer.
Groton School, USA: $55,700 (£43.3k) a year
This private Episcopal college preparatory boarding school in Massachusetts is the alma mater of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Founded in 1884 by Reverend Endicott Peabody, a strict disciplinarian, the school's sprawling campus is jam-packed with upscale facilities, including a performing arts center, several picture galleries and extensive sports grounds.
Deerfield Academy, USA: $56,770 (£44.2k) a year
Established in 1797, Massachusetts' Deerfield Academy was considered a prestigious school from the get-go, and many of New England's top politicians were educated there. In recent years, the sports-focused co-ed school has produced a number of exceptional athletes such as Olympic triathlete Sarah True. Other distinguished alumni include King Abdullah of Jordan and Time Warner CEO Jeffrey L. Bewkes.
St. Andrews School, USA: $57,000 (£44.3k) a year
Not to be confused with the school Barron Trump is set to attend, this St. Andrews is located in Middletown, Delaware. The co-ed school, which was founded in 1929 and used as the main location for the film Dead Poets Society, prides itself on maintaining high standards and all seniors are required to present a university-style thesis in their final term. Former students of note include sociologist William H. Whyte.
The Thacher School, USA: $57,200 (£44.5k) a year
The Thacher School in the Ojal Valley is one of California's most exclusive schools, with fees to match its robust reputation. The school places a strong emphasis on al fresco physical activity, particularly horse riding, and all students are required to ride and look after a horse in their first year. Aviator Howard Hughes and actors Joely Richardson and Noah Wyle are among the Thacher School's most famous graduates.
The Masters School, USA: $57,810 (£45k) a year
This former girl's school – Masters went co-ed in 1997 – is one of the finest in New York State. Like many independent schools in the US, Masters follows the Harkness method, which involves seating students in an oval configuration and encouraging them to discuss ideas. Notable alumni include Princess Marie Chantal of Greece, and Alex Pall of chart-topping DJ duo The Chainsmokers.
Cate School, USA: $58,050 (£45.2k) a year
The Thacher School's arch-rival Cate, which is situated in Carpinteria near Santa Barbara, has just as strong a reputation and an equally impressive list of alumni. Dating back to 1910, the co-ed establishment is one of America's most selective schools. Regardless of how rich their parents may be, applicants need brain power and/or sporting talent, as well as the requisite piles of parental cash, to get in to this place.
Portsmouth Abbey School, USA: $58,300 (£45.3k) a year
This respected co-ed Catholic school sits on 525 acres bordering Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay. Founded by Benedictine monks in 1926, Portsmouth Abbey has won plaudits for its eco-friendly credentials. A campus wind turbine provides 40% of the school's electricity and the newer dorms are loaded with energy-efficient features. Famous alumni include Robert F. Kennedy and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
Georgetown Preparatory School, USA: $58,460 (£45.4k) a year
The only Jesuit boarding school in the US, Georgetown Preparatory School in Maryland is one of the best Catholic schools in the US, and one of the most selective. Once they've passed the hurdle of getting in, students benefit from a range of upscale facilities like the school's cutting-edge athletic center and recording studios, and many go on to do great things in politics, sport and the arts.
Concord Academy, USA: $58,558 (£45.5k) a year
This co-ed private school in Massachusetts is an academic powerhouse that consistently ranks in the top 15 of American boarding schools for exam scores. Known for a relaxed ethos, students follow a casual dress code and aren't required to wear a stuffy uniform. Former attendees in the public eye include Caroline Kennedy, the ex-US ambassador to Japan and daughter of President John F. Kennedy.
Berkshire School, USA: $59,000 (£45.9k) a year
Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts ticks all the boxes when it comes to academic brilliance. The co-ed school, which sits on one of the most beautiful campuses in America, is particularly renowned for math and science teaching, and even boasts a Nobel Prize winner among its alumni, the chemist William Standish Knowles.
The Governor's Academy, USA: $59,500 (£46.3k) a year
Formerly known as Governor Dummer Academy, the Board of Trustees at this co-ed private school in Byfield, Massachusetts opted to change the name in 2005 following concerns it was putting off applicants. They needn't have bothered. The school has a fantastic academic and sporting reputation, and an illustrious array of alumni, who include Wentworth Cheswell, the first African American elected to public office in the US.
St. George's School, USA: $59,750 (£46.5k) a year
Founded in 1896, St. George's, a co-ed Episcopal school in Middletown, Rhode Island is steeped in history and even bagged a mention in F. Scott Fitzgerald's first novel, This Side of Paradise. Like Masters, the school follows the Harkness method and group discussions are positively encouraged. Past students include several members of the prominent Astor and Vanderbilt families, and Bush dynasty patriarch Prescott Bush.
Middlesex School, USA: $59,760 (£46.5k) a year
This co-ed non-religious school is also located in Massachusetts. Dating back to 1909, Middlesex has garnered a formidable reputation over the years and an impressive roll call of alumni, which includes Pulitzer Prize-winning author Conrad Aiken, comedian Steve Carell and Kevin Systrom, the founder of Instagram. As well as providing excellent facilities and first-rate teaching, the school encourages students to help out in the local community.
Brooks School, USA: $59,800 (£46.5k) a year
Another top school in, you've guessed it, Massachusetts, Brooks has been in existence since 1926. The co-ed school offers a rounded education and rates highly for everything from classroom sizes to sports facilities. The official rival of The Governor's Academy in Byfield, Brooks brims with similar prestige. Forbes magazine's Editor-in-Chief Steve Forbes and Olympic gold medal-winning rower Elle Logan are among its most notable alumni.
Tabor Academy, USA: $59,900 (£46.6k) a year
This famous New England school benefits from a unique oceanside setting on Sippican Harbor and has attracted the moniker 'The School by the Sea'. In keeping with its setting, the school is known for marine science and has an almost unbeatable sailing team. The school has even produced an Olympic silver medalist sailing ace, Charlie Ogletree, and has churned out plenty of successful competitive sailors.
Westminster School, USA: $59,900 (£46.6k) a year
Westminster is a modestly-sized private school in Simsbury, Connecticut but that's about the only modest thing about this upscale school, which is one of the best-equipped educational establishments in the state. Drama is a big part of the Westminster experience and the on-site Centennial Center houses a Shakespearian-style theater. Needless to say, the school has educated several important actors, including 1960s icon Peter Fonda.
Emma Willard School, USA: $59,990 (£46.6k) a year
Formerly known as the Troy Female Seminary, this all-girls school was founded in 1814 by women's rights activist Emma Willard and was the first higher education establishment in the US to cater to females. The school is all about empowering girls and nurturing their talents. In terms of alumni, American suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the actress Jane Fonda were educated at Emma Willard.
Blair Academy, USA: $60,000 (£46.7k) a year
This co-ed private school in New Jersey was established in 1848. Blair Academy is renowned for sports and has a strong academic reputation. Class sizes are small with a student-teacher ratio of just 6:1 and student discussions are encouraged. Former students who went on to garner fame range from professional athletes like Steve Mocco and Charlie Villanueva, to acclaimed writers and musicians.
Kent School, USA: $60,400 (£46.9k) a year
Kent School was founded in 1906 by Episcopalian Reverend Frederick Herbert Sill with a view to educating boys from poor families, and to this day, the school, which is now co-ed, provides generous scholarships to able students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Kent has educated a whole host of famous people including singers Lana Del Rey and KT Tunstall, as well as Family Guy's Seth MacFarlane.
Millbrook School, USA: $60,500 (£47.1k) a year
Blessed with a variety of unique facilities, Millbrook School in Dutchess County, New York has everything from a wetlands reserve to its very own conservation zoo, the only high school in the US and possibly the world to have one on site. Fittingly, Thomas Lovejoy, the former director of the World Wildlife Fund, was educated at Millbrook, as was environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
The Webb Schools, USA: $60,845 (£47.3k) a year
The Webb Schools comprise the Vivian Webb School for girls and the Webb School of California for boys, and both schools are located on a campus in Claremont, California. The boys' school was founded in 1922 and the Vivian Webb School opened its doors to girls in the fall of 1981. Both schools have produced notable alumni, who include rocker David Lee Roth and heir E. Pierce Marshall.
Oregon Episcopal School, USA: $60,900 (£47.3k) a year
The Beaver State's top private school, the Oregon Episcopal School in Portland, dates back to 1869. The co-ed school's standout feature is its research-based science program. Students following the program have won competition after competition, from the Google Science Fair to the Intel Science Talent Search, and top data scientist Michael Li graduated from the school in 2003.
Northfield Mount Hermon, USA: $61,800 (£48.1k) a year
Northfield Mount Hermon is the third most expensive boarding school in the US, and with good reason. The co-ed establishment has some of the best school facilities in the country – its performance arts center is exceptional and the extra-curricular program is especially extensive. The school with the highest number of living alumni, NMH is the alma mater of Hollywood star Uma Thurman, singer Natalie Cole and academic Edward Said.
The Lawrenceville School, USA: $62,190 (£48.4k) a year
This historic New Jersey establishment is one of the oldest prep schools in the US. Established back in 1810, the school went co-ed in 1985. Lawrenceville students excel in sports and regularly top key athletics, baseball, hockey and squash leagues. The school's alumni include many prominent businesspeople such as Disney CEO Michael Eisner and Joseph Tai of Chinese etailer Alibaba.
St. Albans School, USA: $62,228 (£48.4k) a year
The most expensive boarding school in America, St. Albans in Washington DC is a magnet for the country's elite and the school has educated a vast number of notables, including author and wit Gore Vidal and former US Secretary of State John Kerry. The all-boys' school enjoys a near-peerless academic reputation, notably in English literature – even boasting a special writer-in-residence – and its facilities are superlative.
Brillantmont International School, Switzerland: $75,520 (£58.7k) a year
Upscale Swiss schools dominate the top 10. Known for its academic brilliance, Brillantmont International School certainly lives up to its name. Founded in 1882, the co-ed school in central Lausanne is noted for its emphasis on technology and extra-curricular activities, which include skiing, horse riding and rock music classes.
Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz, Switzerland: $81,090 (£63k) a year
One of Switzerland's most highly regarded schools, Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz dates back to 1904. Students get to choose to study for the International Baccalaureate, German Abitur or Swiss Matura, and classes are conducted in English or German. Notable former students of the school include Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein and UBS board member Ulrich Körner.
The American School (TASIS), Switzerland: $86,260 (£67.1k) a year
TASIS is the oldest American college preparatory boarding school in Europe. The educational establishment, which is situated near Lugano, was founded in 1956. Students receive a multi-disciplinary education with a strong emphasis on the arts, and overseas travel is an important part of the TASIS approach. Actor Billy Zane and Laura Wasser, the divorce lawyer to the stars, both attended the school.
Institut Auf Dem Rosenberg, Switzerland: $87,300 (£67.9k) a year
Harrow and St Albans aside, you'd be hard-pressed to find a posher school than the co-ed Institut Auf Dem Rosenberg in St. Gallen. Students have to dress formally at all times and, instead of a regular prom, they take part in a glittering Viennese-style ball at the end of the school year. As you would expect, the school has produced several illustrious alumni, including Nobel Prize-winning chemist Mario J. Molina.
Leysin American School, Switzerland: $88,339 (£68.8k) a year
This international school in Leysin was founded in 1960 and attracts students from around the world, prepping them for either the American high school diploma or International Baccalaureate. Scions of the Vanderbilt and Rockefeller families were educated at the school and the Leysin institution is packed with billionaire-worthy facilities, which include a dedicated ski club, grand ballroom and arts center.
Collège du Léman, Switzerland: $92,314 (£71.4k) a year
The upscale Collège du Léman sits on a spectacular eight-hectare campus in Versoix and offers students dozens of activities – think skiing, horses riding, theater and so on. Language teaching is particularly strong at the school and many students emerge trilingual. Alumni of note include Russian figure skater Anna Ovcharova and Turkish actor İlker İnanoğlu.
St. George's International School, Switzerland: $103,616 (£80.1k) a year
This truly international co-ed school, which is based in Clarens, prepares students for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education or the International Baccalaureate. Classes are conducted in both English and French and extra-curricular activities include rock climbing, music production and dance. Former students include actress Glenn Close and Christina Onassis, the late heir to the Onassis shipping fortune.
Collège Alpin International Beau Soleil, Switzerland: $103,877 (£80.8k) a year
The Collège Alpin International Beau Soleil in the pretty village of Villars-sur-Ollon is hands-down one of the world's most exclusive schools. Students wear $5,000 (£3.9k) uniforms and teaching at the school is of the first order. Activities-wise, every year a group of students get to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, which gives you an idea how amazingly privileged they are.
Aiglon College, Switzerland: $110,372 (£85.8k) a year
Modeled on the best British boarding schools, Aiglon College in Villars prepares students to take either English leaving exams or the International Baccalaureate. Students are encouraged to be as active as possible and take part in expeditions each term such as kayaking and ski mountaineering. Alumni of the school are particularly well-heeled and include: Princess Tatiana of Greece and Denmark; Leka, Crown Prince of Albania; and members of the aristocratic Borghese family.
Institut Le Rosey, Switzerland: $113,178 (£88k) a year
Drum roll at the ready, Institut Le Rosey in Rolle is the most expensive boarding school on the planet. Bursting with privilege, boarders at the school get to live in a luxurious medieval château and spend winters at the school's outpost in exclusive Gstaad. Academic and sporting facilities are unrivaled and the school's alumni include royalty and generations of prominent families including the Rothschilds and Radziwills.