Average Cost of Private School in California

Private schools offer a quality of education that just can’t be paralleled by public schools. This is greatly due to the funds that they receive from tuition. The cost of attending a private school varies not only from school to school but state to state as well.

The average cost of private high schools in California is $45,452 per year. The average tuition for private middle schools is about $16,000, and the average tuition for private elementary schools in California is around $15,000. Additional fees for books, trips, etc. will add to the cost as well.

Are you moving to or currently live in California and want to put your children in a private school but aren’t sure how much it will cost? If so, keep reading to learn more about the average cost for private schools in California and what kind of education you will get with them.

Private High Schools

Private high schools in California can seem expensive. So, we are going to narrow in on some of California’s top private schools and how much they will cost. The average cost of private high schools is $45,452. Private high schools will typically cost more than any other private or public school. This is because they typically have a more intense schooling program and facility than public schools.


Harvard-Westlake is one of California’s top private high schools and is located in Los Angeles, California. Harvard-Westlake’s tuition costs $44,500. They have some other fees that will increase that cost separately. They have a $2,000 new student fee, a $2,800-$3,000 bus service fee that is optional, and a $2,500-$3,500 cost set aside for “other” fees. They have some payment plans available for those who may need them.

Harvard-Westlake prides itself on its inclusivity and abundant opportunities. This would be a top private school for your children!

Fairmont School-$26,950

Fairmont school has multiple campuses in Orange County, CA and is a great private school because it is one of the less expensive options. This private school costs $26,950 per year. There is a 10% deposit when you enroll your kids, and additional fees if your children are taking advanced programs.

This private school has a rich history that they are very proud of, and they focus 100% on the students attending Fairmont. This is a perfect school for you if you want a lower cost but still want a great education!

Flintridge Preparatory School-$41,500

Flintridge Preparatory School, located in La Cañada Flintridge, CA, is an excellent school that will put your children first! They have a tuition cost of $41,500, an application fee of $100, and a nonrefundable enrollment fee of $1,500, bringing the total to $43,100 per year. (Source)

They seem to be very understanding of those who may not be able to afford these costs, so they have ways of helping. They have assistance and grants available to those who may need help paying these fees. Their website gives clear, concise instructions on how to go about applying for financial assistance. Give Flintridge a shot!


Westridge School is a smaller, all-girls private school in Pasadena, CA that focuses on students and learning. Their tuition comes to $41,665, and their fees are $1,190. They explain that their fees cover additional expenses for supplies in the classrooms, uniforms, yearbooks, field trips, etc. (Source)

Westridge also has financial aid, and it is all needs-based. They want to help those who may not otherwise be able to afford and attend their private school. Their campus and classrooms look beautiful and rich in history. This exciting school would be perfect for any high schooler! If you want your children to go to an awesome private school, try Westridge!


Nueva private school in Hillsborough, CA is one of the more expensive schools, but it is a solid, great option for your children. They have a tuition and fees cost of $53,350. They have trip costs for each grade that differ; the ninth-grade trip costs $4,200, tenth grade costs $4,000, eleventh costs $2,200, and the twelfth-grade trip costs $1,700. (Source)

Nueva school also has some great financial awards that you can apply for that can help pay for tuition, fees, and trips. The best part about this school is that they make it very clear that they will admit students of any race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

College Prep-$51,990

The College Preparatory School in Oakland, CA is a fantastic school that any student would love to go to. Its tuition cost is $51,990 per year, and they have a $1,500 fee for books, supplies, and other costs, like trips. This private school has some payment plans available to their students that would be great if these costs are a bit too much for you. (Source)

This school commits to the students and will do what it can to get your children an amazing education. Try this school and your children will love it!

Crystal Springs Uplands School-$56,620

Crystal Springs Uplands School in Belmont, CA is a beautiful school that would be lucky to have your children attend. This school is one of the more expensive private schools, with tuition costs of $56,620 annually. This tuition covers snacks, lunch, buses, trips, and other things like uniforms and supplies. They also have a $600-$800 fee for books and materials, and a laptop fee up to $1500. The cost for this school may seem like a lot, but it’s to help your children, and they have financial aid available to apply for that can help. (Source)

Private Middle Schools

Private middle schools in California are typically not as expensive as private high schools. The lower cost is usually due to not needing to hire as many teachers for the different range of topics that are covered in high school curriculum. The average cost for private middle schools is about $16,000 per year. The schools listed below are some of the best private middle schools in California.

Fairmont Middle School-$24,050

Fairmont private school is not just a high school, it’s also a middle school! There is a 10% deposit for tuition for the middle school as well. This school is an amazing option and isn’t one of the more expensive ones. They also have great financial aid available for their students!

They have three different middle school campuses available:

  • Anaheim Hills Campus (Preschool – 8th Grade) 
  • Historic Anaheim Campus (Preschool – 8th Grade)
  • North Tustin Campus (Pre-K – 8th Grade)

Westridge $35,625 (grades 7-8) and $31,975 (grades 4-6)

Westridge private school has some great middle school programs and is very clear on where their fees will go. If your child is in grades 4-6, the tuition cost will be $31,975 and the fees will be $910. If your child is in grades 7-8, the cost for tuition is $35,625, and the fees are $1,075.

The fees and expenses will all go to fees for the classroom, uniforms, books, supplies, and other school-related things. The costs seem like a lot, but they will be used to help pay for useful things your children will need.

This is a great school that has great extracurricular activities and opportunities for your children!


Nueva middle school costs the same amount in tuition and other fees as the high school, but, the trip fees are different. If your child is in fifth grade, their trips will cost $2,000, sixth-grade trips will be $2,800, the seventh grade will be $1,500, and the eighth-grade trips will cost $3,500. This school has some awesome financial aid awards and opportunities to attend financial aid workshops. They are dedicated to helping you and the students to find a way to afford this school if that is what you want.

They even have something called the Sunshine Fund. This fund is a special award that your student could receive. Take a look at their website if this private school seems like an option for you!

Private Elementary Schools

Private Elementary schools are just a bit less expensive than private middle schools. The average cost for private middle schools in California is $15,000. This is often used for funding supplies, uniforms, trips, and other essential things.

Granite Bay Montessori-$1,069

The lowest private elementary school cost is at Granite Bay Montessori School in Roseville, CA. They cost only $1,069 per year. They have a lower elementary program for children ages 6-9 and an upper elementary program for children ages 9-13.

Nueva Elementary School $40,000

Nueve Private Elementary School is another excellent school! They charge $40,000 for grades first-fourth. Then, for the trip costs, the first grade will cost $100, and the second, third, and fourth grades will be $500. These fees will include technology program fees and lunches as well! These fees seem like a lot for elementary schools, but are so important when building a great education for children!

Other Factors to Consider

You may be wondering why these costs are so much for what may seem like just an elementary school. Well, elementary school is just as important as high school and middle school because it is the start of a child’s schooling experience.

This is where they will begin to make their friends, learn topics they will remember forever, and gain an education that will create a strong basis for learning for the rest of their lives. The private elementary school focuses on a child’s education and creates a community you can trust! It may be a lot of money, but it is worth the safety and education that they can give your children.

Why Private School?

You may be wondering why private schools cost so much. Private schools choose who gets accepted into their schools, while public schools are exactly what the title says: public and for everyone. Most public schools don’t have expensive fees for classes, field trips, and sports. But if they do, they can usually get financial aid to help with some of those costs.

Public schools in California typically cost around $16,000. Although the cost is lower, so is the quality of education in public schools. Private schools are known for their rigorous academics and intensive college preparation. Let’s talk a bit more about the specific pros of enrolling your child in a private school.


Since they can be more selective, private school students are usually more academically inclined to score higher on national tests. The competitive environment generated by private schools also feeds into their students’ success, as they are all pushing to be better and outdo their peers.

Class Size

Private schools are drastically smaller than public schools. This provides students the benefit of having smaller class sizes. When there are fewer students in a classroom, the teachers aren’t spread as thin. This means that they are better able to cater their lectures and curriculum to the students, matching their pace and catering to students’ different learning styles.

Other than having the benefit of a more focused teacher, private school students can form a better bond with their fellow classmates since there are only 10 to 15 students in a class instead of 20 plus. Students are less embarrassed or nervous to ask questions because of the relationship and respect they have for each other.

College Preparation

One thing that private schools really emphasize is getting their students ready for secondary education. Most private schools have good reputations that may increase the chances that your kid will get into a good college, maybe even an Ivy League school. Students that attend private schools also score higher on college preparedness tests such as the ACT and SAT.

Personalized Education

Another bonus that private schools offer students is a more personalized education. This is a result of the smaller class sizes but also the focus of the school. Private schools have the liberty of having an emphasis on a certain subject or field. For example, there are math, science, and technology schools as well as schools for the arts. In addition, there are also private schools that cater to children with learning impediments such as ADHD or dyslexia.