Futurity Investment's Cost of Education Index, published today, estimates the total cost of putting a child through 13 years of school throughout Australia.

These figures include both school fees and the various auxiliary costs, which might include outside tuition, camps, uniform, transport or sports equipment.

The national average cost for a government education was revealed to be $81,661.50, with school fees making up just 4% of the total cost.

In capital cities, state education for a single child will set you back $87,528 on average, falling to $75,795 in regional and remote areas.

To put a child through Catholic schools, the national average cost will be $174,061.50, with school fees making up 23% of this figure while the other 77% comes from auxiliary costs.

Meanwhile, an Independant education is expected to set parents back $254,908.50, with just over half (55%) of this in school fees.

Futurity Investment Group Executive Katie Hill anticipates rising education costs to increasingly put pressure on families.

"More than ever, the costs associated with education are placing more of a burden on Australian families, who are already stretched by the spiralling cost of living and rising interest rates," Ms Hill said.

“With less discretionary money to spend, it’s going to be a challenge for some families to pay for education."

National School Costs by Type of School




National (metro)




National (regional & remote)




Here's the state by state breakdown:


The Cost of Education Index found that Melbourne was the most expensive city in Australia for a government education.

The index estimates for the total cost of a primary and secondary education in Victoria's capital will be $102,807 for a child starting in 2023, 17% higher than the national average.

Futurity expect Melbourne parents with children in the state education system to spend three times as much money on outside tuition ($1,350) than on school fees this year ($368).

On top of this, they also have the cost of electronic devices ($1,013), musical instruments ($781), textbooks ($337) and school camps ($303) to budget.

Outside of Melbourne, the total expected cost falls to $75,217.

School fees will be significantly cheaper outside of Melbourne, at an average of $249, but regional and remote Victorians are expected to compensate for this by spending four times as much on outside tuition ($1017).

Those seeking an independent education for their children can also expect to pay well above the national average in Melbourne ($307,508), with only Sydney ($357,931) more expensive than this.

The average fees people in Melbourne will pay for independent schools is an Australia high $10,630, with fees 61% of the total cost.








VIC (regional & remote)




New South Wales

The index found New South Wales will be the most expensive state for independent education.

In Sydney, the estimated total cost will be $357,931, the highest figure for any area in Australia. 

In regional New South Wales, this figure is $218,732, 4% above the national average for regional and remote areas.

Sydney is also the second most expensive city for a government education, with an average expected cost of $89,500.

While government school fees in Sydney are relatively low ($208 per year), this is more than offset by the cost of outside tuition ($2082), musical instruments ($1,385), electronic devices ($671) and transport ($527).

However, the index also found Sydney was the most affordable city in Australia for a Catholic education.

The total cost of a Catholic education in Sydney is forecast to be $178,478 over 13 years, below the national average.

Rural New South Wales has the cheapest government school fees of anywhere in Australia, with average annual fees of just $104.








NSW (regional & remote)





Canberra is another city where the cost of schooling significantly varies.

The capital is the most affordable capital in Australia for a government education, with the index estimating the cost at $77,002, 12% below the national average.

Independent education is also $24,747 below the national average for metro areas in Canberra ($275,486).

Catholic parents in Canberra though will likely pay a nationally high $197,667 for their child's education.









Brisbane is another capital city with a relatively low cost of government education.

Futurity expect parents putting a child through the state system beginning in 2023 to pay $80,419 over the 13 years of school, 8% below the national average.

Brisbane is also more affordable for independent schools than other eastern cities, with a total cost of $262,531, 13% below the national average and far cheaper than Melbourne ($307,508) and Sydney ($357,931).

Like Canberra though, there seems to be a premium for Catholic education in Brisbane, with the total cost of $193,235 5% above the national average.

For all three school classifications, regional and remote Queensland is the cheapest area of Australia.

Parents there can expect to pay just $68,597 for a state education, more than 10% cheaper than the national average for regional and remote areas.








QLD (regional & remote)




Western Australia

The index revealed that Perth is the most affordable city in Australia for an independent education.

The total cost is expected to be $213,889, 29% or $86,344 below the national average ($300,233).

Perth also has lower costs for government education, with the lowest yearly school fees ($169) of any of Australia's capital cities.

These fees will make up just 3% of the total cost of a government education over 13 years in Perth ($85,701).

Conversely, Perth is expected to have an above average cost of a Catholic education ($191,397).

Heading outside of Perth will bring no relief for Catholic Western Australians, with the cost of a Catholic education there the highest of all regional areas ($165,889).








WA (regional & remote)




South Australia

Regional and remote South Australia has the highest cost of an independent education of all non metro areas.

The total cost is expected to be $238,625, 14% above the national average and 21% larger than regional Queensland, the cheapest area.

A government education in these areas is also well above the national average, at $81,824.

Adelaide has the highest government school fees of anywhere in Australia, with an average annual fee of $461.

Overall though, the state education system in Adelaide is relatively inexpensive. 

These fees make up 11% of the total cost of government school in Adelaide, the highest proportion of Australia's capital cities.

Adelaide is also the area of Australia expected to spend the least on private tuition for government educated students.

The total cost of a government education in Adelaide is expected to be $83,306, 5% below the national average.

Adelaide though also has the highest school fees for Catholic school, with average annual fees of $2,915 that contributes to an overall cost of $186,350.








SA (regional & remote)





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