It is no secret that an international school education comes at a price. Previously, an international school education used to be perceived as a luxury only the wealthy could afford. In addition, the quota for local student enrolment at international schools was also an obstacle for Malaysian parents to send their children to international schools even if they could pay the fees.
Since the quota was removed in 2012, the international school education landscape has changed tremendously. Today, parents have over 180 international schools to choose from – each with their own unique fee structure. There has also been a rise in mid-range international schools offering competitive fee structures. Therefore, parents today can surely find an international school that fits their budget.
Cost remains the top consideration for parents in the school selection process. Therefore, it is important for parents to request comprehensive fee structures from schools so that they are financially prepared throughout their child’s schooling years.
Here is an overview of the types of fees that international schools typically charge.
The application fee is non-refundable and usually paid upon submission of an application to a given school. Not all schools require payment of this fee. The application fee usually costs RM200 but can go up to RM3,500.
Also known as ‘entrance’, ‘admission’ or ‘enrolment’ fee, the registration fee is non-refundable and is to be paid upon confirmation of enrolment into a school. This is a one-time charge. The minimum charge for a school’s registration fee is usually RM300.
Most schools require the payment of a security deposit upon confirmation of enrolment which usually amounts to the equivalent of one term’s tuition fee. The deposit needs to be topped up as your child progresses from one level to the next and is refundable upon your child’s graduation or withdrawal from the school.
Parents should take note that in order to receive a refund, they should give the international school a withdrawal notice several months in advance (usually one term’s notice). Failure to do so may result in the forfeiture of the deposit.
Tuition or term fees are regular-basis fees to finance your child’s ongoing education. The amount varies widely from school to school. The same is true of the payment schedule, which may be annual, quarterly, per semester or monthly. Tuition fees typically increase as your child progresses to higher levels. The range of tuition fees is wide and varied – ranging between RM10,000 and RM100,000 annually depending on the school and education level.
School Development Fee/School Building Fund
This is a one-time or annual fee charged by some schools to cover the cost of physical enhancements, restoration and extensions to school facilities. The fee can range from RM5,000 to over RM20,000.
Depending on the school, parents may have to pay to cover the cost of maintaining and upgrading the school’s infrastructure – namely, its technology equipment, library, or lab facilities. This fee is paid either on a one-time or annual basis.
For most schools, the cost of instructional materials, uniforms, meals and field trips are excluded from the tuition fees and are charged separately. Parents should also plan for additional expenses to cover transportation to and from the school, special trips and programmes as well as extracurricular activities.
This fee is only applicable to parents who want their children to stay at the school throughout the term. Boarding fees cover meals, accommodation and the use of school facilities. Parents can opt for full, weekly, or flexi-boarding if available, where students can stay for one or several nights during any week.
A number of schools offer waivers for early payment or discounts upon enrolment at Open Days. Sibling discounts are also available at schools, which are ideal for parents who plan to send more than one child to the same school. In addition, scholarships are offered by several schools to attract students to enter secondary or pre-university levels.
Take advantage of these fee waivers, discounts and scholarships by international schools for the 2021 school year! For more information on current offerings, please visit this page.
Education Destination Malaysia’s Fee Calculator is designed to help you calculate the estimate cost for your child’s school fees annually or throughout their schooling years. Use the Fee Calculator today!