Financial News and Advice in Singapore

A Cost Guide To School Fees In Singapore: Primary, Secondary, Post-Secondary and Tertiary

|Posted by | Parenting
Tags: , , ,

Planning your finances for your next child? Make sure to include the cost of educating them in your budget.

As the saying goes, give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you will feed him for a lifetime.

For many societies (including Singapore), education is the tool we equip our next generation with so that they can survive in society.

But education comes at a price, and you want to make sure you are financially prepared to provide your child with the education they need to succeed. 

In this guide, we will dissect the cost of education in Singapore for Singaporeans, permanent residents (PRs) and international students.

Table of contents

School fees for every stage in your child’s education

Primary school

Since all Singaporeans are required to finish primary education unless an exemption is granted, primary education is considered the educational foundation for most Singaporeans. Thus, the fees for primary school, including miscellaneous ones, are almost negligible.

CitizenshipSchool Fees (Monthly)
Singapore CitizenFree
International (Asean)S$465

Other Fees

  • Miscellaneous fees: S$6.50 (monthly)

Secondary school

For secondary education, there are different types of schools that your child might be enrolled in, depending on their Primary School Leaving Exam (PSLE) score.

Based on MOE’s definition, there are five  types of schools in Singapore’s secondary education.

School TypeDescription
Government schoolGovernment-run schools with standardised fees.
Government-aided school
Government-aided schools set up by various community organisations. 
Independent school
Schools that set their own fees and develop their own programmes. They might/might not follow the national syllabus.
Specialised independent school
Specialised education catering to students with talent/strong interest in the following areas: Mathematics and Science, Arts, Sports, and Applied Learning.
NUS High School of Mathematics and Science
School of Science and Technology
Singapore Sports School
School of the Arts
Special education school (SPED)Schools for those with autism spectrum disorder:
AWWA School 2Eden School 1, 2
Metta School 2
St. Andrew’s New Autism School
Pathlight School 1, 2, 3
St. Andrew’s Autism School
Rainbow Centre School 3
Schools for those with mild intellectual disability:
Chaoyang School
Delta Senior School
Grace Orchard School
Katong School
Metta School
Tanglin School
Schools for those with moderate to severe intellectual disability:
Fernvale Gardens School
Lee Kong Chian Gardens School
Towner Gardens School
Woodlands Gardens School
Schools for those with multiple disabilities:
AWWA School 1
Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore School (CPASS)
Rainbow Centre Margaret Drive School
Rainbow Centre Yishun Park School
Schools for those with sensory impairment:
Canossian School (Hearing loss)
Lighthouse School (Hearing loss, visual impairment)
  • Some schools within these four categories are also Special Assistance Plan (SAP) schools, which are committed to nurturing bilingual and bicultural students immersed in Chinese language and culture.
  • Some schools within these four categories have an autonomous status. This means that they follow the national syllabus, but offer a wider range of enrichment programmes that develop your child’s talents.
CitizenshipSchool Fees (Monthly)
Government School (including SAP)Government-Aided School (including SAP)Independent SchoolSpecialised Independent SchoolSpecial Education School
Singapore CitizenS$25 to S$43S$25 to S$43S$300 to S$600S$300 to S$830S$14 to S$250, depending on the level of development
PRS$400 to S$418S$400 to S$418S$600 to S$1,000S$450 to S$800S$14 to S$350, depending on the level of development
International (Asean)S$800 to S$818S$800 to S$818S$1,000 to S$2,500S$950 to S$2,700
InternationalS$1,470 to S$1,488S$1,470 to S$1,488

Other Fees

  • Miscellaneous fees: S$10 (monthly)

Post-secondary: Junior College

Once students finish their O’Levels, there are three different education routes that they can pursue. The most common one is Junior College (JC), which used to be called Pre-U. 

In JC, students will undergo a curriculum very much like that in secondary school. The focus of JC is to prepare students for their A’Levels and subsequently their tertiary education. Thus, the fee structure is very similar to secondary school.

CitizenshipSchool Fees (Monthly)
Singapore CitizenS$6
International (Asean)S$1,040

Other Fees

  • Miscellaneous fees: S$13.50 (monthly)

Post-secondary: Institute of Technical Education

For students who are not academically inclined, they can choose to go the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) route. ITE imparts practical and hands-on skills to students so that they can enjoy better job prospects and career progression once they graduate.

For Higher NITEC students who perform exceptionally well, they can choose to further their studies at a Polytechnic.

CitizenshipHigher NITEC School Fees (Annual)NITEC School Fees (Annual)
Singapore CitizenS$626S$446

Post-secondary: Polytechnic

Once students finish their O’Levels, they have the option of studying in a polytechnic as well. Unlike in JC, students in polytechnics are given more autonomy on what they want to study and how they want to plan their education journey, which is much more fluid and involves less micromanagement from the lecturers. 

As polytechnics prepare students with hands-on skills for the workforce, they are suitable for students who are already clear on what they want to pursue post-graduation.

CitizenshipTuition Fees (Annual)
Singapore PolyTemasek PolyNgee Ann PolyNanyang PolyRepublic Poly
Singapore CitizenS$2,900S$2987.50S$2,900S$2,971.30S$2,986.50


Tertiary education is the final stage of one’s education journey. In Singapore, there are currently six public universities that are eligible for MOE tuition fee grant:

  • National University of Singapore (NUS)
  • Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
  • Singapore Management University (SMU)
  • Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)
  • Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS)
    Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT)
CitizenshipTuition Fees (Annual)
NUSNTUSMUSUTDSUSS (for 4 years)SIT (for 4 years)
Singapore CitizenS$8,200 to S$28,900S$8,200 to S$34,700S$11,400 to S$12,650S$13,200S$30,000 to S$33,440S$22,500 to S$43,280
PRS$11,500 to S$41,700S$11,500 to S$49,000S$16,000 to S$17,700S$18,600S$62,880 to S$66,880S$47,160 to S$84,000
International (with Tuition Grant)S$17,550 to S$63,750S$17,550 to S$74,900S$24,500 to S$27,050S$28,450S$75,200 to S$80,000S$63,558 to S$113,248.80
International (without Tuition Grant)S$29,850 to S$159,600S$31,970 to S$36,830S$44,770 to S$47,320S$60,615.50S$125,760 to S$133,760S$96,878 to S$158,189

Government subsidies for your child’s education (Singaporeans)

To ensure that every Singaporean has an equal opportunity to education regardless of family background, the government continues to provide financial support to Singaporean families. This is especially targeted at low- to middle-income families. 

Edusave top-up

Besides school fee subsidies, the government tops up the Edusave account for primary (S$230) and secondary school (S$290) children yearly. This adds up to a total of S$2,540 by the time your child finishes his/her secondary education. 

ComCare Student Care Fee Assistance Scheme 

To support lower income families, the government also provides subsidies on monthly student care fees, as well as a one-time grant for enrolment fees. This is administered under the ComCare Student Care Fee Assistance scheme.

Family size ≤ 4Family size ≥ 5Student Care Centre with fees below S$295  Student Care Centres with fees above S$295
Gross Household Income (S$)Gross Per Capita Income (S$)Subsidy (%)Maximum subsidy (S$)
≤ 1,500≤ 37598​290
1501 – 2,000376 – 500 95​280
2,001 – 2,200501 – 550 90​266
2,201 – 2,400551 – 60085​251
2,401 – 2,600601 – 65080​236
2,601 – 2,800651 – 70070​207
2,801 – 3,000701 – 750 60​177
3,001 – 3,200751 – 800 50​148
3,201 – 3,400801 – 850 40​118
3,401 – 3,500851 – 875 40​118
3,501 – 4,000876 – 1,000 30​89
4,001 – 4,500​​1,001 – 1,125​20​59

Source: Ministry of Social and Family Development


For tertiary education like polytechnics and universities, there are also bursaries made available for children from lower income families. This is to ensure that those who worked hard and secured their spot in an MOE-subsidised polytechnic or university course would be given the chance to pursue higher education. 

Bursary For PolytechnicEligibility CriteriaAnnual Bursary Amount
Gross Household IncomePer Capita Income
Higher Education Community Bursary≤ S$2,750≤ S$690S$2,750 
S$2,751 to S$4,000S$691 to S$1,000S$2,400 
Higher Education BursaryS$4,000 to S$6,900S$1,001 to S$1,725S$1,900 
S$6,901 to S$9,000S$1,726 to S$2,250S$850 
Bursary For UniversityEligibility CriteriaAnnual Bursary Amount
Gross Household IncomePer Capita Income
Higher Education Community Bursary≤ S$2,750≤ S$690S$6,200
S$2,751 to S$4,000S$691 to S$1,000S$5,000 
Higher Education BursaryS$4,000 to S$6,900S$1,001 to S$1,725S$3,200 
S$6,901 to S$9,000S$1,726 to S$2,250S$1,350 
Bursary For University (Dentistry, Medicine)Eligibility CriteriaAnnual Bursary Amount
Gross Household IncomePer Capita Income
Higher Education Community Bursary≤ S$2,750≤ S$690S$18,900 (NUS)S$24,700 (NTU)
S$2,751 to S$4,000S$691 to S$1,000S$14,900 (NUS)S$20,700 (NTU)
Higher Education BursaryS$4,000 to S$6,900S$1,001 to S$1,725S$10,900 (NUS)S$16,700 (NTU)
S$6,901 to S$9,000$1,726 to SS$2,250S$4,900 (NUS)S$10,700 (NTU)

Source: Ministry of Education

Estimated cost of education for one child

Overall, the cost of education for a child in Singapore from primary to tertiary will set you back at least:

  • S$35,416 for the JC route: S$468 (primary) + S$1,920 (secondary) + S$468 (JC) + S$32,800 (university)
  • S$43,648 for the polytechnic route: S$468 (primary) + S$1,920 (secondary) + S$8,700 (poly) + S$32,800 (university)

And this is with government education subsidies in place. 

If your child enrols in independent schools or pursue tertiary courses that are more expensive, the fees will be even higher. 

Furthermore, there are other costs involved such as enrichment courses, material fees, as well as overseas trips that schools might organise to provide more exposure for your child.

Thus, it is important for parents to save up as much as possible to secure their child’s future and equip them with the skills to fish for themselves.

Here are some useful investing articles that can help you save for your child’s education.

There are many ways you can finance your child’s education without putting too much financial burden on yourself. One way is to get an education loan to support your child’s tertiary education.

Find the best education loan within minutes using our comparison tool.

Read these next:
This Is How Much You Can Borrow From Different Loans In Singapore
Citibank Quick Cash Loan Review (2021): Enjoy 0% Interest Rate For 12-Month Loans
Best Personal Loans In Singapore With The Lowest Interest Rates (2021)
Personal Loans Comparison: SCB CashOne vs Citi Quick Cash vs HSBC Personal Loan
What’s An Insurance Policy Loan, And When Should You Cash In On It?

By Si Jie Lim
Most people think personal finance is dry, boring and full of confusing jargon. But the fact is it can be simple and interesting. That’s why Si Jie is passionate about turning personal finance into an easy and fun topic that everyone can relate to.