Japan Data

Cost of Private Education Through High School Climbs to ¥18.3 Million


At ¥18.3 million, the average cost of putting a child through private education in Japan is more than three times that of public schooling.

Average study costs for 15 years of private education in Japan now amount to ¥18.3 million. This is a new record high and more than three times the cost of public school (¥5.4 million). The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology calculated the figure for study from age 3 to 18 based on a 2018 survey, including such costs as those for tuition, school lunch, commuting, extracurricular activities, and cram school.

The survey, which has been conducted every two years since 1994, this time received valid responses from 24,748 parents of children at 1,140 preschools and schools nationwide about educational spending on each child.

The following table shows the total study costs, school educational expenses, and cram school expenses by school type. The school educational expenses include tuition fees, PTA membership fees, textbook fees, school trips, uniform costs, commuting costs, and most other expenses, except for school lunch fees.

Annual Study Costs by School Type (¥)

Total Study Costs Educational Expenses Only Cram School Expenses Only
Preschool Public 223,647 120,738 7,788
Private 527,916 331,378 27,401
Elementary School Public 321,281 63,102 53,313
Private 1,598,691 904,164 252,790
Junior High School Public 488,397 138,961 202,965
Private 1,406,433 1,071,438 153,365
High School (Full-time) Public 457,380 280,487 106,884
Private 969,911 719,051 129,313

Compiled by Nippon.com based on data from the 2018 MEXT survey on children’s study costs.

There was a particularly large gap between public and private educational expenses at the elementary school level, even more so than the last survey in 2016, at which time public education cost ¥322,310 and private cost ¥1,528,237 per year.

In 2018, tuition fees for private elementary school averaged at ¥485,337 and initial fees and other payments were ¥231,425. Tuition fees for private junior high school were an average of ¥428,574, while initial fees and other payments were ¥305,130.

The learning and cram school costs for children at private preschools, as well as elementary and junior high schools, were all the highest on record.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © SoutaBank/Pixta.)

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