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The Most Expensive Schools In Los Angeles Today

Male High School Teacher Sitting At Table With Teenage Pupils Wearing Uniform Teaching Lesson

The Most Expensive Schools In Los Angeles Today

Los Angeles is one of the most expensive cities in the United States. According to the 2022 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Los Angeles is the fourth most expensive city in the world to live in. Only New York, Singapore, and Tel Aviv are more expensive than Los Angeles, which shares fourth place with Hong Kong.

Naturally, expensive cities draw wealthy residents, many of them searching for the best schools for their children. Parents moving to LA should know that California divides its grade levels differently than many states. Instead of having elementary, middle, and high schools, the state has few freestanding middle schools.

Therefore, a child may attend an elementary school for K-6, then high school for grades 7-12. Other public and private schools in Los Angeles are designated for grades K-8, with students moving to another school for grades 9-12. Other private school students remain on one campus from kindergarten through high school graduation.

School choices abound when tuition fees are no object. Here are some of the most expensive schools in LA today, including the priciest colleges in the area.

Elementary Schools

Happy school teacher and first grade students having interesting engaging activities in class. Little children sitting around big classroom table, learning ABCs, talking and playing fun games together
Low student/teacher ratios make private schools a good investment.

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School NameTuition
Berkeley Hall School$37,750-$41,850
John Thomas Dye School$38,900
Center for Early Education$36,920

Berkeley Hall School

16000 Mulholland Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90049

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Berkeley Hall School is the oldest private co-ed elementary school in LA. It offers students an award-winning visual arts program, STEAM labs, and over 30 sports teams. Tuition is divided by grade level: $37,750 for K-5, $41,170 for grade 6, and $41,850 for grades 7-8.

Berkeley Hall boasts a 66-acre campus with seven buildings, a swimming pool, and an amphitheater. The student/teacher ratio is 8:1, and 54% of the student body represents cultural diversity.

John Thomas Dye School

11414 Chalon Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90049

John Thomas Dye School is a traditional elementary school with an 11-acre campus in Bel Air. Students wear uniforms, call teachers by their last names, and enjoy a student/teacher ratio of 7:1. Tuition is $38,900 for grades K-6.

Students of color make up 46% of the student body, and the school’s “Collage” program helps ensure that diversity is honored. Electives include music classes held in an outdoor amphitheater called the Hollywood Bowl. Famous alumni include Monica Lewinsky, Tori Spelling, and TikTok Head of Operations Adam Presser.

Center for Early Education

563 N. Alfred St., West Hollywood, CA 90048

The Center for Early Education is one of the most coveted schools among Hollywood’s power parents. Tuition is $36,920 per year, and prospective parents should anticipate a lengthy application process that starts a full year before the student will attend school. Famous former pupils include Adam Levine and Jake Gyllenhaal.

The student/teacher ratio is 15:1, and 56% of the student body are students of color. An Innovation Center ensures children embrace STEM subjects. The campus’ city location eliminates the classic schoolyard, but students still enjoy recess on rooftop playgrounds.

High Schools

Back view of high school student solving math problem on whiteboard in classroom. Young man writing math solution on white board using marker. College guy solving math expression during lesson.
Advanced high school math classes prepare students for college.

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School NameTuition
The Archer School for Girls$50,475
Milken Community School$49,950
Harvard-Westlake School$46,900

The Archer School for Girls

11725 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049

The Archer School for Girls was founded in 1995 by three women who believed in the benefits of single-sex education for girls. Housed in a 1931 Spanish Colonial Revival building in the Brentwood neighborhood, the school aims to create an educational environment that feels more like a home than an institution.

Annual tuition and fees for girls in grades 6-12 total $50,475, including transportation and a laptop. In-depth visual arts, music, engineering, fitness, and wellness coursework supplement a strong core curriculum. Environmental, financial, and media literacy is emphasized, and girls enjoy FLX Block workshops in everything from animation to yoga.

Milken Community School

15800 Zeldins’ Way, Los Angeles, CA 90049

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Milken Community School is a Jewish day school that serves 700 students in grades 6-12. Middle and high school students occupy two separate campuses, but both levels pay a $49,950 tuition fee.

The school is grounded in Jewish values and traditions, including academic excellence, community building, and nurturing the soul. Students can access an MIT-inspired Fab Lab and the Milken Architecture + Design Institute. Performing arts and service learning projects are additional electives meant to create a well-rounded student prepared for life beyond graduation.

Harvard-Westlake School

3700 Coldwater Canyon Ave., Studio City, CA 91604

Harvard-Westlake School is a co-ed college prep school for students in grades 7-12. All students pay an annual tuition of $46,900. The school boasts an 8:1 student/teacher ratio despite having 1,600 students on two campuses.

Harvard-Westlake’s student body is quite diverse, with 62% self-identifying as students of color. The school offers over 300 classes and over 100 on-campus clubs and activities. Like many expensive Los Angeles schools, this one offers extensive fine art classes and hosts over 40 plays, concerts, dance recitals, and other performances each year. Famous alumni include Jamie Lee Curtis, Bridget Fonda, and MLB player Max Fried.

K-12 Schools

Diverse school children students build robotic cars using computers and coding. Happy multiethnic kids learning programming robot vehicles sitting at table at STEM education science engineering class.
STEM labs are commonplace in K-12 Los Angeles private schools.

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School NameTuition
Brentwood School$43,430-$50,880
Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences$42,152-$50,092
Oakwood School$41,350-$49,360

Brentwood School

12001 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049

Brentwood School occupies an impressive Mediterranean-inspired hillside campus on legendary Sunset Boulevard. Its annual tuition is $43,430 for grades K-5 and $50,880 for grades 6-12. The core curriculum is supplemented by innovative programs such as the 6th Grade World Language course, a yearlong rotation of studying Latin, French, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese. Once a child is accepted into elementary school, they are guaranteed a spot all the way through their senior year, barring any problems.

Jazz band, sculpture, robotics, filmmaking, and coding are just some of the electives Brentwood students enjoy. Famous alumni include actors Fred and Ben Savage and members of the band Maroon 5.

Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences

1714 21st St., Santa Monica, CA 90404

Crossroads School has an impressive list of former students, including Seth Rogan, Jack Black, and Kate Hudson. Tuition is comparable to other elite Los Angeles schools: $42,152 for grades K-5 and $50,092 for grades 6-12.

Crossroads students enjoy a challenging yet casual environment where teachers are called by their first names and classrooms are named after famous artists and scientists. Social justice is emphasized at all grade levels, and electives include life skills, outdoor and environmental education. High school seniors choose a three-week immersive project and go on a nature retreat with their peers.

Oakwood School

11230 Moorpark St., North Hollywood, CA 91602

Oakwood is an expensive Los Angeles school that boasts seven art studios, eight jazz bands, and 100% of its seniors accepted to college. K-6 elementary tuition is $41,350, while secondary school tuition is $49,360 for grades 7-12.  

Committed to sustainability and environmental awareness, the school recently opened a new playground featuring elements made from recycled materials. Oakwood is deeply devoted to fostering diversity, inclusion, and self-awareness through various programs at all grade levels. Famous alumni include Adam Goldberg, Noah Wyle, and Breckin Meyer.

Colleges and Universities

Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library on University of Southern California (USC) in downtown Los Angeles, California CA, USA.
The University of Southern California's campus is a beautiful addition to the city of Los Angeles.

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School NameTuition
University of Southern California$63,468
Pepperdine University$62,390
California Institute of Technology$60,864

University of Southern California

University Park Campus: 3551 Trousdale Pkwy., Los Angeles, CA 90007

USC is a private, not-for-profit university with the same tuition for in-state and out-of-state students: $63,468. It is one of the world’s leading private research universities, with two huge LA campuses serving 49,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. USC is considered a global anchor for technology, arts, and international business education.

Pepperdine University

24255 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90236

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Pepperdine University is a private research university located in Los Angeles County. It is one of LA’s most expensive colleges, with a tuition fee of $62,390. Students can choose from over 43 fields of study, including fine arts, communications, international studies, religion, social science, and natural science. It is also home to the Graziadio Business School and the Caruso School of Law.

California Institute of Technology

1200 East California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 31125

Caltech, or CIT, serves over 2,300 students in Los Angeles County. The school focuses on science and engineering and provides six academic divisions, including biology, chemistry, planetary sciences, physics, and mathematics. Its graduates have earned 46 Nobel Prizes. Annual tuition at Caltech is $60,864.

Are expensive schools always better?

In a city where brands, labels, and appearances matter greatly, attending expensive Los Angeles schools is a status symbol. But a high tuition rate doesn’t always equal a better educational outcome. It’s wise to compare statistics before signing a contract for something as valuable as an education.

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