St John's College School Fees
St John’s Colleges in South Africa: Compare Fees, Academics and Culture Across the Prestigious Institutions

When researching top private high schools for your child in South Africa, you will likely encounter two institutions carrying the distinguished St. John’s College name – the original boys school in Johannesburg founded in 1898 and the historically-linked coeducational counterpart in Grahamstown established in 1879.

Beyond the shared name linking them back to the Anglican church, each St John’s College has developed its own unique cultural identity and educational ecosystem. However, as parents face major financial decisions regarding school fees running into hundreds of thousands of Rands, you need visibility into what exactly your investment buys across the two St Johns options.

This guide compares St John’s College Johannesburg vs St John’s College Grahamstown across academics, sports, culture, boarding facilities, outreach and crucially – school fees. Read on for insights enabling an informed school decision for your child’s benefit.

St John's College School Fees


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St John’s College Johannesburg – Bastion of Boys Education

Founded by the Anglican church to cater to young men from Johannesburg’s pioneer families, St John’s College has blossomed into one of Africa’s most prestigious boys boarding schools concentrated on holistic personal growth.

Academic Reputation

With a consistent 100% Matric pass rate and exceptional IEB results, St John’s Johannesburg breeds academic excellence, critical thinking and lifelong learning habits. State-of-the-art facilities, small classes led by specialist teachers and individual mentoring ensures outcomes.

Beyond academics, the school’s focus on developing well-rounded boys into modern gentlemen perseveres through extensive cultural participation and community service.

Boarding Ethos

As a full boarding school, St John’s Johannesburg focuses extensively on the pastoral care environment, safety and enrichment activities defining boys’ development when separated from family. Investment into boarding staff, engaging programming and collaborative leadership nurtures the home-away-from-home.

Sporting Opportunities

Rugby, hockey, cricket athletics and more – St John’s Johannesburg has produced Springboks and Olympians by balancing sports participation with academic priorities via quality coaching and mentoring support.

Alumni Network

Numbering over 5000 globally, the Old Johannian network opens doors for graduating students via shared connections into top universities, employers and social causes – embodying the school’s ethos of brotherhood and community upliftment.

School Fees 2023

As a premium full boarding boys school, St John’s College Johannesburg commands high annual fees, including:

  • Tuition: R67,600
  • Development Levies: R4,440
  • Parent Associations Projects: R392
  • Security: R584

Total: R73,016 per annum

While a major financial commitment, many view it as an investment into their son’s future leadership journey.

St John’s College Grahamstown – Excellence Within Reach

While carrying the same distinguished name as the Johannesburg original school, St John’s College Grahamstown has charted its own path as a leading coeducational institution with a proud history and progressive identity.

Diverse Student Profile

As a pioneering multiracial school accepting all genders and faiths in a small university town, St John’s Grahamstown has organically forged an inclusive culture where diverse thinking drives innovation.

Balancing Academics & Opportunity

Delivering a 100% Bachelor degree endorsement rate in the NSC examinations, St John Grahamstown balances high academic expectations with sports, arts, leadership and community pursuits – enabling well-rounded student outcomes.

Boarding Plus Day Scholar Model

St John’s Grahamstown features both boarding houses and day scholar options, expanding access and choice for local families while providing residential facilities on the expansive campus. This enables parents to select the right fit over the years.

LINKS Service Ethos

The school’s LINKS (Lead, Initiate, Nurture, Knowledge, Serve) programming builds authentic community engagement into the student journey via volunteerism supporting local partners – activating youth agency.

School Fees

As a not-for-profit institution, St John’s Grahamstown maintains reasonable fee structures, including:

  • Day Scholar Fees: ~R58,000 per annum
  • Full Boarding Fees: ~R157,000 per annum

This balances affordability and access within a distinguished school environment.

Rhodes Scholarship Nexus

With several Rhodes Scholars produced over the year, the school leverages academic partnerships with Rhodes University nextdoor – providing unmatched student opportunities to complement school offerings.

How Do the Two St John’s Colleges Compare?

While the Johannesburg and Grahamstown schools share an interlinked history and name, in reality they operate as distinct institutions matching the needs of their respective communities. But how do they compare specifically on fees, academics and culture?

School Fees

The full boarding model and flashy facilities make St John’s Johannesburg over twice as expensive compared to the not-for-profit Grahamstown school focused on inclusivity and opportunity.

Academic Performance

Both St John’s Colleges maintain exceptional academic reputations and outcomes consistently ranking among South Africa’s top achievers. Graduates transition successfully into top universities locally and globally.

Culture & Community

The exclusive boys school model in Johannesburg contrasts with the pioneering multiracial, coeducational offering in Grahamstown – each providing a unique cultural backdrop influencing student outlook.


There’s excellence in both models, so rather than a simple Johannesburg vs Grahamstown comparison, parents should analyse the culture, fees, programs and outcomes to determine alignment with their child’s needs and family context.


Frequently Asked Questions

Still evaluating the two St John’s College options? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How does the academic quality compare between the Johannesburg and Grahamstown campuses?

Both St John’s Colleges maintain exceptionally high academic standards and rankings. Graduates consistently gain entry into top global universities. Quality teaching and mentoring ensure standards wherever the location.

Which school has produced more Rhodes scholars and CEOs of major companies?

St John’s Grahamstown’s proximity to Rhodes University has catalysed an impressive tally of Rhodes Scholars over the decades. However, the extensive Old Johannian network from the Johannesburg school holds several current and past CEOs of companies like Anglo American, Investec and Aspen.

What is the typical class size across the schools?

St John’s Johannesburg caps secondary school classes at about 22 students to enable personal attention. The Grahamstown school has similar class sizes around 20 students even within its inclusive context to support learning.

What percentage of students receive some financial assistance with fees?

Over 70% of students in Grahamstown receive partial or full scholarships based on the school’s accessibility policies. Around 50% of Johannesburg students receive means-tested financial aid to enable wider access despite higher fees.

Which school has the most impressive sports facilities and programs?

With its substantially higher fees and alumni networks, St John’s Johannesburg has invested into exceptional sporting infrastructure – although Grahamstown still provides diverse sports, arts and cultural opportunities within its resource constraints.


  • St John’s College Johannesburg and Grahamstown offer parents two distinctflavours of academic excellence and student growth – traditional full boarding boys school vs progressive coeducation.
  • While fees and facilities differ substantially, alignment to your child’s needs and family context matter more in determining fit.
  • Beyond the name, embrace the uniqueness of each institution rather than forcing a simple comparison.

With an expanded perspective of the history, policies and outcomes from both schools, parents can make a tailored decision suited to their child’s interests, potential and family circumstances.


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