Specialized schools charge more fees
By Kim Bo-eun
Compared to those attending regular high schools, parents of students at specialized high schools pay two to six times more in fees for extracurricular activities, separate from tuition, a study showed Wednesday.
According to the report by Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, the average yearly expense for a single student enrolled at a regular high school was 1.07 million won last year.
The average cost for high schools specializing in science or foreign languages was estimated at 1.59 million won.
The fees, which are paid separately from tuition, include those for extra-curricular activities, lunches, field trips and dormitory bills. They take up a significant portion of overall educational costs.
The expenses are mostly paid on a voluntary basis, but due to excessive competition among students and parents, most of them end up paying for all the various programs and services.
“The costs are likely to continue to rise as schools try to provide differentiated and more specialized education,” said an official. “The government needs to consider measures to cut down on the burdensome costs.”
The average expense for Seoul, Hansung, and Sejong Science High Schools was 5.13 million won, exceeding by far the average for all specialized high schools. The figure for Seoul International High School, which offers many field trips and special lectures, stood at 6.36 million won.
The average cost of six foreign language high schools in Seoul was 2.7 million won. One even charged 3.98 million won.
Hana Academy School, where it is mandatory for students to live in the dormitory, recorded the highest expense of 8 million won per student.
Among regular high schools, Sahmyook High School ranked top in the list. A school specializing in design and animation cost each student’s parents 2.46 million won.