In the last two decades, educational options for foreign students in Singapore have expanded significantly. SAS, one of Singapore's original, non-profit international schools, continues to enjoy a strong reputation among expatriate families. For 61 years, our success has rested on a solid foundation of financial prudence and responsibility as we ensure that every penny paid in tuition and fees positively impacts student learning.
Our non-profit status ensures that any surplus in a given year is reinvested into the school, rather than going to an owner or investor. SAS is a registered charitable organization governed by an elected, volunteer school board. This is an increasingly rare model for international schools worldwide, and we are very conscious of its benefits. These include community involvement, alignment of school and student interests, focus on a long-term vision, and budgetary and tax advantages.
Academically, our financial resources allow us to ensure that each student feels nurtured, challenged, encouraged, and valued. To attract excellent teachers, we must offer competitive compensation packages, and our largest expense category is always faculty and staff salaries and benefits. As seen below, salaries and benefits costs for SAS employees represent 69 percent of all expenses and allow us to hire highly qualified, experienced, and professional teachers.
Schoolwide Expenses, 2017-18 Budget
Teachers new to SAS are often amazed by its advanced educational and technological resources, which account for 6 percent and 3 percent of expenses respectively. Our teachers are currently implementing recommendations from our research and development exercise, which makes up 0.4 percent of expenses. Our early learning center is inspired bynow follows the Reggio Emilia model and hands-on projects relating to current issues are proving popular schoolwide. Our new Advanced Topic courses balance our Advanced Placement offerings, giving high school students another way to demonstrate serious academic engagement and develop skills relevant to future opportunities.
Our spacious, green campus and cutting-edge facilities set us apart from many of Singapore's international schools. The second largest expense category, at 18 percent, includes facilities costs and day-to-day operating expenses. Keeping track of renewal cycles and planning ahead for construction projects helps us avoid unsettling fluctuations in workload or financing. With our sports fields, pools, playgrounds, rainforest, eco-garden, and low-rise feel, our well-maintained campus enhances learning opportunities and extracurricular pursuits.
Other expense categories include administrative costs and allocations to planned reserves, which buttress us against emergencies. Unlike most international schools in Singapore and worldwide, SAS need not allocate any money as profit for owners or investors. In some for-profit schools, up to 20 percent of annual revenue is taken as profit, rather than benefitting students.
We want our fees to remain competitive with those of other international schools, so we benchmark our average cost of attendance against comparable institutions. As you look at the first chart, bear in mind that most of Singapore's international schools charge separately for field trips and overnight trips, even in the lower grades; at SAS, except for the high school’s Interim Semester fees, trip fees are included in tuition.
Singapore International School Fees For Returning Students
Asian International School Fees (SGD)
|ASU||American School in Japan||ISM||International School of Manila|
|CIS-HK||Canadian International School of Hong Kong||JIS||Jakarta International School|
|HKIS||Hong Kong International School||SAS-CN||Shanghai International School|
|ISB||International School of Bangkok||SFS||Seoul Foreign School|
|ISBJ||International School of Beijing||TAS||Taipei American School|
|ISKL||International School Kuala Lumpur|
While SAS falls at the higher end of these charts, we are confident that our families appreciate the value of an SAS education. This is underlined by the facts that over 40 percent of our new students this year were on-island transfers, and SAS is one of only two international schools in Singapore with continued full enrollment. An SAS education is an investment in a child’s future, and parents may be assured that the fees they pay will be used solely to provide the staff, resources, and learning environment integral to an outstanding educational experience.