A big hike in tuition fees at Australian private schools has caused concern among parents and students. What added to the consternation was that the hike is double the current inflation rate of just 1.5 percent.

Topping the chart in Australia private school fee-hike is Melbourne Girls Grammar. It jacked up fees up by 6.7 percent to touch AU$32,736. In Sydney, Reddam House went for an increase of 4.5 percent with total fees going to AU$29,310. However, it kept the rate of increase the same as 2015.

At MLC Sydney, the hike was 4 percent at $28,485. St Aloysius School raised its fees by 5 percent to touch AU$16,744. Sydney Church of England Grammar School opted for a 4.8 percent hike to make the annual fees AU$28,620, reports The Australian Financial Review. Scotch College in Adelaide gave parents a buffer. It allowed them to pre-pay the school fees for 2017 so as to salvage from a future hike.

Reacting to the huge hike in school fees, the Independent Schools Council of Australia said the national median price for private school fees per student continues to be AU$5887. It said, only 10 percent of independent schools are charging fees of more than AU$20,000 a year.

Subtly defending the schools, NSW Parents’ Council chief executive Noel Hadjimichael said the increase in fees had linkage with many factors. He said the efforts at making Australian education comparable to the top schools in the United Kingdom and United States also mattered.

Meanwhile, the Australian Scholarships Group’s Planning for Education Index gave out the estimated cost of education for a child born in 2016. In case the child wants to attend a leading Australia private school, the costs would be AU$552,351 for Sydney, Melbourne (AU$512,283), Perth (AU$393,870), Adelaide (AU$365,976) and Brisbane (AU$360,044).

Meanwhile, Brisbane emerged as the most affordable place for private education, compared to any other Australian capital city. The Australian Scholarship Trust’s Index on cost of private education said Brisbane’s cost for Australia private school at AU$360,044, is 23 percent less than the national average, reports Brisbane Times.