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CHEAT SHEET: The top 10 private schools for girls in Sydney

Sydney has a raft of exclusive private schools, many of which are among the best performing in the country.

While research has shown private education isn’t necessary for academic achievement, the connections made in a good school often prove to be useful later in life, particularly in Sydney business circles.

Business Insider has compiled a list of the top ten private girls schools in Sydney, based on their 2014 HSC performance through data on the Better Education website, and the percentage of students with Distinguished Achievers results.

SCEGGS, Darlinghurst is the most expensive school with annual tuition fees for a senior student costing parents $33,627. Meanwhile Loreto, Normanhurst proved to be the most bang for your buck, ranking third on the list and offering the lowest tuition fees at $21,562 per annum for a senior student.

Other exclusive schools for girls that didn’t make the list but are worth mentioning include Danebank School, Frensham, Kambala, Kincoppal in Rose Bay, Mount St Benedict College, Ravenswood, Tara and Wenona.

Here’s your quick guide to private girls’ schools in Sydney. And yes, we’ll be doing the boys’ schools next.

1. Abbotsleigh, Wahroonga.

Founded: 1885.

Motto: Tempus celerius radio fugit, or 'time flies faster than a weaver's shuttle'.

Cost: The following three entry fees apply to each student and are not credited towards tuition fees. A non-refundable application fee of $220 per student must accompany the application for enrolment. A non-refundable acceptance fee of $1,500 per student is required to confirm acceptance, and a non-refundable entrance fee of $2,000 per student is payable two years prior to entry of new students.

The tuition fees as of 2015 are $28,640 per annum for a student in years 11-12, according to the school's website.

2014 HSC result: 48% Distinguished Achievers.

Size: 1380 students.

Destinations: 99% of students go to university, 1% to TAFE, according to The Good Schools Guide.

Notable Alumni: Agnes Elizabeth Lloyd Bennett, pioneering medical practitioner and scientist. Georgie Parker, actress. Sue Fear, the first Australian woman to climb Mount Everest. Erica Baxter, model, singer and ex-wife of James Packer.

2. Ascham School, Edgecliff.

Ascham School/ Facebook.

Founded: 1856.

Motto: Vi et animo, or 'strength of mind'.

Cost: According to the Boarding Expo, as of July 2014 tuition fees were between $25,400 - $33,000.

2014 HSC result: 42% Distinguished Achievers.

Size: 1100.

Destinations: 'There were 90 students in the 2013 cohort and of these, 86 applied and were accepted into universities in NSW and interstate. Of the remaining four students, two, along with 18 others (who chose to defer their university course) are undertaking a gap year, according to the school’s 2013 annual report.

Notable Alumni: Barbara Cullen, national president of Country Women's Association. Camilla Franks, fashion designer. Mia Freedman, editor-in-chief at Mammamia. Helen Newell, vice president of Rio Tinto Energy. Belinda Hutchison, chancellor of Sydney University and Member of the Order of Australia. Kate Waterhouse, journalist and media identity.

3. Loreto, Normanhurst.

Founded: 1897.

Motto: Maria regina angelorum. Cruci dum spiro fido. Or 'Mary, Queen of the Angels. As long as I live I put my faith in Christ who died for me'.

Cost: A non-refundable registration fee of $330 is charged for each application for enrolment. A non-refundable fee of $3,000 is payable on acceptance of a place. Tuition fees for a student in years 11-12 are $21,562 per annum.

2014 HSC result: 40.3% Distinguished Achievers.

Size: 918, as of 2014.

Destination: According to the school's 2013 annual report: 'Of the 157 students to complete their education 150 received a place at university. 17 students applied to VTAC with 10 receiving an offer. The remaining students have chosen courses at TAFE or private colleges that will enable them to articulate to university at a later date'.

Notable Alumni: Catherine Livingstone, Chair of Telstra and former CEO of Cochlear. Jessica McNamee, actress. Clare Martin, CEO of ACOSS.

4. SCEGGS, Darlinghurst.

Founded: 1895.

Motto: Luceat lux vestra, or 'let your light shine'.

Cost: A non-refundable registration fee of $200 for the processing of each new enrolment, a non-refundable fee of $750 for each child, on acceptance of the place offered for enrolment, and eighteen months prior to entry a non-refundable entrance fee of $4,000 for each child needs to be paid. The tuition fee for a student in years 11-12 is $33,627 per annum.

2014 HSC result: 38.3% Distinguished Achievers.

Size: 880 students.

Destination: 99% of students in 2013 were offered university entry. 'The post school destination for 1% of our Year 12 leavers is not known,' says the school in its 2013 annual report.

Notable Alumni: Margaret Whitlam, champion swimmer, wife of former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and a former Australian National Living Treasure. Claudia Karvan, actress. Dr Joan Freeman, nuclear physicist and Rutherford Medal and Prize winner. Virginia Bell, a Puisne Justice of the High Court of Australia. Kay Patterson, Liberal senator and former Health Minister.

5. Loreto Kirribilli, Kirribilli.

Founded: 1908.

Motto: Maria regina angelorum. Cruci dum spiro fido. Or 'Mary, Queen of the Angels. As long as I live I put my faith in Christ who died for me'.

Cost: New students must pay a non-refundable application fee of $220.00 inclusive of GST, and a non-refundable enrolment fee of $3,000 after the student has been offered a position as confirmation of acceptance. Tuition fees for students in year 10-12 are $17,955 per annum.

2014 HSC result: 37.5% Distinguished Achievers.

Size: The total enrolment in 2013 was 1040 students.

Destination: Of the graduating students to go to university or TAFE, 31.3% attend the University of Sydney and 35.2% attend University of Technology, Sydney, according to the school's 2013 annual report.

Notable Alumni: Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney. Joan Hartigan, tennis player and Wimbledon finalist. Amelia Farrugia, opera singer.

6. Queenwood School for Girls, Mosman.

Founded: 1925.

Motto: Per aspera ad astra or 'through struggles to the stars'.

Cost: New students must pay a non-refundable application fee of $100.00 plus $10.00 GST. When a place is offered in the school, acceptance of the place is confirmed upon payment of the non-refundable enrolment acceptance fee of $1650.00. The tuition fee of a year 12 student is $26,292 per annum.

2014 HSC result: 36.4% Distinguished Achievers.

Size: According to My School, total enrolments at the school were 872 as of 2014.

Destination: The school says, 'The vast majority of Queenwood girls finishing Year 12 go on to study at university, both in Australia and overseas.'

Notable Alumni: Dorothy Porter, Poet. Suzanne Sharon Vardon (AO), Chief Executive of the Department for Families and Communities, South Australia, and former CEO of Centrelink.

7. Pymble Ladies’ College, Pymble.

Founded: 1916.

Motto: All'ultimo lavoro or 'strive for the highest'.

Cost: New students are required to pay a non-refundable application fee of $330, a non-refundable booking fee of $1,100 to reserve a place in the school once a provisional offer is made, and two years prior to entry a non-refundable entry fee of $2,000 is needed to confirm the students intention to proceed with enrolment. The tuition fee per annum for a student in years 11-12 is $28,970.

2014 HSC result: 34.9% Distinguished Achievers.

Size: According to My School, total enrolments at the school were 2130 as of 2014.

Destination: In 2013, 97% of graduating students received a university offer.

Notable Alumni: Melissa Doyle, co-host of the Seven Network breakfast television programme Sunrise. Elizabeth Evatt, Australian federal court judge. Ellyse Perry, Australian sportswoman.

8. Presbyterian Ladies College, Croydon.

Founded: 1888.

Motto: Sancte sapienter or 'be holy wisely'.

Cost: New students must pay an application fee of $440 to reserve a place for the student in the nominated year. This fee is non-refundable and is inclusive of GST. An enrolment fee of $2,975 is also required to confirm acceptance at the school. This fee is also non-refundable. The tuition fees for a student in years 11-12 are $29,760 per annum.

2014 HSC result: 33.8% Distinguished Achievers.

Size: Approximately 1200 students.

Destination: According to the schools 2013 annual report, '90% of students who left school at the end of Yr 12 following the completion of their school education continued directly on to University. 10% went on to TAFE, other post compulsory education, Gap years, returned home overseas or pursued full-time employment.'

Notable Alumni: Sibyl Morrison, the first female barrister in New South Wales. Marie Byles, the first practicing female solicitor in New South Wales.

9. Roseville College, Roseville.

Founded: 1888.

Motto: Labor omnia vincit or 'work conquers all'.

Cost: New students must pay a non-refundable application fee of $220, a non-refundable acceptance fee of $1000, and a bond of $1500 two years prior to starting at the school. The third fee is refunded without interest when all accounts are settled once the student completes year 12. Tuition fees for a student in years 11-12 are $24,675 per annum.

2014 HSC result: 32.2% Distinguished Achievers.

Size: 800 students.

Destination: 96% of students were offered a university place in 2013.

Notable Alumni: Emma Sholl, chair of associate principal flute with the Sydney Symphony.

10. Meriden School, Strathfield.

Founded: 1897.

Motto: Semper fidelis or 'always faithful'.

Cost: New students must pay an application fee of $200 and an enrolment fee of $2,500 upon acceptance of an offer. Both fees are non-refundable. Tuition fees for year 12 students is $27,315 per annum.

2014 HSC result: 30.7% Distinguished Achievers.

Size: Approximately 950 students.

Destination: Business Insider was unable to locate this information.

Notable Alumni: Julia King, businesswoman. Jennifer Blackman (AO), retired judge of the District Court of New South Wales.

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