State integrated schools have the best results for the best price compared with private or state alternatives, new research shows.
State integrated schools have a special character like religion or specialist teaching method, like Steiner or Montessori.
The fees are usually about $1500 rather than the $20,000 price-tag for private education.
New research by The New Zealand Initiative showed a state integrated school option might be better for parents to consider sending their children to, for a fraction of the price.
Policy analyst Joel Hernandez used data from Statistics New Zealand combined with an internal school performance tool to collate the information.
It removed confounding factors like a parents' education and income.
Hernandez used University Entrance (UE) as a metric to see if the school was successful.
Through that he found, on average, students at state-integrated schools were more likely to gain UE, he said.
"For instance, while the average student at a state school has a 30.5 percent chance of gaining UE, those at state-integrated schools had a 38.8 percent chance. Private schools were almost as good at 37.4 percent."
But of the high performing schools in New Zealand 66.7 percent of them are private, 45.2 are state-integrated and 15.5 percent state schools.
"If parents are saving up to get their child into a private school, this report shows state-integrated schools might be the best bang for their buck," Hernandez said.
"In an ideal world, students should be getting a world class education at any school.
"Yet state schools are much worse off."