Eton scholarship admissions: advice please!

(82 Posts)
PriscillaLydiaSellon Tue 13-Nov-12 10:46:41

DS (10.5) is dead set on going to Eton. We can't remotely begin to afford it, so he is going to try for a scholarship/bursary. We have been told that he doesn't need to do anything until Y8, as he's only applying via the scholarship route - but teacher friends at two other boarding schools (which DS won't even look at, being fixated on Eton) have said that that in practice, children need to be registered in Y6 even if they are only applying for 13+ scholarships. Has anyone been there and done this? If so, I'd be very grateful for your advice...

Colleger Tue 13-Nov-12 21:52:32

I'm confused as to why the choir school have never suggested Eton to you, unless he's at St Albans...

difficultpickle Tue 13-Nov-12 21:59:51

I assume the Director of Music gave you some indication of whether your ds is suitable scholarship material. He certainly sounds hugely talented.

joanbyers Tue 13-Nov-12 22:23:23

Eton has open days constantly.

PriscillaLydiaSellon Tue 13-Nov-12 22:46:13

Colleger, they have. It was their first suggestion.

Bisjo, he did, and was very positive - but I am under no illusions about the hard work still to come!

Joan, our next visit will be during an ordinary school day. We saw some parts of the school, but not others. We didn't see any of the 'academic' part - just the music/boarding/libraries/concert halls. I think we can probably live without seeing the sports facilities. grin

Colleger Wed 14-Nov-12 13:29:14

So why did you not apply before the deadline?

PriscillaLydiaSellon Wed 14-Nov-12 13:54:53

Colleger: because we were told (by Eton) that we don't need to register him until he's in Y8 if he's only going down the scholarship route.

We have meanwhile quizzed Eton again, and it is indeed the case that our DS doesn't need to do anything until Y8. Scholarships (and accompanying bursary applications) are not considered until then, regardless of when the child is registered - and he gains nothing by registering now, whatever the practice may be at other schools.

I am sufficiently reassured!

difficultpickle Wed 14-Nov-12 14:27:19

I assume that you save having to pay the £270 registration fee if you are only using the scholarship route.

PriscillaLydiaSellon Wed 14-Nov-12 14:38:49

I fear I am merely deferring payment! (I'm slightly relieved to hear that it's "only" in the hundreds, rather than in the thousands... the refundable registration fee we paid his prep school will cover it!)

happygardening Wed 14-Nov-12 14:39:26

I think colleger means why didnt you apply for a non scholarship place before the deadline if your DS's prep suggested Eton or have they only advised you to apply for Eton and therefore by default the scholarship?

happygardening Wed 14-Nov-12 14:40:55

"the refundable registration fee we paid his prep school will cover it!" we didnt get our back until the last term it was deducated of the last invoice by then you would have paid the registration fee!

difficultpickle Wed 14-Nov-12 14:49:13

I think there is a high deposit to pay once you accept an offer but I'd be surprised if they made you pay the registration fee (although I don't know). We didn't have to pay a registration fee for ds's school when we applied via a scholarship.

peteneras Wed 14-Nov-12 19:48:50

OP, you don’t have to pay the registration fee if your son is taking the scholarship route. That’s partly what I meant when I said in my previous post that:

'If your son is successful in winning a scholarship, then money is the least thing you should worry about as Eton can top up the scholarship with a full bursary and more!'

Yes, I know this means after winning the scholarship but like I said, you don’t have to pay registration fee for taking the New Foundation Scholarship which “is aimed in particular at boys who would not be able to attend Eton without very substantial financial assistance . . .”

You don’t have to worry about deposits either if that's what particularly bugs you about sending DS to Eton. Is your son currently in Yr 6 at a maintained school? I’m worried if he’s not.

difficultpickle Wed 14-Nov-12 20:52:45

peteneras the OP's ds is at prep school so won't be entitled to apply for the New Foundation scholarship. I also think the OP confused the deposit and the registration fee in a more recent answer. We didn't have to pay a registration fee for ds's school as he applied via a scholarship but we did have to pay the deposit (albeit considerably less than Eton's!).

PriscillaLydiaSellon Wed 14-Nov-12 22:10:13

Peteneras, he's at a prep school (with a substantial chorister bursary, but at a prep school nonetheless). DC5 is at an independent junior school (the others are all grown up). We can manage one lot of junior fees plus DS's subsidised place, but can't manage even day schools for both at secondary level.

I'm not in the slightest bit bugged about anything to do with Eton, and I'm sorry if I've given you that impression. Over the years, we have registered our DC for far too many schools, and sometimes wasted money on registering them for schools they then haven't attended (!) I seem to recall paying a £400 deposit/registration fee for the first school that DC5 went to; we then got the full amount back when she left. But we had a DC at another school where there was a £25 reg. fee (non refundable) and a £250 refundable deposit which we paid when accepting the place.

I'm assuming with Eton that we would not pay a reg. fee for scholarship entry, but that we would pay the deposit to secure his place, if he is lucky enough to be offered one (£1,000, if I am remembering rightly - which I might not be? Slightly scary but not compared with the fees!)

difficultpickle Wed 14-Nov-12 22:15:33

According to the Eton brochure I received yesterday (took a week to arrive and they didn't manage to write my correct house name from their website form hmm) you have to pay an 'Entrance Fee' of £1600 when you accept a place. You get £1100 of that back when your ds leaves.

PriscillaLydiaSellon Wed 14-Nov-12 22:25:42

Thanks. As I say, it's a relative drop in the proverbial ocean compared to the fees themselves!!

peteneras Thu 15-Nov-12 03:30:16

bisjo, If you read Eton’s conditions about the eligibility for the New Foundation Scholarships there is ambiguity in the official statements they put out - I feel they know about it and is left as is deliberately!

On Eton’s website about the NFS it says:
’In September 2009 Eton was able to start offering a new annual scholarship for one or two boys who have been educated in the UK maintained (state) sector for at least years 6, 7 and 8 of their schooling up to age 13. From September 2011, we will be able to offer four places.’

But on their printed brochure about the NFS it says:
’ Candidates must normally have been at a maintained (state) school for Years 6, 7 and 8. The financial arrangements are as for the King’s Scholarship.’

So it transpires that candidates must normally have been at a maintained school but not necessarily so?

The last bit is of particular interest, i.e. ’ The financial arrangements are as for the King’s Scholarship’.

We know financial arrangements can go up to 100% remission for King’s Scholars and King’s Scholars attended prep schools. So, by definition New Foundation Scholars may also receive 100% financial remission and attend prep schools! Both set of boys entering Eton aged 13, one group to College and the other group to Oppidan Houses.

Although the main intentions of the NFS are to help boys from underprivileged backgrounds to attend Eton, the School is not ignorant to the fact that there are many families who, to all intents and purposes, are underprivileged but who work their guts out with two, three or even four jobs, saving and scheming with every penny just to be able to send their child to independent schools.

The question is:
Is Eton going to penalise these families by denying their sons the chance of attending Eton with a NFS? I know they are thinking long and hard about this.

justaboutchilledout Thu 15-Nov-12 04:10:13

Priscilla, I think I know who you are (do not worry, you have not given anything incriminating away, it is just that I have met your family, you will probably recognise me too).

You are of course going to do your best to get your son where he wants to go, and it seems you are getting excellent advice on the practicalities, all I would add is that it is well worth with these types of children spending some time on the defixation process before possible disappointment. You may want to use a broken record approach, reminding regularly that it may happen that he gets into Eton but he might not. Even if he seemingly refuses to listen you have prepared the ground in advance.

peteneras Thu 15-Nov-12 04:13:28

A few years ago when plans were put forward to replace the then Junior Scholarships (JS) there were great disagreements among the elders of Eton as to replace it with what? The JS was one truly fantastic, out of this world scholarship - started in the early 1970’s to really give a very, very bright boy from underprivileged backgrounds a life-changing chance of attending Eton. Four JS’s were awarded each year when they were pulled out from their state schools aged 10 to spend three years at a prep school before entering Eton - all funded by Eton!

This was one very rare occasion when a pupil got to choose a premier prep school, any school, anywhere in the UK, boarding or non-boarding and walked straight in (with Eton’s approval). I’ve never seen so many headmasters falling over themselves trying to get these boys into their schools. Almost inevitably (barring a few rare cases) these boys would go on to win the King’s Scholarships three years later and thereafter to Oxbridge or to read Medicine or some top-notch subjects elsewhere.

When the JS was replaced with the NFS in 2009, boys entered Eton straight from state schools to one of the Oppidan* Houses with none entering College to date. The present situation seems very unsatisfactory to some senior beaks, maybe including the Head Master himself, and most certainly the Master-in-College (Housemaster at College) when she fought tooth and nail with the Foundation during the discussion stages of replacing the JS. Traditionally, Masters-in-College have always known their JS charges to have plenty to offer, often excelling in academic work, in the sports field/arena, in the theatre, etc. and bring to the School/College a different dimension.

*Oppidan - Latin for town (people). Except for the 70 King’s Scholars who live in College, all the other Etonians are Oppidans and live outside in the town.

difficultpickle Thu 15-Nov-12 07:32:56

I know someone who was awarded the JS several years ago. He left his state school at the end of year 6 as normal and spent two years at prep not 3. They also didn't award all four scholarships every year as they said it wasn't widely publicised so they struggled to get enough candidates applying. Not sure if that was a numbers or quality issue.

I thought the NFS replaced the JS so definitely geared at state schools rather than preps.

PriscillaLydiaSellon Thu 15-Nov-12 09:34:54

All very interesting! Thanks, peteneras, for your insights. We are not even remotely underprivileged - but neither are we fabulously well off. I've just turned down an invitation on the grounds that it's £25 extra that I can't afford to spend (as that £25 pays for one of DS's music lessons. And so on...)

Justaboutchilledout: I don't know who you are, but hello all the same. I have - I hope! - been very careful on here not to say anything that I wouldn't say in the school playground just in case anyone did recognise me!

I am indeed trying to manage the boy's hopes/expectations here...

Xenia Thu 15-Nov-12 10:22:36

Another option is yo both taking second jobs or staring a business so that you could pay fees like a lot of mothers do through their wise career choices I suppose.

Because that's really easy.

difficultpickle Thu 15-Nov-12 10:30:34

Why pay full fees if your ds is able to get a scholarship? Some of us do have god jobs and still couldn't afford £33,000 plus extras a year in fees!

The £10,000 I save in school fees is put to very good use so why should the OP not get her very able ds to try for a scholarship?

peteneras Thu 15-Nov-12 11:22:04

If all else fails, Priscilla, then there is the King's Scholarship to go for seeing that your DS is at prep school. In theory, there is a better chance of winning the KS than winning the NFS on the sheer logic of 14 places vs. 4.

If you believe that then you'll believe anything!

But seriously, doesn't your son's prep school prepare boys for the King's Scholarship?

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