private school bursary and top up funding

(23 Posts)
sausagesandwich34 Sat 09-Feb-13 23:19:20

short boast -really proud of dd, scored very highly in entrance exam and been offered a place

however, I spoke to the bursar prior to applying to discuss possibility of bursary and they told me on past years I should get a very healthy bursary -otherwise we wouldn't have applied

unfortunately it's not healthy enough bursary and not what I was advised she would get

is there any way of obtaining additional funding from anywhere at all

I was keen for her to go, but on the strength of her exam scores, I'm even more for her to go but I genuine can't see how I can find the amount they are stating in fees

does anyone have any advice?

adeucalione Sun 10-Feb-13 07:28:49

I'm not aware of any additional sources of funding but previous threads on here have suggested that it is possible to go back to the school and negotiate. Failing that, I can only think of asking grandparents to contribute.

twoterrors Sun 10-Feb-13 09:44:03

I would ask to see the calculations, if you haven't already, given if it is different from what you were led to expect.

Assuming they haven't just pulled a number out of the air - which would be shocking given how you were effectively encouraged to apply - that will tell you exactly how the school thinks you can find the amount. They may be expecting you to remortgage for example.

Then you can see where the differences lie - or there might be a mistake or misunderstanding. If it still is not clear I would ask why you were given different information before you applied. As long as you do all this politely, all you are doing is demonstrating how keen and committed to the school you are. If they can't or won't answer these questions, then tbh I would question their commitment to you in the long term - they should understand that you need to feel secure not just about the first year but for your daughter's time in the school and to do that you need to understand the system - and consider other schools.

And finally, ask the school if they are aware of other sources of funding. That will come down to very specific circumstances.

LIZS Sun 10-Feb-13 09:46:09

Who advised you ? It may be they are helping more, equally worthy candidates so the fund has been spread wider this year. Have you asked to negotiate ?

meditrina Sun 10-Feb-13 10:04:38

If you cannot afford to take the place there without additional assistance, then you have nothing to lose by negotiation.

Before doing that, you need to establish how much more you need so you are clear what you are asking for.

And bear in mind that the school's bursary pot may be emptier than usual, or indeed empty - if for example there are existing pupils whose families have suffered a major reverse (death, long-term illness, redundancy etc) they will have first call on available funds, and of course what they want to offer to any other new entrants (whose families may be poorer than you, and whose child even more brilliant).

sausagesandwich34 Sun 10-Feb-13 10:41:12

It was the bursar's office that I spoke to and got the advice from

Only got the letter yesterday so not been able to talk to the school about it

She apparently has been awarded the highest level offered this year so it does look like they have more bursary applicants than in previous years

I will see if I can speak to them tomorrow about the award -as you say, I've nothing to lose from it

eminemmerdale Sun 10-Feb-13 11:03:52

It's worth asking to negotiate. Possibly other families will be in a similar position and turn down the place, possibly freeing up some more funds. Good luck.

bevelino Sun 10-Feb-13 15:33:02

Congratulations on your dd being offered a place. If exam scores are outstanding some schools offer a scholarship with bursary top up, to bridge the shortfall in the scholarship award. It will depend on what funds are available and how many other children have been offered a bursary.

racingheart Sun 10-Feb-13 17:42:03

Definitely worth trying to negotiate. Can you tactfully refer to the original amount they suggested she would be eligible for?
If her grades were very high, can you ask about a scholarship top up?

If not, best bets are to ask relatives to help out (only if you know they have the money); to remortgage to cover the shortfall; or get a lodger? You can earn over £5k tax free by having a lodger these days - that, plus a bursary might cover a couple of terms fees each year and then you only have one term to find?

shushpenfold Sun 10-Feb-13 17:45:45

Warning - if it's a bursary, they will have your financial details already (I am assuming) and they will be expecting you to make some significant sacrifices to afford her to go the the school, including possible remortgage etc. Do talk to them again, but be prepared for them to possibly not budge....scholarships are usually low but with no financial info, bursaries are worked out very carefully though.

sausagesandwich34 Sun 10-Feb-13 17:53:55

Scholarships aren't linked to any financial awards

I don't have enough equity to remortgage and they know that as I have already submitted all my financial info

If I pay the fees they want it will leave me with £650 a month for utility bills, food, insurance, child care, clothes and travel costs for 3 of us -single parent family

I feel like I've let dd down hmm

Asking family isn't an option

shushpenfold Sun 10-Feb-13 17:59:22

As you say, scholarships are unfortunately just a percentage award...same for rich or poorer - some schools do massive ones (50%), lots do 5-15% though. You need to talk to them again about the bursary, but make sure that you go with hard figures of why you can't live on £650 a month....show the maths, show that you've scrimped and saved and still can't make it work. If they then have the extra in the budget AND (sorry to say it) they want your dd enough, they may 'up' the bursary.

ninjahamster Mon 11-Feb-13 07:44:17

I feel for you, we received the news our son has a place at a local independent school but no bursary so he cannot go. He is devastated. Our headteacher has given us details of a local trust that may be able to help us so worth asking your primary head teacher?

wordfactory Mon 11-Feb-13 10:51:40

OP I would contact the bursar and just lay it on the line.

What harm can it do?

There are some grant awarding bodies too but you will have to really search. Some of the criteria are very specific
www.fismagazine.co.uk/fundraising/grants/

You could see if you Reference Library has a copy of this
www.amazon.co.uk/The-Guide-Educational-Grants-2011-2012/dp/190629447X/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_2

NTitled Mon 11-Feb-13 12:53:07

No advice at all, but watching with interest as we are likely to be in a similar position. And a massive 'well done' to your DD. She has done fantastically well, and she's lucky to have such a fab and supportive mum. smile

derektheladyhamster Mon 11-Feb-13 14:25:43

Our bursary leaves us with £1000/month and that's tight enough!

sausagesandwich34 Mon 11-Feb-13 14:46:04

well I've made an appointment at the school on Thursday and I've been asked to bring bank statements, mortgage statements etc

fingers crossed

ninjahamster Mon 11-Feb-13 17:40:44

fantastic - well done, hope it has a great outcome. I'm putting off emailing to reject the place for my son even though I know he cannot go! Must do it tonight!

newgirl Mon 11-Feb-13 17:46:28

welcome to the squeezed middle! we are in a similar position and I think this year there may well be lots of people who may have managed to pay fees in the past and can't now.

Another idea is to wait to send your child in two years intime for gcse study. Not ideal but saves you two years fees.

shushpenfold Tue 12-Feb-13 06:31:02

It's good news that they're calling you in....good luck!

SushiMum Tue 12-Feb-13 18:33:32

We are likely to be in a similar position as well and I am very interested in what you hear from the school on Thursday.

Last year, one of my friends successfully negotiated to push up the bursary amount by offering to do some volunteer work for the school (teaching Korean language at after school club etc.). It might be worth a try?

BTW, we had meetings and home visits with all the bursars of the schools our dd sat for exam and two of them told us that the number of bursary applications for 2013 have shot up by 300% in comparison to 2010. Last year was 200% up. Our kids are apparently "the Millennium baby boomers" (sigh)

nappyqueen Wed 13-Feb-13 15:17:29

A great thing to do for yourself as well as bursary applications etc is a family budget covering weekly, monthly and annual income and outgoings. Our interest outgoings which is all they seem to ask about isn't much but other payments and commitments are. Showing how you budget tightly for your family shows them you are trying your best too. Fingers crossed for you, I'm awaiting next year's figures for 2 kids :-$

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