Bursary waiting list-any chance?(68 Posts)
Dd1 was offered a full fee paying place at a wonderful school which we loved but we had applied for a bursary.
She is on the bursary waiting list but we have not heard back from the school so I assume it means she has no chance of a place?[Sad]
Has anybody ever been on a bursary list and gone on to get one?
when is the acceptance date deadline ? State school allocations are now out so that may bring about any rejection of places. However if school is small presumably number of offers is also small.
12 noon on 6 march.
Would people really turn down a bursary at an independent school in favour of a state school place though?
I suppose maybe a lot of families will have had offers from other independent schools as well possibly with bigger bursaries?
Dd1 has been offered a SS place too but the ind school is far more suited to her needs (medical issues). I suppose I am just getting my hopes up for nothing was hoping to hear lots of success stories! Never mind
They might if not as much as they hoped for or they were using it as a back up for SS. iirc you are looking for 100% though , which I fear is unlikely if you haven't ben offered anything so far. Did you ask the bursar how often they give that level of bursary ad why you have not met the criteria.
I think it is quite common to turn down bursaries - lots of people don't get offered as much as they need to make it viable and lots of people only apply to private schools as insurance against getting allocated a poor state school. If they then get a fantastic state school offer, they may decide not to accept the private school place.
Whether that means the school will be able to offer you a 100% bursary though is less certain. Do they normally offer these or is it more likely they'll give smaller amounts of help to more children?
Have not even spoken to a bursar-only the admissions secretary every time I have phoned. Tbh I had been expecting things like a home visit/bursary interview but it was just a form.
We were hoping for 100 percent yes.Could possibly stretch to 90 p c lowest but that would be pushing things (although worth it for dd health).
Dd passed the entrance exams hence place offer but other bursary applicants that were offered scored higher than her.
You need to speak to the Bursar. If funds are limited then he/she will have made the decisions with Admissions and will have reviewed your forms. The fact that they haven't followed it up suggests to me that you were not meeting priority criteria for one in which case you possibly hope in vain.
I just can't see how we didn't meet the criteria.
We have no savings at all, dh job is not well paid and our 4 dcs are all in receipt of dla.we have nothing at all so financially we are very badly off.that's why I was so surprised we got nothing I really had all my hopes pinned on a place.
Perhaps dd1 just didn't do well enough in tests, she did pass them and got offer of full fee place.
I did worry beforehand as we couldn't get her a tutor, I can only think it was that. She did her best though and still passed so I am proud of her.
I would think it very unlikely to not be awarded anything and then get a full or even 90% bursary from the waiting list tbh. Have you asked them how likely it is that she will be offered anything?
Someone I know told me she just turned down an academic and sporting scholarship for her dd as she subsequently got an offer from another school who they just preferred the feel of.
Scholarships are quite often turned down, but will not affect the bursary pot.
The reason IMO that these are turned down is that they can be quite small, I even know one person who was offered 4% (yes, 4 )
There is little point speculating. She obviously did well enough but somehow the criteria for the bursary - at any level - weren't met. Those criteria should have been stated up front, if there has been a misunderstanding then you need to have it cleared up, but if you have been given false hope then is that really a school ethos you want to participate in anyway ? I've not come across a "wait list" for bursary places. Once allocated they are usually either taken up or the money returns to the pot for fresh applications, such as existing pupils, or occasionally to up other offers if they really want the pupil.
I was just surprised dd did well enough to pass and get offered a place but no bursary and our finances are really dire.
I guess it is just bad luck and perhaps this year a lot of people applied.
I hope dd doesn't feel she has failed ?
I just cannot see how we couldn't have met any criteria we had to supply every bit of paperwork in the world!
We have a council house so no possibility of realising money from re mortgaging, bank acc very overdrawn, we have huge debts, no family who could help with fees etc would the dla have affected it as it looks a lot on paper but ob goes on dcs and their various needs.
If I could I would work in order to pay the fees but I have to care for dcs so can't.
I just don't really understand how we might not have met the criteria
You said that they offered people who scored higher bursaries, maybe they are in the same financial position as you but they got offered due to the exam results i.e they wanted their DCs more?
Sorry if that sounds harsh, I don't mean to be at all but think you should be realistic with the waiting list.
You need to ask the Bursar. There is also the possibility that even a full bursary might stretch you with ongoing extras. Sorry but I am doubtful this will become a reality and you seem to have invested an awful lot into this one option. What is your dh and dd's opinion ? Please follow advice on other thread re statement so you can get the best out of the ss , just in case.
I told her how proud I was that she passed and with no tutoring.
I made sure she knew she had done really well but that the school just didn't have a bursary available for her. She keeps asking "is there a little hope I might still get a place?".she really loved the school and I feel guilty for getting her hopes up I just assumed with how poor we are coupled with how bright she is that we would get her a place especially given her other problems.
I really did have all my hopes pinned on it I feel awful now for being so naïve. I really thought we had a chance.
It was just so perfect for dd1. I will accept her SS place but will be finding out about statement as she will encounter huge difficulties there and Iam concerned.
All I can do is make the best of the situation
Can you reapply at another date? 13+ say?
I really don't think anything will change unless you speak to the school's Bursar direct. If you just wait I fear nothing will happen, the offer will lapse and you will be none the wiser. iirc you have a younger dd who you hoped might also got here so you need to know one way or another if a future application is worthwhile.
Yes I have another dd but she is only 3 so its a long way off but she has same medical issues and other problems so would like her to attend for same reasons
I will phone tomorrow and ask to speak to the bursar.
"I just can't see how we didn't meet the criteria."
"how poor we are coupled with how bright she is that we would get her a place especially given her other problems."
You may have met the criteria your daughter may have done very well in the exam she might even have doe better with a tutor but you want a 100% bursary and these are basically are few and far between, the bottom line is that few schools even the really wealthy ones like Eton are dishing many of those out. The size of bursaries offered hangs on how big the bursary pot is and how many apply for the money. Logic would tell you that most schools would rather offer 33% bursaries to three children than a 100% bursary to one. There is no point going over what you should have done you need to get on the phone to the bursar and have an up front and open conversation. I sure he has absolutely no doubt how much you need to send your DD but you need to simply say I need to be honest with my daughter and I cant let her keep hoping that a place might become available if its a no hoper, I need 100% and need to know if this is even remotely possible what are the chances of enough dropping out for this too happen before the deadline people?
Frankly I'm sorry to have to say this but I've been in the bursary game in a variety of independent schools for many years I think your chances are pretty slim.
"with my daughter and I cant let her keep hoping that a place might become available if its a no hoper
Arrgghh meant to say be honest with him my daughter is desperately hoping she'll get a place and I cant let her keep hoping that a place might become available if its a no hoper!
Its just so difficult as she has done well enough for the school to offer a place but only a full fee place which we cannot afford.
They put in the letter she did well enough to be placed on the bursary waiting list but couldn't tell me her place on the list.
"Its just so difficult as she has done well enough for the school to offer a place but only a full fee place which we cannot afford."
I feel for you. But unfortunately passing the exams are not enough. You want a large bursary and they may simply not be enough money. Big names schools have more money (although even many of them aren't offering 100%) I only know of about three or four who are guaranteeing bursaries of this size.
I made it very clear I needed a large bursary so I was surprised with a full fee offer. I assumed they would either offer a bursary place or no place as I have stated all along we could not afford it otherwise.
Or does this actually happen a lot? Do people say they can't afford it then find the fees somehow? I just don't understand that if they knew we had no money from our form/paperwork that they offered a full price place? [Sad]
Yes it happens a lot. People do not always get offered the bursary they actually need to enable them to send a child to the school. To a parent this is completely illogical - the school has had the paperwork, knows how much you can afford so why offer a place without the funding needed as well?
But times are really hard for a lot of people - there will be children already at the school whose parents have lost one income through redundancy or whose salaries have been slashed who will also be asking the school for help.
There will be more parents applying for bursaries at the outset than in previous years and generally bursary disappointment seems to be common this year. A school only has so much money - if dozens of really able pupils apply all needing substantial bursaries, the school might have to choose between giving out one 100% bursary or splitting the offer more ways. In previous years, if less applied or qualified for a bursary, such tough decisions wouldn't be needed.
There have been a few posts on MN this year about the issue and it seems bursaries just arent being offered at the levels people have expected or hoped for. It is nothing you have done wrong and no reflection on your daughters ability. It seems it is just schools being asked to stretch finite funds further than they are asked to do most years.
I think I really expected a bursary offer or no offer as I had said so many times how I couldn't do it without a bursary.
To see the words "we are pleased to offer your daughter a place in year 7" followed by the next paragraph
"Unfortunately demand for bursaries was high but (dd) did sufficiently well to be placed on the bursary waiting list" just made my heart soar and then sink.
I so wanted her to go there it was such a wonderful lovely school and just perfect for her. I feel guilty for getting her hopes up, for showing her round a school she loved and now can't go to. I have let her down and now she will have a place at a school where she got ill on the tour day as it was just too much walking for her.
The landscape is not so dire, there are more than three or four schools offering full fee assistance. But those bursaries will always go first to the children who have scored in the top 4 or 5% in the exam. And waiting lists for bursaries do exist because those top scorers get offered more than one and thus turn down others - we have turned down three and hopefully made some other family happy. However, one school has put us on the waiting list for the bursary, just like you, and offered a full paying fee which of course we can't afford to accept. The advice you got here is right, talk to the bursar. Find out your chances. But start being positive about the SS, it's the best you can do now for your DD.
The SS is a lovely school. Just not 'right' for dd1 due to her pproblems hence me (stupidly) putting all my efforts into the ind school.
I didn't even know till the other day about whether statements could be obtained for a child with just physical probs like dd I assumed they were only for those with learning difficulties.
I saw how she struggled and was unwell the afternoon after the tour of the SS.
I only applied for 1 ind school as although dd probably had a chance of a bursary elsewhere they too were larger schools so it would have been same issue as with the SS.
I just wish I had been more realistic I honestly thought she would get a place.
ariane - I really hope something comes of your talk with the bursar. You sound very down about it all but try not to be. If you hadn't gone for it, you'd never have known and would have always wondered. There is still hope and you never know what might happen in the next few weeks.
With that in mind though, you also need to focus on the school you've been offered. Ring the SENCo and ask to speak to them about how they are going to manage DD's condition and her medical needs. The size of the site may be huge but perhaps there are timetabling solutions that will help and other things they can suggest. It is so hard when you have seen the ideal school and really want a place there not to consider the allocated school a poorer option in comparison but maybe there are things that can be done to make it much more workable for your DD?
I am not hopeful as in order to make things easier for dd at the SS it could possibly isolate her greatly. On a bad day when she is in pain/exhausted/fainting it will be a choice of staying at home and missing school or they would have to find somewhere for her to work where she could stay sitting down but then she would be isolated from her peers as they would be going from lesson to lesson.dd wants to be the same as her school friends she hates to appear different and at the ind school with it being so so tiny she would have had to do a minimal amount of walking around such a small site that her problems would not be as apparent.
I don't know what to do. I will def get in touch with the SS though and start trying to find solutions to the many many problems dd will encounter there.
It is a really good school, outstanding in every area and different circumstances I'd be thrilled but unfortunately it will be difficult.
State school solutions could involve the whole class though. It is not in your daughter's interests to be taught alone. In my DD's case, an example of solutions offered include making sure the timetable for the entire class only involves downstairs classrooms (she cannot cope well with stairs). In your DD's case, they could make sure her tutor group room is the most central one available and timtable all general classroom lessons only in rooms a short distance from there. Obviously the science labs are fixed as are D.T rooms but there's no reason they cannot teach History in any room (and indeed they are required to make such reasonable adjustments as this) to minimise walking.
P.E teachers will be well used to differentiation for numerous medical conditions and there will be other children who have differing requirements who will be catered for too. The advantage of a huge school is that they see a huge range of differing needs and many children are in the same boat of needing adjustments made.
They can make sure she has a locker in the classroom so never has to carry heavy equipment around. They can organise online work for her to do when she is too ill to attend. There is a lot that can be done and is done by state schools to help.
Dd does not manage stairs well either. I would worry though-would the other children know their class was different due to dd? I am very aware that being 'different' could lead to problems and dd is very sensitive about her problems and hates people to know.
I suspect part of your problem was that it was a "small school" in my now nearly 10 years of experience of getting bursaries for my DC's "small schools" generally have small bursary pots.
I too don't know why they offer a place but no bursary knowing you need one fortuneately this has never happened to us we've failed to get bursaries from some schools but not been offeredw place and no bursary it does seem particularly cruel. I just want to add to anyone who might be readying this that large bursaries are not for those who come in the top 4-5% in the entrance exams especially those who select 11 for 13-+ entry. In these schools bursaries are generally offered before entrance exams are even sat because they are often sat in June.
There is a very simple approach to take when it comes to bursaries identify a school you like work out how large a bursary you are going to realistically need and approach the bursar especially if it's a large one to see whether or not they have or are able to consider bursaries of this size. Try and do this if posdible before going to far down the admissions process and if possible before showing your DC the school.
I saw the headteacher not the bursar, perhaps that was wrong? I did ask was it worth applying given that 1) we needed such a large bursary and 2) we could not afford tutoring (all dds friends were having extensive 11+ tutoring.
The headteacher was lovely about it all and said I should bring dd to open days etc. I don't think for a minute theu gave me false hope probably more a case of me being too hopeful.
I was surprised we didn't have a home visit from a bursar but assumed that some schools maybe didn't do this.
ariane5, good luck, and try not to beat yourself up. As others have said, you have to go for the long shots otherwise you never know. If it had worked out, you would have done the right thing - and it might have done. If they say she is on the bursary waiting list then you can't have been far off - if the (I suspect very few) people above her had not applied, or passed the exam.
I am no expert but I would now do two things I think: get some specialist advice on what sort of provision the allocated school can and should make, and contact them as soon as possible to get the ball rolling (maybe post on the SEN board for advice about any organisations that could help you); and talk to the bursar or registrar of the independent for your own peace of mind, and so that you know the situation if you decide to have another go - it is also worth asking f they have any advice (you never know).
Even on a small site, there can be a lot of walking around depending on how the timetabling is done, and how the routine of school life pans out for a particular individual (if they happen to choose clubs at opposite ends of the site for example!). And schools seem to vary massively in how they organise the timetable - some keep yr 7/8 in one classroom or small block of them, and teachers come to them.
As your dd's problems will be apparent (presumably to her classmates), I think I would also approach the school about this, ask how they manage it, what information the other kids will be given, how they deal with name-calling, the detail of the bullying policy, and so on.
You sound like a wonderful mother. Good luck to you all.
The criteria for bursaries depends on the school.
I was at 2 different schools over secondary who had places on the "Assisted places" scheme.
The first took all the people who had passed and had said that they wanted to be considered for a bursary. Then it gave the offer to the children who needed it most. So most getting it would be 100% of fees, and often uniform and lunch too.
The second took the children who had passed and gave the bursaries to the top 20. Meaning often the bursaries were not as valuable generally.
My dm worked in a school that claimed about 30 bursaries available. However 20-25 were tied up with where you lived. I think at least 20 you had to live in the town it was officially in (despite it being nearer to another town). Some were even tied up with which road you lived in. So if you lived in certain roads you would get offered one as long as you passed.
So that is different ways you may not have met the criteria.
That might explain it I think as I was struggling to see how with our financial situation we wouldn't have met the criteria.
I think it has more to do with other things and I do not know all the bursary criteria for the school concerned so I can't even begin to guess.
I am still really upset but have phoned the SS and they will be getting in touch about an appt to discuss dds problems.They were lovely on the phone.
No school in UK is rich enough to give bursaries to every applicant on a low income. There are 30 or so which are publicly aiming for full 'needs blind' admissions, but none has managed it (though Manchester Grammar is coming close)
Yes, you have to prove to the school's satisfaction what your income is. But that's only half the process. They are also deciding which of the bursary candidates they most want to take and this are the ones to whom they make offers. This might be highest score on entrance exam, but is probable also combined with interview performance and other achievement/aptitude. You will drive yourself mad if you try to second guess the performance of other applicants.
large bursaries are not for those who come in the top 4-5% in the entrance exams especially those who select 11 for 13-+ entry. In these schools bursaries are generally offered before entrance exams are even sat because they are often sat in June.
middleclassonbursary, this could be true for 13+, I don't know, but it is certainly not my experience for 11+. All the schools DS applied to were not willing to discuss bursaries except in very general terms till he had sat the exam. And they were very clear about it. We were going at it blindly and had no other choice than raising DS hopes without knowing our chances. All we had was an idea of an income threshold but nothing else. We submitted all papers and had a couple of home visits after the exams. One of them said they visit the home of all bursary applicants, the other one only the homes of the children high up on the list. Only after the whole exam and interview process we were offered places with bursary. We were told it was because of his high score plus interview plus school report, they all have a long list of bursary applicants and it makes sense they first offer them to the DC they most want. The 4 to 5% figure is what I was told at the school he has finally chosen, it could be different at others.
ariane5, I feel for you. We are in the same position with two offers of fee-paying and could only afford to go with a bursary. I felt so so horrid, dragging DD through all these lovely schools, doing all the prep, exams and interviews only to say in the end, "I am sorry we can't afford to go." DD was sad, I know that. She even told the dinner lady at her school about it.
I frantically rang the schools who offered us a fee paying place and asked what are our chances. Both schools were very honest with us and told us where we are on the waiting list. In one school, we do have a fighting chance because we are higher on the list and the other probably none because we are way down. They did say they wouldn't know the movement is until after the acceptance date and I have asked whether we could have an extension with our acceptance date.
Please don't feel very down with this. It is not a reflection on DD or you. At the start of this journey, I myself didn't know how keenly fought bursaries are and had assume if we get a place, we'll get some help because of our income. Little did I know lots of other people are in the same boat and there is a ranking system for bursary allocation as well.
I'm so glad I saw this thread. We are in a different position.Dc has been offered a full bursary but is on the 13+ waiting list for a place. Hoping so much that it will all work out in the end not least because it is his 1st choice and a short walk away.
I feel guilty too shikin, we had only applied for the 1 ind school but had gone to the open days etc and dd Loved it.
She spent every evening and weekend doing her bond workbooks and reading and for nothing
Why don't you just ring the bursar, ariane?
The only person I have been able to speak to is the admissions secretary at the school-doesnt seem to be a bursar there??
It is a gdst school-the bursary forms got sent to an address in London is that where the bursar would be based?
Have spoken to the school again, they were lovely and very helpful but I don't think there Is much chance of a place for dd by the deadline. I will have everything crossed though just in case as it is such a wonderful school.
I'll cross my fingers for you too! I know how awful it is. At the end of the day, it will be small blip and I am sure DD knows you only have her best interest at heart and wanted to do the right thing for her.
There is no standard policy for bursaries it all depends on how wealthy the school is and how they choose the children for bursaries. In most schools there will be a bursar and although the head may have some input into who gets a bursary it is the bursar who holds the purse strings and does the number crunching and when the push comes to the shove both are implementing the wishes of the school governors. Neither of course know how many people will apply year on year and also how much money will be applied for. OP I suspect you've done nothing wrong or your DD for that matter but you've just been unlucky.
Splitbrain a relatively small group of senior schools eg Eton Winchester St Pauls and others who start in yr 9 are trying hard to move over to a needs blind admission policy although certainly Eton and Winchester are not yet offering many 100% bursaries most encourage parents to apply for a bursary early in the admission process to get an idea of what might be on the table if a place was offered. This is really the fairest way and saves disappointment like that very sadly being experienced by the OP and her DD.
Finally in all the years we've been on a bursary we have never had a home visit!
GDST Bursary page - however they do say full fee awards (for those with income of less than 19.5k with no assets) are rare but looks like they are handled by each school so that should be your first port of call.
I have experience of bursaries for GDST.
The central GDST office works out the value of your bursary based on the information on the form you submit about your income etc.
The school you have applied for is told what amount of bursary you 'can' be offered.
Each school holds an amount of money for bursaries and has control of how they allocate their funds based on the information passed to them from the central office.
Lots of girls apply to GDST schools as they are known to offer a number of bursaries. These schools say they want to enable girls who would benefit from this type of EDUCATION to be able to attend and not be prohibited by lack of income.
They look at the highest scoring candidates who qualify for a bursary and decide how they want to allocate their money. A girl who scores very highly might be offered 100% if eligible for this amount. Girls scoring less well will be offered less if the money has been used higher up the ability list.
They want to admit the girls who excell in the exams and / or excell in areas such as music, sports and art.
Unfortunately there will be many girls who pass the exam who are looking for a bursary and realistically to get a substantial sum you have to really stand out as they want these girls in their school.
I speak from experience of being offered more than one 100% bursary.
"however they do say full fee awards (for those with income of less than 19.5k with no assets) are rare"
Sadly for the OP and many others 100% bursaries are rare it doesn't matter who you apply too.
We got a bursary for dd!!
Not 100% but a high enough percentage for us to be able to. 'Top up' the difference! We had to sit down and go through all our finances but by reducing weekly food shopping bill, changing dh car insurance and getting rid of majority of our sky channels we can save a lot of money.
A lot of the expensive school trips we will not have to worry about as dd cannot do a lot of things due to health (skiing for example) so she couldn't have gone even if we had the money.
Luckily books, exam fees etc inc in fees so we can just scrape through.dd is so excited!
How fab! Congratulations. Not all children can afford to go on school trips even at private schools and you may find that having a bursary means you get the trips that are essential subsidised.
I am not sure about subsidised trips but I will ask, the only big expense will be uniform but my parents have offered to help with that luckily-we had been hoping to get second hand but the school are changing the uniform for sep so we have to get dd new.
It was hard working out where we could cut back as have 3 other dcs and don't want them going without so we had to be careful but we can just manage it, dh will be working extra hours at weekends too so with a lot of careful planning, budgeting and hard work we will get there.
It is such a lovely school and so perfect for dd, I am beyond thrilled for her.
Are they changing all the uniform or just bits? Also check whether there are bits that you don't have to get from the school shop. I had to sit down when I bought ds's uniform (nearly £700). It was more than double his previous school uniform.
what wonderful news!!! so happy for you and DD
They are changing the whole uniform so it is bound to cost a lot. I am lucky that my parents can help a bit with that but they have made it clear they are in no position to help any further as do not have the money.
I will def check if some bits can be purchased cheaper elsewhere.
We did joke that if its too much dd will have to have it all far too big to grow into !
Wonderful news. I am really pleased you got the offer and DD got the school she wants.
So pleased for you! Hope your DD has a great time.
Wonderful news! Your dd must feel so happy!
Considering that the top up of the fees needs so much careful planning from your part,may I suggest that you contact the school bursar and ask by what percentage have the fees increased in the past 5 years so that you can forecast the possible increase in future? Some increase fees by 2% others by as much as 4.5%, and it varies year on year.
All the best!
Fantastic news Ariane! Wishing your dd all the best
Congratulations and well done to your dd!
Well done Ariane! I am so pleased for your and your dd that she got the bursary in the end.
That is really great news for your dd! I went to a gdst school - she will have a great education.
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