My dd wants to go to boarding school but we can't afford the fees...

(34 Posts)
always34never Fri 31-Jan-14 13:28:01

My 14y/old is desperate to go to a boarding school (in the uk) for sixth form but we can't really afford the fees. Dh and I both have full time jobs and earn about 100,000 pounds between us.

In my opinion she could qualify for a scholarship but even then I don't know if we could afford it. Is there any chance of us getting financial support of any kind? She would really love to go.

givemeaclue Fri 31-Jan-14 13:28:56

Have you looked at state boarding schools, you pay for the boarding but the accommodation is free

givemeaclue Fri 31-Jan-14 13:29:24

Not the accommodation! The education!
Pay for boarding, free education

Bowlersarm Fri 31-Jan-14 13:30:11

I would have thought that with an income of £100,000 you wouldn't qualify for a bursary OP.

Shesparkles Fri 31-Jan-14 13:31:24

If you can't afford it, she can't go.

I wanted yo go to boarding school too (nothing at ALL to do with Mallory Towers or anything....) and it was outwith my parents' means, so I didn't go.

Mrswellyboot Fri 31-Jan-14 13:34:12

I would put aside any spare funds for University to be honest.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Fri 31-Jan-14 13:38:55

I agree with Bowlersarm, I doubt that a family with an income of £100k would be eligible for a bursary.

Do you know that she would get a scholarship, or is that just a possibility?

I think what I would do is work out the costs, write it all down and show your DD. If you can't afford it, you can't afford it. However, when it's all down on paper you might see that it is possible.

Also, are there any younger DCs who might expect the same?

meditrina Fri 31-Jan-14 13:39:17

Why does she want to go?

Does she have her eye on a particular school? Or a particular set of options/facilities?

What sort of scholarship might she be in the running for? (Academic, sport, music?) Do the target schools offer them at 6th form, and if somewhat is the value? What is the shortfall of fees you are trying to cover?

Schools can offer means tested bursaries. Do your candidate schools? When will you be able to talk to the bursar about what levels of assistance those specific schools offer?

There are some other grant giving bodies, but they are usually tied to specific family circumstances or to allow children already enrolled in a fee paying school to continue until next academic breakpoint in event of family financial collapse.

The other way to bridge e potential shortfall is to take on extra work, save like fury and re-examine family budget. Also, do you have any assets you could sell, or could you remortgage (essentially spreading the cost over the fees over a new mortgage term)?

morethanpotatoprints Fri 31-Jan-14 13:39:58

Hello OP.

Why does she desperately want to go?
Is there a particular one she has seen/heard of and this is why.
I would examine her reasons first and then start looking on websites.
Sometimes you will find a bursar happy to mail you info on what they look at before offering bursaries.
I think if its something specific she wants to do and bursaries are available you should at least try.

CatAmongThePigeons Fri 31-Jan-14 13:41:45

The bursary schemes I have seen normally would say that an income over £50k wouldn't get a bursary.

Why does she want to board?

TheAwfulDaughter Fri 31-Jan-14 13:42:23

You won't be entitled to any bursaries on your wages. Why does she want to go?

Helpyourself Fri 31-Jan-14 13:45:53

Is she at private school already? Boarding schools regularly knock 20%+ off at VI form for new blood as they struggle to fill the places.

Helpyourself Fri 31-Jan-14 13:47:45

The private school question wasn't to suggest that she'll get a scholarship only if she's at one, btw, just that the jump from full fees day school to boarding with 20% off isn't horrendous on your salaries.

Travelledtheworld Fri 31-Jan-14 14:32:03

British Boarding schools currently are very popular with very wealthy families from China and Russia, who are envious of our education system ! We have one in our small town in the South West.

In addition to the fees for boarding ( think 10,000 per term) you need to consider the cost of exam entry, and all the additional extra curricular activities that private schools offer; riding, skiing, trips to Europe, tennis etc.

And the cost of her travel from your home to the UK at least three times a year. and your travel costs if you want to visit her.

Scholarships tend to offer around 20-30% off regular fees.

Why does she want to go ? Does she understand the implications of leaving her friends and family to study abroad at the age of 16 ? Does she know how horrible the weather is over here ? I hope she doesn't think it is all midnight feasts in the dorm and jolly pranks !

Travelledtheworld Fri 31-Jan-14 14:40:54

Sorry OP I may have misunderstood your post. Are you in the UK or overseas ?

always34never Fri 31-Jan-14 20:21:16

We are over seas but originally from the UK, so yes, she does understand that the weather can be horrible.

Our ds might also expect to go if she went, although I don't think he's as keen on the idea as she is.

I don't think she even considered midnight feast in the dorm, she thinks boarding would be better for her from an academic point of view and would also improve her chances of getting into a good university.
Of course, this is just what she's told me so I could be missing some of the information although we have had numerous conversations on he topic.

OhSoVintage Sat 01-Feb-14 00:45:13

It depends on the school as I know ours does not have an income cap and will take your outgoings into consideration as well as your earnings but I would say its highly unlikely over 50000 unless there are extreme circumstances.

'improve her chances of getting into a good university' Im not so sure about that it depends on your current school set up.

My daughter is at a boarding school and boards part-time, she gets a bursary for some of the fees and the boarding is something the school offered as they felt it would help her because she wasn't coping with the distance.

TBH academically when she was a full time day girl compared with a boarder there is not much difference.

Day girls have the same lessons, stay for prep and academic outings with the boarders etc and get the same education. The only difference is boarders have better down time to relax as there is less traveling unless you are local, they also seem to integrate better socially as they create a bond.
Theres a lot going on at the moment with universities trying to reduce the public school intake which has resulted in a few parents I know actually pulling there children out from various public schools in sixth form because they are scared that the school being private will count against them.

I think if you are unhappy with your current set up and found a school that was very good for your dd academically then great but don't just go to improve your chances of getting into a uni as thats not always the case.
She sounds self motivated anyway which is great, Im sure she will do well. My dd needs a constant push or she will be quite happy to do as little as possible so for her it works great smile

YouAreMyRain Sat 01-Feb-14 12:05:40

Don't send her then. (Is 100k not enough? ��)

derektheladyhamster Sat 01-Feb-14 12:10:03

Is 100k net or gross? my son's school will offer burseries to those on 80K net or less.

CatAssTrophy Sat 01-Feb-14 12:16:39

I think that if you can't afford to offer your other children the same opportunity, then you shouldn't offer it to the eldest.

I imagine that we all wish we could afford to give our children things that will improve their chances in education, but if the money isn't there, then it isn't there.

Not quite the same, but my nephew recently pleaded with my brother and SIL to go on an educational school trip abroad for the week, as it's a country he hopes to live and work in when he's older. It cost £1000.

They couldn't afford it so he didn't get to go.

I think that was also an important life lesson for him to learn. Some things are just out of some people's price range/budget. His parents can't give him everything.

MrsBright Sat 01-Feb-14 14:24:39

Unis are interested in high grades. Being at a UK school wont make ANY difference to her chances if getting a Uni place - its her that counts, not the school.

Mintyy Sat 01-Feb-14 14:28:26

Pesky thing about private education: lots of people can't afford it. I'm really surprised that you think you might qualify for a bursary. Why?

Idespair Sat 01-Feb-14 14:31:53

University is like boarding school. Can't she just wait until then?

Some state boarding schools are brilliant. Ripon Grammar is one of them. Then you'd only have to pay for the boarding aspect so the fees would be much cheaper than other boarding schools.

motherstongue Sat 01-Feb-14 16:16:48

I'm not sure many schools offer scholarships at 20 - 30% these days. Many schools now offer scholarships with as little as 5 or 10%, some with no fee reduction at all, the idea being that the scholarship is really just a status symbol of sorts. This is to prevent a lot of money going to pupils whose parents can afford the fees as it leaves a larger pot for the bursary fund for pupils who really couldn't attend the school without financial help.

If your daughter is fortunate enough to obtain a scholarship and you manage to get a level of fee reduction too then I don't agree with other posters who say don't do for one what you can't do for the others. She will have achieved the scholarship on her own merit and if it can be made possible, why not give her the opportunity. Each child is different, with different aspirations and abilities and I feel you must do what is best for each child.

My DS is at Boarding school in London, we don't live in England. The biggest drawbacks are the costs of flights not just for him but also for anything we need to attend at the school like parents meetings, shows he may be in, parent get-to-gethers (dinners with housemasters, charity events etc), prize giving and so on. Don't underestimate just how expensive all that is. There is also the drawback that exeats are short and even shorter for those who don't live locally by the time they fly home. Even if you are lucky enough to get a bursary it will not cover the travel costs or uniform costs or school trips. I may be wrong but in my experience to get any help with those things you would need 100% bursary or very close to it for a school to be so charitable.

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