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bursary silly question really.

(29 Posts)
morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Feb-13 17:22:49

Ok, so supposing you were assessed for a means tested bursary for full fees of either 23k or 30k depending on day or boarding.

1.What would this entail?
2.what sort of finance would they be looking at other than income?
3.What might affect your eligibility?

Rosevase Wed 06-Feb-13 17:32:38

1. Full disclosure on all finances, including but not linited to equity in house and any income both from primary job and other. You must declare all savings, etc and complete full and detailed forms on expenses.
2. As above. Rental income, shares if any. Basically everything.
3. If school decides you ought to cash in shares or sell a house instead to fund school fees, they will suggest that instead.
Ideally, they will be fair and just in expecting you to do all you can to release funds. They will not take kindly to excessive lifestyle choices and may make the sums tight so that at some stage during the 5/7 years or whatever, you will have to remortgage. But they ought to also consider the family as a whole. It is a very complicated and detailed equation they do.

Rosevase Wed 06-Feb-13 17:39:51

That was a more a general bursary answer, sorry.

A full bursary is very rare. They tend (in my limited experience) to go to children of very low income families. Normally, a family can make some contribution, however low their income. They will still look at everything, coming in and out.

Points of concern would be if a parent was not working and choosing to stay at home instead, but it would be part of a full process of consideration.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Feb-13 17:43:05

Thanks Rosevase

We couldn't afford these fees at all, but we do own our own home. DD was left money in trust but can't access until 18 and she is 9.
We have no savings and one full time min wage income.
As you can tell we don't have an excessive lifestyle. We have 2 older dc still at home aged 18 and 21.
I think the home ownership may go against us I'm not sure.

Could you please tell me whether this is done on a sliding scale. Maybe not entitled to full bursary, but partial.

The school in question assesses everyone they accept and it is selective specialist I think it has charitable status and/or outside funding.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Feb-13 17:45:05

sorry cross posted there, thank you very much

Baiji Wed 06-Feb-13 17:46:35

I think they would wonder why only one of you was working as your youngest is nine.

Baiji Wed 06-Feb-13 17:47:35

Those fees are quite eywatering, BTW.

meditrina Wed 06-Feb-13 17:48:57

Whether it's done on a sliding scale, and what the maximum award might be, is totally up the school and too variable to be able to give a useful answer.

You are not necessarily expected to mortgage to release equity (policy for some, schools, or if adding repayments to straightened household clearly and obviously wrecks the family budget). Unless there are small children or exceptional circumstances, it is likely they would expect both parents to work.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Feb-13 17:50:48


I don't work as dd is presently H.ed, but I do appreciate this is a lifestyle choice.
My dh is self employed and I do help with the business alot but not officially paid. I do general book keeping (to a fashion) couldn't do any body elses though, as all over the shop, lol. I do office duties for his business as well.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Feb-13 18:10:19


Whats even more unbelievable is the school is not in the South. Very exclusive in terms of selection and maybe not for us, depending on the atmosphere and ethos. I wanted to look at bursary before applying and getting dds hopes raised.

difficultpickle Wed 06-Feb-13 20:48:25

Fees don't seem eyewatering to me, in fact boarding fees seem slightly lower than the schools I've looked at.

Usually they will expect you to work unless there is a good reason why you can't work. They may also expect you to use equity in your house. If you own your own house I assume you don't have a mortgage. The school may expect you to remortgage to cover part of the fees. If you do work unofficially then it may be better to have a salary via your dh which may not increase your overall household income (ie dh allocates some of his income to you).

I would speak to the bursar as each school is different. They should be able to give you an indication of what may be available.

JoanByers Wed 06-Feb-13 20:55:15

The day fees are certainly outlandish, but not that out of kilter for a boarding school.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Feb-13 21:02:46

I have just gone back and read about the finances and bursaries are awarded to those who don't qualify for the grant.
Apparentely the grant if awarded covers fees, uniform, travel, board (if you choose),. The grant is awarded on income alone, now I'm even more confused. Apparentely you can earn a small fortune before you pay fees. I don't really want to say which school in case everybody decides to apply, but is this normal.
Also if many don't pay full fees, most are subsidised, why make them so expensive to begin with.
I'm sorry if I sound rather dim here.

JoanByers Wed 06-Feb-13 21:11:54

Lol I don't think people will apply to this school because of a thread on here.

It is not normal for schools to be needs blind in this country. Christs Hospital is one that is something of an exception, but it balances that I think with a certain indifference towards the wishes of parents, who at a school where most were paying £30k/year, would not be tolerated - most parents who have the cash for private would go for a school without this plurality of bursary children.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Feb-13 21:20:52

Thank you Joan.
We have a lot to consider but it seems like a good bet if there are many who will be in a similar position to us. I was a little worried that many of the parents would be very rich and dd wouldn't fit in, as when I've seen it on t.v programmes they were all very well to do. Not that I have a problem with this but how ever talented our dd is we would not want to subject her to feeling like a fish out of water. I suppose the rich will still send their dcs and rightly so but a nice mix would be good.

Sorry to be a pain, but is there any way I could find out the majority type of people attending?

Thank you again for your help.

JoanByers Wed 06-Feb-13 21:22:42

If you name the school people might have more info.

Also turn up on a school prize day or something like that and see what kind of cars are there.

hardboiled Wed 06-Feb-13 22:06:56

OP, none of my business but is she going from home ed to boarding? That could be quite a shock to her...? Just food for thought...

We have been applying for bursaries and if you really can't pay the fees they will be able to asses that and see that - be prepared to give copies of ALL your bank accounts and receive a home visit too. You don't need to be a "low income" family, if you're middle class but unable to pay and your child has performed high in the entrance exams then you may have a chance. Don't know about the house though, we rent...

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Feb-13 22:14:36

Hello hardboiled.

I don't mind you asking at all.

Yes she would be going from H.ed although she did attend school until this academic year, also she wouldn't board as we live close enough to the school.
It isn't an selective by academic exam as such, although I know from the results that academically they do well. It is very selective in another area however. I'm a bit puzzled with class because I think we are definitely working class, but seem to live the life of a middle class family in some respects. It is really hard to know if dd will fit in.
I don't like mentioning the school because in the past I have received negative comments about dds ambition that were really uncalled for, although on here people have been very helpful.

hardboiled Wed 06-Feb-13 22:30:12

I see, that makes sense. Good luck to your DD. Don't let people convince you you're aiming too high...some parents do look kind of green in the playground lately and I can't imagine what shade they may turn next week when the offers start arriving for everyone. Thank God for the half-term.

Remember, you will never know unless you try.

difficultpickle Wed 06-Feb-13 22:44:55

I assume it is C in which case you could have access to DfE funding.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Feb-13 22:47:17

Thanks hardboiled.

Alot of people think I'm some kind of tiger mom, but all the ambition comes from dd. Her older dss were not at all ambitious despite years of encouragement, nurturing their academic abilities and support. They are all different. I will go to some open days, prize giving or such like and have a good nose. Its also good that she could join in juniors, seniors, almost any year prior to starting GCSE so we'll see how it goes.
Thanks for the lovely comments.

middleclassonbursary Wed 06-Feb-13 22:51:48

Firstly £30 000 is about average or even just below the big names are now charging just shy of £34 0000 for full boarding! Nearly all schools have charitable status and will claim to offer bursaries of varying sizes. Some of the big names Eton Winchester St Pauls are trying very hard to move over to the idea of providing an outstanding education irrespective of financial circumstances. But these three and others like them are exceedingly wealthy in their own right and also have many wealthy alumni who are also bank rolling the bursary fund. There is no hard and fast rule for any school and it is not impossible for the same child to be offered a 50% reduction from one school and a 75% reduction from another it just depends how big their bursary pot is how many are applying and importantly how much they want your child. You will be expected to declare everything including assists saving shares value mortgage rent etc. Some also want to know your food budget council tax petrol bill utilities etc. As a general principle you will be expected to use saving etc and many schools will expect you to be living in an average house of average rent/price for your area so if for example you're living in a 10 bedroomed house and there’s only four living at home they would most likely expect you to downsize to free up capital or reduce your mortgage but there no hard and fast rule. If you have no mortgage you might be expected to take out a mortgage to free up capitol. There is also no hard and fast rule for salaries there are a lot of comments on MN about how you can’t get a bursary if you earn more than £40 000 PA but obviously you would need to earn significantly more than that to fund fees of £30 000 PA. You say you don’t work but home ed. Again some may take a dim view of this others may support your decision not all expect you too work with primary aged children.
We’ve had our DC’s on substantial bursaries (a 60% reduction) for over 9 years they are at boarding school in my now extensive experience many schools talk a good talk on their website but in reality fail to live up to their promises. There is only one rule in this situation speak to the bursar be completely honest and realistic about the % reduction you’re going to need. Tell to him” I’m going to need a 75% reduction” (or whatever) ask him outright “do you ever award bursaries of this size” explain you’re are not asking him to decide on your individual case but you do need to know if such a large award is something they would even consider before you waste your time, the schools time and most importantly raise your DC’s hopes unnecessarily. Most bursars are approachable and hopefully getting more able to be up front and confirm that they will consider a large reduction or that this is outside of their budget.
I've just read about the "grant" I don’t really understand what it’s all about either and I know a lot about bursaries as already said if you named the school it would help although I can understand if your reluctant too.
Joan mentioned Christ’s Hospital they are very generous with their bursaries and well worth looking at they have entries at 11+ and 13+.
At the end of the day you may have to decide how much you want this and what you’re prepared to sacrifice. We on paper have a way about average income ( we are not eligible for child benefit) but choose to channel it into school fees, we don’t own a house, have life insurance or a pension we drive cheapish cars and have one cheap holiday a year, no trips to the opera, fancy restaurants or exotic holidays. But we are not living hand to mouth either I shop in Waitrose buy primarily fair trade and my clothes comes from Boden White Stuff John Lewis etc although I don’t buy that many. If we weren’t paying fees we could lead a much more extravagant life style and have more possessions bit doubt that would make me any happier than I am now. I don’t feel any the worse of for not having them and I know that I am providing my DC’s with a fantastic education and can’t think of a better way of spending my money.
Good luck do let us know how you get on.

Mutteroo Thu 07-Feb-13 01:02:01

We went through the bursary process with both DCs. DD's school requested we filled out the forms every year while DS's school asked at at the start & never again. We own out own home, have some savings, an old car & the odd cheap mobile home holiday in France.

Really does depend on the school as to what kind of bursaries they offer & how they assess. I wish you luck with your child & would say Dont be put off by the questions asked & be honest!

3nationsfamily Thu 07-Feb-13 09:33:34

Also you need to factor in the additional costs of uniform, sports kit, music lessons, school trips etc which all add up to at least 10% of fees pa as a guideline. Very few schools cover these costs as part of any bursary package and there also may be an up front registration fee/ deposit required at the outset. Do ask these kind of questions of the bursar also.
Expect to have your circumstances assessed on an annual basis, also if there are adult children living at home and not still in education they would be expected to be contributing to the household finances too.

eminemmerdale Thu 07-Feb-13 09:37:23

On our application, we had to put everything - value of cars, every single pennt which is outgoing, equity in house, other children costs, p60s for the previous year etc. They leave no stone unturned! It's fine as long as you are honest and open.

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