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I'd be wasting my time to apply for a bursary, right?

(31 Posts)
lljkk Sat 18-Nov-17 12:24:11

6th form entry, tuition = £15,500 per year.
2 parent earning household, we are 15 yrs+ away from retirement.

School website says bursary very unlikely if ...
our gross income above £60k/yr (doesn't apply),
or if
our net worth > £330k (does apply, b/c no mortgage on the house).

They would expect us to mortgage the house, right, so we are over the assets threshold? Does the house equity count same as a cash asset?

The form is long & requires a huge amount of paperwork. I don't want to waste time filling it in with no prospect of success... so wanted to use MN as sounding board. TIA.

LIZS Sat 18-Nov-17 12:28:04

Yes they would expect you to release some assets first. Even though your income is lower than 60k presumably your outgoings are less than some earning more with mortgage.

Hebenon Sat 18-Nov-17 13:30:26

It depends. DD is applying for a bursary and I have spoken directly to the bursar who said that they would not expect us to release equity in a property if it was a) our only property and b) not excessive for our needs. I would give them a ring and ask.

Zodlebud Sat 18-Nov-17 14:36:00

It would depend on what sort of property and where it is. Also, if you have no mortgage then you have more “free cash” in your take home pay than someone on the same income but also paying rent or a mortgage.

I used to audit bursary applications and it’s not an exact science - every application needs to be assessed individually. If you are a family of three living in a four bedroom house then yes, you would need to remortgage. If you are driving an Audi Q7 then you’ll need to swap that for a Fiesta. Holidaying twice a year abroad will need to go.

The bursary process is there for people who need the additional help to pay fees, not those who have the money in one form or another but do not want to use it. I was amazed by how many applicants fell into the second group.

If you feel you live reasonably frugally and your property is modest for your needs then absolutely get in touch with the bursar. The process is fairly intrusive but for good reason. Don’t be put off though.

ChocolateWombat Sat 18-Nov-17 15:20:39

There are loads of threads about bursary applications.
I will remember what Zodlebud said - that bursaries are not there for those who have the funds in one form or another, but would prefer not to use them, and that lots of applicants are in that position.....I will remember that for future threads.

I think there are lots of mc parents who would like a private education. They also like their current mc lifestyle of a nice house and holidays. For some, fees will just be unaffordable even with adjustments, but for others if they adjusted their housing particularly, but also other features of lifestyle, they could afford it. Many however, would prefer not to and to receive a bursary for the fees.....but the point is, the bursaries are not there for those people, but for those who after adjustments still can't afford the fees.

lljkk Sat 18-Nov-17 15:54:45

Hmmm... I hate making phone calls but will suck it up had better make the phone call that Hebenon suggests. It feels wrong not to ask about a bursary if we might be eligible; the phone call will probably settle the matter.

I don't like a private education, am ideologically opposed. DH sees private as a huge waste of money. But am trying to be supportive of ambitious DC. The grandparents will chip in 2/3 or we wouldn't consider it. DD knows that DH will take it out of her inheritance, too.

lljkk Sat 18-Nov-17 17:41:27

There is an Audi Q7 selling for £8k with 131k miles on it. I suppose that compares to a well-used Fiesta that might cost under £1k.

BubblesBuddy Sat 18-Nov-17 17:47:58

How utterly mean to take any fees you pay out of DDs inheritance. I am shocked that a parent thinks like this. Good luck to your DD and long may she prosper at an independent school irrespective of future financial punishment!

lljkk Sat 18-Nov-17 17:54:19

DH just wants to make it fair on the other DC. They won't be interested in expensive school.

I'd rather drop £30k on DD to help her leave Uni with less debt. May put that point to her...

Fffion Sun 19-Nov-17 08:54:09

So you have money for an inheritance fund and 100% equity in your house. You are not poor. You should not get a bursary.

We have used house equity to pay school fees. I don't think I should be doing the same for other people who have equity too.

AnotherNewt Sun 19-Nov-17 09:03:08

You really need to talk to the school.

But as grandparents will be paying 2/3 that leaves you c.£5k pa for 2 years to find.

I think any savings which would be her inheritance certainly need to be diverte to her education now.

And as your don't have a mortgage to pay, there is the possibility that the earnings limit will be altered to reflect that one major bill doesn't feature in your budget.if a 'typical' mortgage was £600 pcm, that would reduce the earnings to £53k, if £1k pcm then £48k. How do your earnings compare to those figures? Do you still look like the target group?

lljkk Sun 19-Nov-17 11:00:58

Our income approaches £47k so that's useful.

I won't apply. Heck I'm not even going to ring up. Not applying is a net relief. I'm having to deal with lots of bureaucracy paperwork right now, it turns out prospect of paperwork to get wrong is worse than how sick I feel about spending lots of money.

Total outgoing would approach £18k each yr, with transport and "extras" costs.

It felt I should ask about bursaries to get the grandparents the best deal before asking them to pay anything. But that guilt is also easier to bear than facing pointless paperwork.

...Off to Lidl & to trawl the markdown counter at Sainsbos.

Needmoresleep Sun 19-Nov-17 11:38:28

I don't think is worth applying. Especially for sixth form where ambitious kids, whose parents have no means, are able, effectively, to apply themselves, and so a chance for schools to really improve on social diversity. Schools know they have parents who scrimp and save to afford fees, and so are wary of giving neighbours with a similar economic profile, a free pass.

In terms of paying for one, it is difficult to predict what help or support DC may reasonably need in the future. My thinking is that education, provided it is a thought out plan, is normally a good investment. One of our DC is taking a 5/6 year course so will need our help for longer. However we are paying for DS' Masters. The fund is not infinite as we still have a sizeable mortgage, but are content that this is where they would focus resources if the money were theirs.

And yes we might rebalance a will either because one had received more financial support from us earlier, or because one had suffered more life difficulties. Bubbles is being naive. Any expenditure, cruises etc, potentially reduces an inheritance, but we feel under no obligation to save simply so DC can inherit. The fact is inheritances often come very late, far too late to make much difference. (I will probably be over 70 when I receive anything.) If you are investing in education, do it young.

Hebenon Sun 19-Nov-17 19:11:20

If the grandparents were paying, the bursary would be on their income, not yours. Or at least, their contribution would be taken into account. £47K is not necessarily too much to get a bursary. We earn more than that jointly and have been told we would very likely be eligible for 80-90% of the fees.

DullAndOld Sun 19-Nov-17 19:17:14

you earn 47k have a mortgage free 330 grand house and also have generous parents?
Are you sure that you fit the target group for a bursary?

ifonly4 Mon 20-Nov-17 14:48:36

Obviously you don't get anything is you don't ask, but I suspect your income will go against you. The school will work out how much they think you can afford and make you an offer based on that. However, they will pick up at some point grandparents are covering a substantial amount and I suspect you'd lose your bursary, so do be honest from the start.

If you live in an expensive area, then they make take that into account re: the cost of your property, ie we're on a bursary, property was worth £260,000 at time of application, more like £290,000 now. We do have good living space downstairs, but just two beds upstairs and one bathroom. Our house is nice enough but nothing special and we're certainly not in a property excessive for our family.

If there a particular reason you DD wants to go private? Does she have anything special to offer the school which may get her a scholarship which may give a reduction of 10-40% off fees regardless of finances.

Hebenon Mon 20-Nov-17 15:09:45

You don't know where she lives or what the school's position on this is - the place I am applying to for my daughter is in an area where living costs are high. They take this into account. £47K, while clearly above average may leave very little disposable income depending on family needs/area. If you are bringing up 6 children on 47K in London, you are not likely to be flush with disposable income. One child in Burnley and you probably wouldn't even be thinking about a bursary. Each school will have different guidelines.

freelancedolly Tue 21-Nov-17 21:07:54

I applied for a bursary and was successful - I was asked whether grandparents were able to pay as part of the process.

I hate these bursary threads on Mumsnet - they make me feel very uncomfortable as a family in receipt of not one but two!

Growingboys Thu 23-Nov-17 09:46:39

It's amazing how many people are 'ideologically opposed' to private education yet manage to overcome it for their own children.

DullAndOld Thu 23-Nov-17 11:04:16

" an area where living costs are high. "
if you have no mortgage or rent to pay, then London is no more expensive to live in than anywhere else. In fact it's probably cheaper in many ways. Food and utlitities do not vary in price around the country; fares do, and in that Londoners have a bargain. Not going to be a popular view I know.

Gruach Thu 23-Nov-17 11:10:44

I hate these bursary threads on Mumsnet - they make me feel very uncomfortable as a family in receipt of not one but two!

grin

But why? I rather hope the majority of bursary funds go to people who can really benefit from them. I'm always keen to encourage people who think it's 'not for the likes of them' - while at the same time eager to disabuse anyone who thinks they're a lifestyle choice for the casually well off.

Zodlebud Thu 23-Nov-17 16:46:18

I would very strongly encourage anyone who feels a specific independent school is the right place for their child to at least enquire about a bursary, even if they decide that they do not qualify. It’s a two way partnership - if the school feel the child can really bring something to the school then they would be very keen to explore all sorts of funding options with you including scholarships, bursaries, monthly payment terms, donations from grandparents etc.

The best application I ever came across was from a gentleman who gave his address as a house on a road where properties started at £2million. He rented said house for £600 a month from a company. The property was registered to an offshore trust, and the company registered in an offshore tax haven. After a bit of digging it was discovered that through a convoluted scheme of company tax organisation, that the gentleman involved actually owned property assets in excess of £100 million.

His child never took up the place at the school as he “couldn’t afford it”. I do, to this day, wonder if he tried it at another school and got a bursary.

This was an extreme case obviously but just goes to show.

lljkk Fri 24-Nov-17 18:16:08

DD just wants the school that will means she gets the best possible results. Ambitious.

They said that there are no fee reductions for academic excellence.. however I just found something on the website to imply there is a discretionary reduction after all. Hmmm.

Still hoping to persuade DD to go to state school. We haven't asked the other grandparent about donating, yet.

Am quite looking forward to the Parents-session on main assessment day. I went to state school parent eve last night; expecting rather different ways of selling each one.

Zodlebud Sat 25-Nov-17 00:34:17

So put the ball more in your daughter’s court. Tell her you can’t afford it but will look into sacrifices both you and she can make and then reassess. You’re not saying no but being realistic and are giving it careful consideration.

Life’s like that - you can’t always have what you want. I can also vouch for independent school not being the best. I went to state school my whole life and went to Cambridge. I took my destiny into my own hands and my ambition and hard work got me there. I did move to a sixth form college for a-levels though which felt a lot more grown up and my peers felt more grown up than at school. I think it was more this atmosphere that helped me on my way more than anything.

Middleoftheroad Tue 28-Nov-17 22:05:07

our joint salary is about 50k. Our house is 287k with 140k left on mortgage. 2 kids. We did not get a bursary of any kind as I guess we have 137k paid off house. Fair enough.

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