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Bursaries and scholarships

(19 Posts)
TwoPersephone Mon 21-Sep-09 13:43:54

Has anyone managed to get a bursary or scholarshop for their child? If so, what percentage of the fees did you get, and how did you go about getting it? I am thinking this may be an option for us but would like some more general info before jumping in feet first with the local schools. I feel a little nervous approaching them

giantkatestacks Mon 21-Sep-09 13:46:05

They are two different things - one is means tested - and the levels will all be different and one isnt - so which is it?

TwoPersephone Mon 21-Sep-09 13:57:40

There is a possibility of either but as I have yet to talk to the schools I am asking about both. DD is bright enough for a scholarship, and we are poor enough for a bursary, but of course we may find they want to give us neither! Hense my asking here for general info about them both.

giantkatestacks Mon 21-Sep-09 14:02:33

if you are poor enough for the bursary then thats what you should go for as it could be all of the fees. Scholarships can be 10-15%.

How it used to work was that you passed the exam and if you were poor enough then the bursary would kick in - every school is different though - and every school will have different levels of competition iyswim.

CatherineofMumbles Mon 21-Sep-09 14:13:40

TP - I have not applied for a bursary but I do have acquaintances who have, both sucessfully and unsucesfully, and DH has a friend who is a bursar at a local independent school.
Firstly on the scholarships - it depends on how much they want your child, but the most sought after and high achieving schools local to us (which are very heavily oversubscribed ith brilliant candidate who can pay full fees W London) now only give honorary scholarships - ie about £50 per annum for academic excellence. if there are other types - eg music or art they may be higher, but niot enough to make a differnce financially. Schools that want to improve theri results offer higher non-means tested scholarships, but they are inundated with applicants.
To get a bursary you will have to jump through hoops, and will have less priority than those already in the school whose parents have eg lost their jobs/suffered bereavement etc. There is likey to be a fixed fund to share around the most deserving cases, and may be none left for prospective pupils who will require it thorugh the several years of the school.
Because effectively the bursar has a duty of care to other parens who will be subsidising your child, and who may be struggling, calling on grandparents, cashing in pensions etc , he/she must be very exigent - it may seem intrusive, as LOTS of perople try it on, attempt to hide assets, do not reveal inheritances, capital gains or ad-hoc payments or concoct sob stories etc. You are likely as well as full financial disclosure to be asked to provide copies of credit cards receipts asked about memberships, holidays - if you are self-employed or freelance will be even more scrutinised. If your circumstance change - you MUST inform the school - if you don't other parents will find out and WILL snitch on you.
Do you have other children? If only one, again a factor as youw ill have a greater disposable income - if you have several , much better bet!
Sorry if this seems negative - it is not an easy option! And bear in mind that there are liley to be costs of school trips/uniform etc that will not be covered - it is very rare to get 100% - could you affrod the fees and extras if you were to get say 30%?#
Jsut ask the schools. You may as well know at the outset so that you can adjust your ( and more importantly your DD's) expectations.

TwoPersephone Mon 21-Sep-09 14:14:33

So when I approach the schools it should be with bursaries in mind rather than scholarships? I was going to ask about both, my thinking being that if they saw what an able student she is it will work in our favour.

CatherineofMumbles Mon 21-Sep-09 14:22:01

Definitely mention both - to establish the fact that she is clever.
Forgot to add - good luck!

TwoPersephone Mon 21-Sep-09 14:36:30

Thank you for your replies! This is uncharted territory for us.

For bursaries, do they expect you to increase your mortgage to pay for school fees?

My idea was that dd would go to a good prep (with bursary or scholarship of at least 20%) to prepare her for a scholarship for secondary level. I worry that if left to cruise along in her nice but unchallenging state primary she wont get one.

We have two children, so would they take that into account?

Would they expect or want us to join the school and, well, almost gamble on getting a bursary for later years?

mumoverseas Mon 21-Sep-09 15:09:47

DS1 got a scholarship in year 2 of his old prep school which was only worth about 10% of fees. (they gave out lots of smaller scholarships instead of reasonable sized ones)

I also managed to get a small bursary as well and had to fill in financial statements etc which was a pain as they have a good snoop.

He has now just obtained an academic scholarship into an excellent 6th form college which is worth around 30% of the £8k per term fees.

Some schools do give sibling discounts but these are only around 5 to 10% and sometimes only for 3rd or 4th child.

From my experience, scholarship exams for prep school tend to be in the spring but you need to registerin advance for them.

campion Mon 21-Sep-09 16:27:45

If the school in question operates its own assisted places scheme, which is a form of bursary, then you would be assessed on your income and assets and may end up paying nothing. That's the point.

You do need to apply for it yourself and hope that lots of others don't as there will be a finite pot of money. Schools usually have a set number of assisted places available but that money is ring-fenced ie not used to prop up existing pupils who are having trouble finding the fees.

Judy1234 Mon 21-Sep-09 20:21:16

My sister gets a tiny bursary for her boys but she is a higher rate tax payer. Some schools like Manchester Grammar for the brilliant child try to be blind to the issue of if you can pay and if your child is one of the very few who might get in then you may well get a lot of the fees paid... or marry a private school teacher and get 3 children educated for 13 years almost free of charge!

1dilemma Mon 21-Sep-09 20:40:06

Just wanted to say HI to Xenia

You've been missed
we figured you were busy at work!

oneofakind Mon 21-Sep-09 21:14:03

my niece received a 100% bursary at prep school plus £300 towards the uniform and some help towards books plus one school trip included. this was at a well regarded b.ham prep. my sis is a single parent and at the time was on Income support. my niece took an exam for 7 plus entry to the school and scholarships and bursaries were awarded on the results and financial circs of the children offered places.

LIZS Mon 21-Sep-09 21:23:24

You don't find scholarships at prep level very often any more, you may get a bursary but that is still discretionary and may not cover everything. Scholarships are usually promoted on the websites of secondaries but often come in at less than 25% , some schools encourage those not in financial need to accept the kudos but waiver the discount ! Bursaries are usually limited in number and done on a case by case basis. You may be lucky and qualify for both but scholarships can be fiercely competitive.

Quattrocento Mon 21-Sep-09 21:28:47

DD's school awards five scholarships per year only for secondary school and not at primary school. She did get one but as the scholarships are worth the princely sum of £100 per term, it doesn't even cover her piano lessons.

There are means-tested awards but these are set so low that you would almost have to be unemployed to qualify for them.

Otherwise nothing. It does vary from school to school so I am crossing my fingers for you that you find one with a more reasonable set up.

Heidispider Mon 21-Sep-09 21:35:23

My child goes to a public school with a 10% scholarship and then it was topped up with a bursary and we pay about 10% of the fees.

Send a speculative email, or 'phone them, and speak to admissions. Also, see if the bursar will let you submit details of your finances in advance. We were allowed to do this and this enabled us to know what bursary we would receive if our child was fortunate enough to pass the entrance exams.

Good luck with it all!

LetsEscape Mon 21-Sep-09 21:39:09

It depends on the individual schools. Locally to us, scholarships range from £60 a year to 50% and are academic and not ones that you apply for. They invite people back for special interviews depending on their performance in the 11+ exams. But in all cases you can ask for a bursary on top if you can't afford the fees so it is possible to get 100%.

You have to look through each school website. Some schools with rich foundations are very generous.. and others pride them selves in accessibilty. Ask around parents with children who may have been in year 6 and find out which schools do have generous scholarships/bursaries. City of London girls and boys both have a very good reputation for scholarships/bursaries.

KittyCorncrake Mon 21-Sep-09 23:29:45

Roughly what geog area sare you in? In rural Lincs - very thin on the ground - we are moving to Machester in the spring for DH job, and looking for indies with scholarships and bursaries im that area.

TwoPersephone Tue 22-Sep-09 12:39:21

Thank you for the info everyone, there is a big range of %'s, but I feel more confident asking about it all now, knowing that they are 'out there'.

I am going to start with open day I think.

I might have our financial details handy incase it comes up if I get to talk to anyone suitable and they ask, if not I suppose I will make an appontment later to discuss it.

We are in the South East, rural area with not too many Independent schools.

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