Bursary application but own our own home?

(13 Posts)
Dazedandconfused1979 Tue 09-Feb-16 20:58:01

Just wondering if I could hear other peoples experiences of bursary applications as I'm feeling really stressed and down at the minute. My daughter applied for a music bursary place for September 2016 at a well respected independent school on the recommendation of her current music teacher as she is considered musically gifted and plays two instruments to a high standard for her age (8) as well as being able to sing very well. Had she not suggested it, it would never have crossed my mind to apply. The places are means tested and designed to help talented youngsters access tuition and opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach financially. The audition went really well and the music master said in front of DD that he would be recommending that she be offered a place. All good so far. I was then given the bursary forms which I've filled in and have provided evidence of my and DH income etc.. which amounts to just under £30K take home. The full fees at the school are £15K for day pupils so well out of our reach. We worked out that we could afford the fees if they offered us 50% taking into account fee increases vs projected salary increases(they offer up to 100% bursaries). We've submitted bank statements, mortgage statements, the full works. We have very elderly cars and no valuables of any sort. Our only asset is our house which still has 20 years left of a 35 year term (£140K to pay) on the mortgage but equity of around £130K due to rocketing house prices in our area. We tried to release 5K equity last year to pay for a new boiler but because of the changes to mortgage borrowing were told we wouldn't be able to borrow anything so in the end we had to take a personal loan. As such we know that we can't release that equity without selling our house and as it is only a small 2 bed cottage on a busy main road with no parking we could not free up that equity and then buy anything else with two bedrooms as literally all we would be able to then afford in this area based on our income would be a studio flat. Rent is extortionate around here too and we have to live within 5 miles of my DH work due to the nature of his job so we can't move to a cheaper area. It would cost more to rent a 2 bed flat than we pay on our current mortgage so financially it wouldn't make sense.
We won't know the outcome for a while yet but I now wish we'd never applied as DD loved the school and is desperate to go there but from everything I've read on here and online generally since I submitted all the forms, bursaries will take account of any property equity and expect that to be used to pay the fees but without living in a tent there is just no way we could do this. Don't get me wrong, I understand why property equity is considered and that if that sort of rule wasn't applied then someone living in a mansion with no mortgage but a low monthly income might well qualify for a bursary too.
Has anyone else ever actually been offered any sort of bursary whilst owning their own home (albeit mortgaged?) and having any sort of equity in it or am I right in thinking we have no chance and I've been stupid to even think this was a possibility and am going to have to deal with a heart-broken DD?

Tiredemma Tue 09-Feb-16 21:06:03

Not necessarily- My DS1 was offered a Sports Scholarship and Assisted Bursary at an Independent School in November 2014. We did have to provide proof of income and was asked about our mortgage but was still offered a fantastic discount which made it possible for DS1 to accept a place.

We were very upfront and honest and said "this is the amount we can afford to contribute each month"- we found that the school really wanted DS to attend because of his sporting ability.

I can obviously only speak from our own experience, im sure others will come and say its not possible - but certainly for us (and I am sure many others) it has been possible.

Congratulations to your daughter.

GraciesMansion Tue 09-Feb-16 21:12:03

Is it a MDS - music and dance scholarship - place? Or a bursary that the school itself offers?

Dazedandconfused1979 Wed 10-Feb-16 09:18:56

It's a bursary offered by the school itself not an MDS place GraciesMansion. Thanks Tiredemma, that is at least a small glimmer of hope for us! We would happily pay everything we could scrape together for DD to have the opportunity to go but even if we put the house up for sale it's unlikely that it would sell and be completed by September (the house attached to us is derelict and had been for 10 years so is in a real mess which doesn't help as I think it will make it very difficult to sell, especially at anywhere near the valuation the estate agent gave us and I submitted as evidence to the school). If offered a place formally we would have to accept the place and pay the acceptance fee of £750 well before that which in itself would be a huge amount of money for us to find let alone lose if we then had to back out because we couldn't sell the house.

TinkerBellThree Wed 10-Feb-16 09:28:45

I would not worry so much about the £750, check this with the bursar, but normally you would either only pay it when a bursary has been offered (and you can accept the place) or it will be refundable if you should not receive the necessary bursary and thus in effect not have a realistic offer of a place.

I think all schools have different bursary policies (and funds) and I can tell that this is a big worry on your mind, so I would call the bursar of said school and discuss with him so that you dont have to wait and worry, and you can put your mind at ease and not worry without cause...

Good luck (and it does not sound to me like your application is unreasonable)

Frogusha Wed 10-Feb-16 11:31:42

Schools will have different policies. If it's not published you could ask the school to look at it. Look at this one for examples: www.nlcs.org.uk/750/admissions/assistance-with-fees
"Parents both working in low paid employment. Modest home with mortgage. One child receiving 40% fee remission." Hope you get it - sounds like your daughter really deserves it!

bojorojo Wed 10-Feb-16 14:25:01

I honestly think you will have to wait and see. They have to weigh up what they can give and there will be other applicants too. You also need to weigh up whether you can afford the extras (uniform, sports kit, trips, other extra curricular activities) all of which mount up or are you going to be forever feeling very poor. Do you have other children? What impact would this financial expenditure have on them? Clearly your Dd has been well taught up until now, so is this school do vital?

I do think the situation should have been explained to your child. It is a risk that not enough money will be forthcoming for you to be able to afford this. You must explain this carefully to your DD so that she is able to take it in her stride if the money is insufficient. I would have gone to some lengths to explain it before the auditions personally. However, I really do hope it is good news but you have to treat this as icing on the cake, not the cake itself, if you see what I mean,

Lurkedforever1 Wed 10-Feb-16 14:32:01

They all vary. I believe dds will look at the specific circumstances, and judge whether equity could be released.

goodusb Thu 11-Feb-16 21:39:03

Hi, OP =- do you mean 30K take home - net figure, without tax etc? i...what percentage do you own in your house? This will influence the decision...

Niffy58 Fri 26-Feb-16 15:27:26

You may have had a decision by now. I was in the same situation as you last year. I did explain to my daughter that there was a risk as it was dependent on her getting a scholarship and bursary. I do have about 80K equity in the house and the income they took into account (this is before tax but minus pension contributions) is about 32K . She was offered scholarships and bursaries for all four schools she applied to. The average offer was 60% reduction. I explained that I was unable to release any equity in the house on my form.
I hope you get a positive response. The difference the move made to her has been worth every penny. I was very frank with her and explained that if it was something we did it would mean holidays at home or with family and a no frills existence. We talked it through as she felt a little guilty at first. We are both very happy, she is really good at not wanting things. I do have to reassure her sometimes that I do not expect her to get 100% in everything and that the move was predominately about her happiness not just being academically stretched.

Dazedandconfused1979 Fri 11-Mar-16 14:58:18

Thought I'd just do a quick update as so many were kind enough to reply when I posted my original message. Sadly it wasn't good news and the school have now written to us confirming the offer of a place but also saying that we don't qualify for any financial support in the form of a bursary. We have to let them know by the end of next week if we want to accept the place so I have had to tell them thank you but we cannot possibly afford it. Dd was sobbing her heart out when I told her but has been remarkably brave about it all. sad

Ooogetyooo Fri 11-Mar-16 17:09:21

So sorry to hear that

MissWimpyDimple Fri 11-Mar-16 22:17:31

That's a shame for your poor DD. Did they tell you why? Was it the equity in the house?

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