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bursary - not awarded - did not know such a decision would be coming our way

(9 Posts)
goodusb Thu 11-Feb-16 05:26:54

DS went for assessment 7+ and the school said that he did well in assessment and would like to offer a place, but as we applied for a bursary they would need to consider how much bursary they could offer and send an offer for a place TOGETHER with the bursary offer. We all met the was positive and hopeful. Then we followed procedure: submitted Bursary application, waited for about 3 weeks and then the reply said that we do not qualify for a bursary, no reasons stated. Nothing mentions if DS still has a place on a fee paying basis. Feel very disappointed that we had ( unreasonably?) so much hope. I feel perhaps we should have booked an appointment with the bursar, go through details, show are keen interest etc? Just seems so abrupt...after having the meeting with HT, discussions, extensive evidence of our financial circumstances etc Would it simply mean that 1) they are not interested in DS? 2) Their financial circumstances changed? 3) I overestimated our real chances with the bursary?

BikeRunSki Thu 11-Feb-16 05:51:38

Speak to the school and ask them these Qs?

MrsCampbellBlack Thu 11-Feb-16 06:15:42

As bike says you need to check with the school. Each varies on their bursary criteria - some take assets into account which is fair really.

LIZS Thu 11-Feb-16 06:20:01

3 I think. There may have been many applications for the same pot of funds. Sometimes they split it into several smaller awards, sometimes fewer larger. If you can't afford full fees isn't it irrelevant if he is made an offer now.

AnotherNewt Thu 11-Feb-16 06:45:34

3) is by far the most likely.

Schools have only a certain amount to spend on bursaries, and most schools have more applicants (sometimes considerably more) than potential bursary places. And all of them will have provided the same extensive evidence.

i don't think meeting the bursar would have made any difference (it's not the bursar who makes the awards, their role is to advise on affordability). The awards will be made by head, governors and bursar together; considering all the candidates and all the levels of financial need.

I think you need to ask the school about whether a full fee place would have been available. Different schools have different procedures on this. Some do include an offer, assuming the DC really did make the grade, because then at least there is a sense of achievement. Others don't because offering something that cannot be afforded strikes them as unacceptably unpleasant. There isn't a right answer on this one.

Another reason to talk to the school is to show them that you remain keen. Just in case the families offered bursaries do not take them up and they are in a position to re-offer.

Does the school have a senior school, and are more bursaries available then?

PettsWoodParadise Thu 11-Feb-16 08:00:21

I am confused, you say the school would like to offer your DS a place and they confirmed he did well. What format was that in? It almost sounds like an offer to me. Many at 7+ rarely offer substantial bursaries, more often scholarships of 10 or 20% as more a nod to the most able children. Schools we looked at for DD at 11+ did means tested bursaries and took a look at your finances before the tests and then told you if you would qualify before the test so you knew if it was a waste of time sitting the test. In most scenarios I've seen (not many I might add) bursary applications have been encouraged by the bursar but fail mainly due to assets the applicants have in the form of equity in their home. They might not have a big income so on the surface don't have enough to cover fees but could do so if they restructured their lives in a major way and it is up to them if they want to make that sacrifice.

It does sound like your expectations were high and your hopes sadly dashed but if you are now wondering about whether you have a fee paying place or not then that implies you might be able to afford it at a push in which case the bursary decision makes sense. Do they offer any scholarships to take the sting out of the fee?

AuntieUrsula Thu 11-Feb-16 12:51:19

At DD1's school, if you apply for a bursary and don't get it, you can't then simply change to a fee-paying place. They do this specifically to stop parents applying for a bursary who could pay if they had to. Of course it might be different at your DS's school, so I think you have no option but to ask!

Lurkedforever1 Thu 11-Feb-16 13:00:58

Could be one or a combination of several reasons
1) you don't meet the means testing criteria.
2) Other dc did better so when they got to yours, there was nothing left in the bursary pot
3) They like to spread the bursary pot as far as possible with lots of token amounts, and you needed more than other kids they felt did just as well. So eg they took 5 kids on 10% rather than yours on 50%

Lightbulbon Thu 11-Feb-16 13:15:11

You probably weren't eligible for a bursery

Hardly any are given out at that age.

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