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(23 Posts)
SPES Wed 18-Sep-13 10:21:24


This is a request for any tips when applying for a Bursary. I am currently going through the application. Has anyone applied for a Bursary and do you have any tips?

BlackMogul Wed 18-Sep-13 11:06:29

Have a clever, gifted, child and be poor. Trying to get money is not easy. Also, schools will not expect you to have several houses, cars, and a higher than average disposable income. They look into everything so just be yourself and don't try and cheat.

SPES Wed 18-Sep-13 13:53:42

Hi Thanks,

Have you applied for a Bursary?

onadifferentplanet Wed 18-Sep-13 14:09:44

The forms will ask for all sorts of information and evidence to back it up. They may come and visit you at home too. I have 2DSs at different schools on bursaries one visited me the other didn't. Be prepared to have to fill in all the forms every year too and from my experience don't automatically presume you will always get the same percentage .DS1 's school moved the goal posts a bit this year and I am now having to find money I hadn't accounted for to get him through his final year .

SPES Wed 18-Sep-13 14:23:04

Hi onadifferentplanet,

Thank you for your response. Did your application ask timeframe for the Bursary? Do you feel you have to be more involved or volunteer at the school etc because your children have bursaries. I suppose I want to know if families that request bursaries are treated in the same way as families that pay fees. I know it sounds awful but I have heard mixed views.

SPES Wed 18-Sep-13 14:25:38

The whole premise for applying is that I believe (as I am sure most parents do) that this particular school will allow my child to flourish. we have provided fee paying primary education but are unable to continue as the fees become double the current fees for secondary, as you may be fully aware.

Labro Wed 18-Sep-13 16:50:35

Bursaries depend on individual schools, the forms are extensive and then its up to the school what % they offer. The timescale is generally year on year, with renewals being done in line with the financial year, so expect to complete a new form in April/May time for each September.They make it clear that they cannot freeze the % so it can change and the bursary can go down and the fees increase.
The bursary system may be linked to academic performance or keeping to the ethos of the school.
Then, it really depends what level of income the school takes into account before awarding a bursary and how much they want your child.

BlackMogul Wed 18-Sep-13 19:23:41

We did apply for a bursary for one child for one year. 2008/9 was a catastrophic year for DHs business and our income fell by 95% that year. He got back in track thankfully but school said no. They would defer payment. We had too much in pension funds and other savings which were impossible to realise. I knew they wouldn't give anything but DH thought they would. He was wrong and tbh I wouldn't have given it to us either. That is why I said they will look at really clever people or talented children they want and you have to be pretty poor. Also, if you really cannot afford it, should you be doing it? There are lots of other things to pay for and the bursary could be quite small.

difficultpickle Wed 18-Sep-13 20:02:14

I wouldn't be put off going through the process. If they want your child some schools can be very generous indeed and you can earn a reasonable sum of money, especially if you are looking at a boarding place.

Mintyy Wed 18-Sep-13 20:08:22

My best friend's ds has a bursary to a top private school. Tbh the threshold at which you can qualify is very low. You would certainly need to be earning about £60,000 a year more than the threshold to be able to pay for even one child to go there, for eg.

Have you looked at the threshold? If you have had the means to put a child through private primary then I doubt you would qualify at a lot of schools.

middleclassonbursary Thu 19-Sep-13 09:12:20

Sorry pressed post to soon! I've never felt a need or felt Im expected to be heavily involved in the school. Bursaries are confidential at our DC's prep only the head master knew at the senior school our house master knows and is proud of the number of boys on bursaries in his house but I don't think the staff in general know. My DC's will tell you they have never felt they have been treated differently. I believe my DC 's have told some their friends at school but never has this has any impact on the way other children treat them.
Good luck do PM me if you want any further advise.

SDhopeful Thu 19-Sep-13 09:34:37

My DC are at a school which offers generous bursaries (and no-one knows who gets them - I suppose the parents might guess, but I've never heard it discussed, and the DC are completely oblivious. Boys' school, maybe girls are different as more likely to be into fashion etc).
You can get non means tested scholarships in many London schools in the 'second tier' - ie those that are good but not in the top few) - I know several people (including one of my DC) who have been offered 100% scholarships - because they are competing with the top tier, if they really want your child. They do not advertise this!

middleclassonbursary Thu 19-Sep-13 09:48:11

Most schools don't advertise but their websites usually clearly detail their approach to bursaries. 100% bursaries are rare but certainly exist my DC's school has some on 100% bursaries. Our school publishes an annual report which is sent to parents detailing all its accounts and in it is the number on bursaries, the average size of a bursary and how many receive each level e.g 50 receive 60%. If your chosen school doesn't do this I suppose it will be in the schools published accounts it might be worth looking at them to see if the school gives bursaries of the size you're looking for.
Meant to add the the most important thing is to have an honest conversation with the bursar try and get a feel for how generous they are especially if your looking for a substantial bursary which is really anything above 30%. You also need to be realistic about what you can afford its the unexpected bills that cause the problem. By the nature of the thing if your on a bursary you're unlikely to be driving a brand new car or own a state of the art washing machine it's when these things break down that you can suddenly find money is very tight.

Parmarella Thu 19-Sep-13 12:44:06

middleclass, that is all very useful to know.

thanks from a random lurker smile

middleclassonbursary Thu 19-Sep-13 17:07:39

Reading back over what I wrote I'm not sure I made it very clear I was referring to bursaries that are stand alone rather than attached to a scholarship which are significantly more readily available. Stand alone bursaries especially substantial ones are increasingly difficult to find.

crazymum53 Thu 19-Sep-13 17:18:25

We did look into this, but found that most schools only offered a percentage of the fees - typically 20-50%. 100% percent bursary was very rare. It is possible for a child to have BOTH a bursary and a scholarship though.
If you could afford to continue paying a percentage could be worth going for it.
The time-scale varies from school to school, we found that schools wanted applications completed in January (entrance exams in December and January).

17leftfeet Thu 19-Sep-13 17:27:00

I applied for a bursary for dd last year

Very well known school in the north of England

They only offer musical scholarships, other academics not taken into account so it was the means tested bursary I applied for

I earn 24k, have 10k equity in my house, have approx 10k in assets including my car and am a single parent

Dd was offered a 65% bursary which meant she didn't go

We got a decision on the bursary with her offer letter

BlackMogul Thu 19-Sep-13 17:37:15

You need to be aware that many scholarships are now well below 30% or nothing!

middleclassonbursary Thu 19-Sep-13 17:53:31

Schools have different ways of administering bursaries. The ideal is where you can apply for a idea of the amount you'll be offered even before you register your DC, the worst is when your DC sits the entrance exam, gets offered a place and the later a bursary which may not be enough to go there.
Bursaries attached to scholarships are in general more generous and of course the commonest way of getting a reduction in fees (assuming you meet the financial criteria which can be the same as bursaries offered without a scholarship) but competition for scholarship can be intense especially at boarding schools where your DC may be competing with super bright/musical children from outside of the UK.

middleclassonbursary Thu 19-Sep-13 17:56:03

At my DC's school a scholarship carries no financial reward and bursaries are offered to all who have met the general academic selection criteria but many schools will only offer means tested bursaries to those who have won a scholarship.

middleclassonbursary Thu 19-Sep-13 18:04:53

17 I'm sorry that you didn't get enough but the problem is that schools can only offer what is in their bursary pot. You also have to remember that obviously it's financially better and in fact better all round for them to have five children on a 20% reduction than one on a 95%.
I personally think that in most schools the golden age of generous bursaries is over schools are struggling to fill their vacancies and just don't have the money I'm glad my DC's are at the end of their school academic careers not starting out because I doubt they would end up where they are today.

difficultpickle Thu 19-Sep-13 20:04:23

I think that it is true that most bursaries these days are linked to scholarships. I've been told by more than one school that if they want your child enough they will come up with sufficient funds to make it happen. We would need at least a 70% bursary for ds to go to the senior school he likes.

Badgers5 Fri 20-Sep-13 22:49:33

I applied for a bursary for my DD and was given a specific award which was generous. We are a low income family and DD was previously in a State primary. I could show how the IS was more beneficial.

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