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Half a Bursary offer at an Independent School???? Ever heard of?

(54 Posts)
TestMum Fri 14-Feb-14 18:44:44

My DS has been offered a 'half a bursary,place even though I am unemployed.

Has anyone ever heard of such an offer? I thought they were means tested and if you qualified for one then the amount you were given was based on what you earn. OR....is it based on how well he did in the test?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 14-Feb-14 18:48:58

I think bursaries can be for various percentages at various schools and may be more to do with school finances than your own.

Coconutty Fri 14-Feb-14 18:52:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TestMum Fri 14-Feb-14 18:58:59

Thanks for feedback. Really interested if anyone has ever been offered one?

nkf Fri 14-Feb-14 19:00:15

I've heard of half bursaries and third bursaries and I think 75%.

scaevola Fri 14-Feb-14 19:03:50

Every school sets its own terms about what level of bursary it can offer. It depends on how much money the school has to make awards, and what the other bursary candidates were like that year.

LIZS Fri 14-Feb-14 19:06:14

is it just terminology for 50%, ie half a fully funded place . Bursary funds will be allocated on so many full fees per year and can be split as the school chooses. Normally they'd have to have done well enough in the entrance test to qualify for a place before being considered, then the list of bursary applicants would be reviewed and allocated funding based on priority and need .

TestMum Fri 14-Feb-14 19:08:19

It says on the website bursaries are means tested, not based on other candidates etc? Just says means tested.

Still interested if anyone has ever experienced this and reason given?

LIZS Fri 14-Feb-14 19:11:04

"need" would be measured by means testing and whether there are funds left to allocate by the time they reach your dc on the list . ie if those above in terms of performance actually are relatively "better" off then the balance could stretch further down the list.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 14-Feb-14 19:11:11

I did when I was school age! TBH I didn't ask and don't think my parents did - I just assumed that was the maximum that school offered. I got 100% fees paid elsewhere so went there instead.

Is there anything in any of the discussions you've had or literature you've read that indicates the maximum bursary/scholarship?

TestMum Fri 14-Feb-14 19:58:52

Literature says based on my income I'd pay £200 id offered a bursary.

A bit confused why literature doesn't also say means tested and relative to performance in test against other candidates?

scaevola Fri 14-Feb-14 20:04:21

Means tested indicates that eligibility for (and eventual size of) any award is based on your income.

But if they have 10 successful candidates for bursaries, but can only afford eg 2 full or 5 partial offers, thye do need to whittle down the numbers based on both affordability of award and which if those candidates they most want to see in th school.

No school in UK can afford fully needs-blind bursary backed admissions, thoughtthere are a couple of dozen who are moving close to it,

LIZS Fri 14-Feb-14 20:50:36

Literature says based on my income I'd pay £200 id offered a bursary. That is probably based on getting the maximum bursary for financial circumstances. They either haven't got enough in the funds to satisfy all the eligible applicants to the maximum so have spread it out, have calculated your finances differently or think your ds is only warranting half. In any case the small print probably says awards are discretionary. You could query with the bursar.

lisad123everybodydancenow Fri 14-Feb-14 20:55:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TestMum Sat 15-Feb-14 05:01:13

A wee nightmare. If for example, until I was back on my feet
a godparent was prepared to pay the shortfall (yet to ask her, but hey ho, stranger things have happened), would that be classed as income and therefore decrease the amount I was eligible for even though the only reason I was getting the money was to pay the fee? Could suggest she pays them direct so the money doesn't come to me, but still not sire if that would be deemed as a monetary gift.

BadgerB Sat 15-Feb-14 07:31:51

The only way someone other than a parent could contribute to fees without the school reducing the bursary is if the school didn't know. If others are known to make a contribution the school will reduce the size of the bursary.

MrsSippie Sat 15-Feb-14 07:43:33

This is what we were offered last year for dd at a prep school 50% of the full fees. It is on a sliding scale according to income and outgoings.

purpleroses Sat 15-Feb-14 07:47:31

If the school think you can afford to pay half their not going to take away the bursary no matter how you do that. I had a friend who got a half bursary and her gran paid the other half. Or they may be expecting you to use savings.

JohnnyBarthes Sat 15-Feb-14 07:52:17

Surely it depends on the school. They call the shots and make their own rules.

onadifferentplanet Sat 15-Feb-14 08:06:15

Most schools will only have so much money in the pot. I have been very fortunate that for the past 4 years my ds has had a 100% bursary. This year he has 95% even though my income has actually gone down. When we got the forms for this school year we were told that there were considerably more applications for assistance than in previous years so I was expecting the pot to be more thinly spread. From reading threads on here full bursaries are pretty rare. Have a look on the charity commission website for the details of the school that will tell you how much they have to spend on bursaries and how many pupils this helps.

1stMrsF Sat 15-Feb-14 08:08:15

Eligibility for and maximum percentage reduction in fees is means tested. How much a child is actually offered, or whether they are offered a bursary place at all depends on exam performance. That is how it is at our school, and I think it is broadly the same everywhere although some schemes might have specific rules. There will probably have been more applications for bursaries than the total (fixed) amount that the school have available, so they will distribute the money in such a way to benefit as many children as possible, but they have to decide who gets to benefit somehow, and exam performance is all they really have to go on, plus the higher performers are more likely to 'pay back' by producing good exam results later, which contribute to the school's reputation etc.

TestMum Sat 15-Feb-14 11:46:21

Thanks so much for the feedback. Better to see the cup as half full rather than half empty I guess.

@BadgerB Would you mind explaining a little bit more what you mean? How could they not know when they'd have to be getting the balance of money somehow? A bit confused.

BadgerB Sat 15-Feb-14 15:38:03

Someone I know has a 50% bursary, which is good, but they still aren't able to pay all of the remaining 50%. A family friend sends a cheque for some of the shortfall to the parents each time the school bill comes in, and the parents pay the school. Grandmother does the same for music lessons.

Some schools actually say bursary applicants must have asked 'wider family' for contributions before the bursary is decided. (Shrewsbury f'instance)

3nationsfamily Sat 15-Feb-14 18:46:32

When deciding whether you can afford to accept the place or not on the basis of the busary offered, don't forget to factor in the significant cost of uniforms, books, sports kit, school trips, school meals, concerts, music lessons etc etc- rule of thumb is generally another 10% per year on top of the fees. We were a bit shocked at what gets charged for that we wouldn't have been charged for in the state system at all over and above the already expensive fees.

TestMum Sun 16-Feb-14 00:38:36

@lisad is the 75% you're paying based on your income/assets etc. or were you eligible for more but only awarded 75% based on what your
your DC scored in the examination?

same question to BadgerB regarding your friend?

@1stMrsF, similar question again. Are you absolutely sure parents were eligible for more based on their circumstances and awarded less based on the child's score? Surely if the school did their financial assessments properly those parents who were awarded less wouldn't be able to attend the school as like me, where in heavens name would they get the rest of the money from?

Would the school not just decline your application or deem you unsuccessful on the basis that you need more money than they think your child is worth?

I know of one private school that groups bursary applicants in the same pot where the child is either successful or not based on the success of that group. If they were paying however, it may well mean that although they weren't successful as a bursary applicant, they may have got a place if they were paying full fees.

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