Here’s our key tips for getting a top independent school scholarship, or private school bursary.
Do you want to send your child to private school, but don’t have the necessary funds?
Or want to lower your existing private school fees?
Private school scholarships, bursaries, grants
- Firstly, our How to get a private school bursary.
- Secondly, How much is prep school?
- Thirdly, How to arrange an independent school bursary.
- Plus also, How much are Eton College fees?
- And also Getting an independent school scholarship.
How to get a private school bursary
The cost of private schools continues to increase above the rate of inflation. According to the Independent Schools Council’s (ISC) latest annual census, average fees rose by 3.4% in 2017. Although the ISC said this was the lowest rate of increase since 2004, it is still well above the rate of inflation (currently around 2.5%).
Based on a survey of 1326 independent schools, the census shows that average private school fees are now £5,744 a term. Boarding school costs are the highest at £11,228 a term on average while private day schools average £4,618 a term.
In London, fees have increased at a far greater rate, in part because of an influx of wealthy parents into the city.
Private school bursaries v private school scholarships
So how are parents on modest incomes able to send their children to private school, should they wish to? The good news is that approximately 1 in 3 pupils receive financial help with their fees. This is mainly through bursaries and scholarships.
Scholarships are awarded for excellence in a particular area (academic, sports, music etc) and are usually worth between 10% and 25%.
However, bursaries are often worth much more. They are awarded to those who wouldn’t have the means to attend the school without financial help.
According to the ISC, nearly £1 billion was spent by private schools on providing financial aid of all types. These can range from a nominal amount (perhaps as little as £50 per annum) to a full 100% bursary. It may even be possible to get additional help with uniforms and school trips.
Seven tips for private school bursaries
You probably need to start your research two years before your child is planning to go to the school in question. There’s nothing worse than your child getting a place at the school on merit but when you tell the school you need financial help there isn’t any available. Unfortunately, the various bodies which represent independent schools don’t compile and publish a comprehensive list of what’s available so you will have to do some digging. A good place to start is The Good Schools Guide. There should also be plenty of information on school websites.
Don’t let pride get in the way
Approximately one in three children at private school have some portion of their fees paid so you shouldn’t feel ‘poor’ by applying for a bursary. In fact, many schools are now actively canvassing for bursary applicants. For example, a group of 22 London schools have formed an alliance to help parents with more modest incomes get their children into private schools. To find out more visit London Fee Assistance Consortium here: https://feeassistancelondonschools.org.uk
Don’t expect much money from a scholarship
Scholarships may carry a lot of prestige but often not that much money (usually less than 25%). That said, it is definitely worth checking out the scholarships available if your child is talented at sport, arts or music. To do this visit the website for the Independent School of the British Isles (www.isbi.com). Then click on the school search followed by scholarships.
Be ready for means testing
Understandably, schools will want to know all about your financial circumstances before handing out a bursary. This doesn’t just mean your take-home pay. It also means the house you live in, the cars you drive and the holidays you take.
Consider all avenues of funding
It isn’t just the schools themselves that offer funding. You may also qualify because of your job, birthplace or even religion. For example, there’s the Royal Caledonian Schools Trust, the Actors Charitable Trust and the Fashion and Textile Children’s Trust to name but a few. For a full list of trusts worth checking out go to the Educational Trusts Forum, www.educational-grants.org.
Have you considered asking relatives if they can help? For grandparents, it is probably a more valuable gift to help with their children’s education than leaving them cash when they die. Also if you don’t ask them it may affect your chances of getting a bursary.
Don’t give up!
Although you may not be able to get a bursary when your child is 11 or 12 don’t give up. There is less competition for sixth form bursaries and more options too.
Asking for a private school bursary
Picking the Best Scholarship for You
- Find out what scholarships the school offers. These usually include sports, music, and academic, but there are generally other options too.
- Figure out which of the scholarships you’d be able to get. For example, if you’re really good at sports, you could get a sports scholarship, or if you’re intelligent, you could get an academic scholarship.
- Find out the requirements for the scholarship(s) you’ve picked out. For example, if you picked the sports scholarship to try and get, find out what sports you’d have to be able to do, how many, and whether there is a test/assessment or not.
Figure out whether you meet the requirements. For example, if one of the requirements is that you are able to play two or more of the sports the school has teams for, but you only play one sport, you would not be able to get that scholarship. If this happens, you can try to find another scholarship. However, if you have a lot of time before you have to submit the scholarship application, you could try to meet the requirements before then; for example, you could start another sport. If you meet the requirements, move onto the next part. You could also see if you fit the requirements for any other scholarships too.
Applying and Testing for the Scholarship
- Once you know you fulfill all the requirements for the scholarship, send your application to the school. There is often a scholarship form on the school’s website. If there isn’t, you can ring up the school and ask for one. Make sure you get the form in before the deadline. For some schools, the deadline can be a year or more before the first day of school. However, most accept scholarship applications closer to the first day of the school year. Sixth forms ask for the forms further in advance.
- Make sure you’ve filled out the form correctly. If it doesn’t have the right information on it, the school may not even consider you for a scholarship.
- Wait for the school to reply. Now that you’ve sent in your form, all you can do is wait for the school to tell you whether they will proceed with your application or not. In the meantime, you could work on your sports skills or music, or try to study for any academic tests they might give you.
- If they reply, they will tell you either that you have gotten the scholarship, or that you have to take an assessment before they decide. If they don’t reply, it might be worth ringing them to check that they received the application.
- The school will probably tell you what they will test you on and how they will do it. However, in case they don’t, here’s how to study for different types of assessment:
If you applied for a:
– Sports scholarship, practice the sports you told the school you did. They will probably want to see you doing them. If you’re in secondary school or above, they may also give you a test on the sports, to make sure you know the rules.
– Music scholarship, practice your best pieces, on all the instruments you put on the application. Also work on you music theory, in case they test you on it. In the UK, if you are at a certain grade in your instrument(s), for example Grade 3 in piano, practice pieces that are at that grade.
– Academic scholarship, study the subject(s) you applied with. They will almost definitely test you on them. Try to learn not only the information for your age level, but also information for higher levels, to show them you are above average for your subject(s). Sometimes, the school will say you can’t study for the test, as there’s nothing you can memorise. Although that may be the case, you can still practice the subject.
– Drama scholarship, practice reading and acting pieces. The school might let you pick a piece to read for the assessment, or it will tell you which ones to read. If you get to pick, try to pick pieces that are very different to show you are talented in more than just one type of piece.
– Art scholarship, pick pieces for your portfolio, as they might want to see it. Pick pieces that are in sections (for example, a sketch, then the same picture sketched and painted) so the school can see how you work. Also, try to pick different types of pieces, so the school can see you are talented in multiple ways.
After you get the Scholarship
- Choose a program. Some schools have special programs for people with scholarships. For example, people who got an academic scholarship could be part of an Academic Scholars group which encourages all members to do academic clubs, such as a writing club. However, not all schools do this. If your school does, try to do what the group tells you, because it will help you develop in that area!
- Realise that some people might be jealous. Some people might try to bully you for getting a scholarship. They might say that you got it because you were too poor to afford the fees for the school, and other things like that. Even if what they’re saying is true, don’t let them get to you: usually, they’re just jealous because they know you’re better at the topic than them.Practically all private schools don’t permit that kind of thing, and will try to stop it immediately.
What is a Bursary?
This financial support is dependent on the household income of the student along with other eligibility factors. It enables the students who are not able to afford to take admissions and attend classes in schools, colleges, or universities. It is a kind of monetary benefit to encourage students to study.
How does this work?
An application form is enrolled in public by the bursaries, parents are asked to fill the form and submit it. Post submission an independent company verifies visiting each house to assess the condition and circumstances of the family.
School Fees and Extras:
The bursary grant covers the necessities of both school and higher education like tuition fees, board charges, laundry, lodging, and accident insurance coverage for self. It also includes the study material costs along with the cost related to sports activities. The student only has to pay for their project works which cost a minimal amount.
independent school scholarships
Parents who cannot afford to pay the fee must connect with the fee and bursaries accountant asking for guidance and application. Necessary awards are also provided through a detailed means-test to the student. The bursaries-accountant sees to the inquiry of parents regarding these school fee-structures and help. The bursaries work very confidentially and are thoroughly verified.
The bursaries ensure to give access to all the students with a variety of financial backgrounds, to the provision of education in these prestigious universities. A case study published reports that in an institute in the academic year 2020/2021 they could provide seventy boys a full fee remission, and over ninety boys paid nothing for their education, with the help of bursaries.
For future targets, this institution expects the number would gradually increase to one hundred forty candidates availing these facilities summing up to ten percent of the total students in five years. They plan to target much younger students with a vulnerable background helping them from an early age. These students will also be looked after children and orphan children. Apart from these the students will be provided scholarships based on these detailed means-tests a wave of five to ninety-five percent of the academic fee, which includes entrance fee, admission fee, etc.
how to get a top independent school scholarship
These bursaries also have scholarships like music scholarships, academic scholarships for a student excelling in academic and music fields, through means-tested financial help. These also include some extra help if necessary. Currently, up to one hundred forty students are availing of these scholarships. From September 2020 onwards, a new scholarship has been introduced. This is Orwell Award, which is the sixth form entry route which is also a means-tested, detailed exam. Which provides the avails necessary financial help on music, sports, and other curricular activities. These programs are mainly to ensure that all the deserving talented students with financially weak backgrounds get the necessary and much-needed academic help.
Scholarships and awards:
Bursaries are much-needed financial help for those families who won’t be able to afford the academic fee for the students otherwise. Scholarships are different from these. Bursaries provide a portion or all the fees of an academic year of the students.
If a pupil has applied for any scholarship, he/she can also decide to avail of the necessary bursary grant. But these are independent of each other. If a student has been granted a scholarship, it is not necessary, that the pupil will get the bursary grant.
The general scholarship is provided for students with the help of a financial supporter of the institutions. Very few schemes are available in the bursaries.
Independent school scholarships
- Most private schools out there offer scholarships to a certain extent.
- The offers are provided during the entry into the schools.
- A specific deadline is there for filling out and submitting the scholarship applications.
How do I get an independent school scholarship?
Most of the time the scholarships are provided based on academic ability, musical ability, art and design, sports, and performing arts. In the case of each of these extra talents, a sufficient amount of evidence needs to be provided. Proofs might include school reports, transcripts, etc.
There has been a case where students at or above the age of 16 have applied for scholarships while their entry into grade 12 and got it as well. Most of these students were provided the scholarship on the basis of their GCSE scores.
Independent school bursaries
Bursaries on the other hand are a discount on the school fees and granted on a wider basis. The main criteria for offering bursaries in independent London schools is the financial condition of the family of the child. The percentage of discount on the fee will depend from school to school as the policies might be different.
top independent school scholarships
When are private school bursary deadlines?
he financial assistance is not provided by the family, rather, it is provided by a third party, this the chances are getting funding in such a case is much more.
It is not just based on the policy, most of the time there is a political factor governing such decisions as well. One should be knowing how to apply for a bursary by now.
The best advice would be to start as early as possible. For example, if the student is applying for the 11th-grade bursary funding, then one should be looking into the application process while they are still in their 9th grade. Even though there is a good amount of funding, due to a high number of students the funds can fall short and limited. The second step is to look into the details on the school websites.
top independent school scholarships
Independent school bursary polices
A number of schools publish their policy based on bursaries and that is oftentimes evident from the application forms.
There are several educational trusts out there and it is always better to approach these trusts beforehand as they might be already working on an arrangement with certain schools.
Which income level qualifies for bursaries?
A gross income of less than 30,000 GBP will be automatically making an applicant’s child eligible for getting the bursary funds.
One will have to provide in detail all the required answers including financial documentation, income, assets, etc. The tax the parents or the sole early parent pays will also have to be provided in the form. All of this will make sure that only and only the most deserving one gets the funds.
Our Which School Guides
Finally, London Pre-Schools Guide.