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Applying for a Bursary

By: Louise Tobias BA (hons) - Updated: 3 Feb 2015 | comments*Discuss

If you are interested in your child attending a private school but do not have the personal financial ability to pay all of the school fees, it's a good idea to look into the bursaries offered by most of the UK's independent schools. Different schools will award bursaries in different ways; some schools may make them available to students who apply for them while others will automatically make all students eligible when receiving information about a child's home background.

Some schools may offer bursaries to children whose parents are teachers at the school. Usually, it is important to note, bursaries are not awarded based on purely academic criteria; this is their main distinction from scholarships. Indeed, bursaries are generally means-tested financial awards.

Applying for Bursaries

Unfortunately, there is no one single way that all schools organise their bursary schemes, so there is no definite, clear-cut way in which parents can apply to all their favourite schools for bursaries. Generally, however, the best thing to do in the first instance is to contact each school's secretary and ask about the procedures in place to apply for a bursary. Some questions to ask include; is there an exam? What kind of proof of earnings and background must we provide? What is demand like, and how many bursaries are available? What is the maximum and minimum bursary provision been? What kind of interest have you seen in bursaries this year?

The next thing to do is to consider whether the maximum bursary would enable your child to attend the school. If not, there is no point wasting your time and energy applying - especially as making an application, being successful and then having to reject it as the fees are still too high may be upsetting for your son or daughter. Remember to also take into consideration extra costs such as uniforms, textbooks, music or sporting equipment, lunches, travel fees etc.

If, however, the bursary makes the private school's fees affordable in the long-term, your next step is to apply for forms to put your family forward as potential bursary recipients. Contact the school to ask for a bursary form, and fill it in honestly and completely. Be aware that there will be no guarantees that filling in the form will result in a bursary award, since these means tested sums of money will usually be under very high demand.

Giving Your Child the Best Chance

Bursaries can make a huge difference to whether a child can attend a school, so it's a good idea to really consider the way that you are completing your bursary application form. Give as much detail as possible on your financial responsibilities, your incomings, outgoings, who the burden of school fees will fall upon - this is not the time to feel financially shy! Being as honest and open as possible will help the application readers to make their decision based on all of your information.

You should also mention any other relevant pieces of information, such as whether family members are involved in the Armed Forces, or used to teach at the school, or if your child has siblings at the school - all these factors can help your child's application. It is also important that you ensure your child is very aware that the process does not judge them as individuals; emphasising this point before you begin the application process is important if you are to avoid inflicting possible feelings of failure on your child.
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Iam a ugandan and i have 4kids,current am not working b'se the contract expired ,my husband is a farmer and the money he gets isnot enough for food and schoolfees.Iam looking forbursaries to enable my kids to go back school.Be blessed and please help.
smart - 3-Feb-15 @ 6:19 AM
I had a child who will be turning 3yrs on the 1st of october, I'm looking for a school that will give him a better education as well that will assist him to speak english, I never had an opportunity to go to those school because my mother could'nt afford to pay fees and I dont like that to happen to my child and I'm working as well I'm working as well a bread winner as well a single parent , for now I'm looking for a nusery that can provide me with the busary or some one that could assist me on his study.
zee - 17-Jan-15 @ 12:53 PM
I am a Zimbabwean and our daughter is turning 16 in August this year. From January2013 to March 2013 she was doing grade 10 in Canada after my sister and her husband who are cuurrently based there said they could sponsor her education. In April they sent her back and said they could no longer sponsor her. Shehad been exposed to international learning starndards and had been assured that her education needs would be taken care of only to be let down. She has been devasted and I do not want her life to be scarred by this incident. I am requesting for assistance in the form of a bursary to enable her to enrol at an international high school and continue with her education. Please help
NIL - 11-May-13 @ 10:02 AM
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