Should I be thinking about a scholarship for my child?
Most scholarships are offered solely on outstanding academic performance of the child – those that come top in their exams
or display a particular talent. No additional examinations are set
for these academic awards and it is not necessary to apply for
them as they will be offered by the school automatically if they
feel it is appropriate.
Specialist scholarships, for example in music, are applied for in advance and your child will be asked to sit an additional test based on your child’s aptitude in this specialist area. The size of the scholarship, sometimes known as an ‘exhibition’, varies depending on the calibre of the individual child and how much the school wants them. Top scholarships usually go up to fifty percent of the school fees, but more common offers are between fifteen and twenty-five percent.
If you wish to apply for a bursary, your child will still have to show academic talent. Bursaries may cover anything from ten to one hundred percent of the school feels. You will be asked to fill in a form which will require giving information about your family’s financial circumstances – a form of means testing – based on:
income pensions tax and national insurance paid out any rent or mortgage that is paid the value of your property other assets, savings and capital liabilities
This is required to ensure that support is provided to those with the greatest need. Schools will consider each case on its own merits taking into account the total family income and assets and liabilities. Schools say they aim to be as sensitive and flexible as possible in allocating the finite funds they have. There is usually a maximum level set for each school with regards to a family yearly income, above which a bursary would not be considered. This level varies from school to school so it is important to find out what this level is before filling in the form. Most schools review their bursaries annually and a change in family circumstances will often result in a change to the amount of assistance that can be provided.
In addition, support is often available for extracurricular activities that benefit a pupil’s education, such as academic trips.