A Guide to Private School Scholarships and Bursaries

A Guide to Private School Scholarships and Bursaries

A Guide to Private School Scholarships and Bursaries

It’s natural to want the best for your child but sending them to a private school might be out of your reach due to financial difficulties. Luckily, a lot of institutions offer financial help for students who can’t afford to attend a private school – the number of children who receive a bursary or a scholarship each year can be as high as 157k. [1] On the other hand, if your child is gifted and you think they deserve prestigious education, you can start looking into scholarships.

What is the Difference Between a Bursary and a Scholarship?

A bursary can be received by students whose parents are on low income and wouldn’t be able to afford private education otherwise, while scholarships are awarded based on a student’s performance and only cover up to 10% of fees. Those who receive a scholarship are gifted in one of the disciplines such as sports, drama, academics or dance. However, in order to receive a bursary, your child has to be able to match the level of performance expected by the school so remember that low income isn’t the only criteria that have to be met.

What is the Application Process Like?

The application process is strict and can be lengthy; after deciding on which school to apply for, you’ll have to make sure you fulfil all the requirements that differ from place to place and provide evidence of your income and your bank account statement as proof of your income. You can apply through school or a trust; some offer financial help based on things like religion or a type of job so it’s worth looking into all options.

Tips on Getting a Scholarship and Bursary

Getting your child a place at a private school isn’t a simple process, no matter how bright they might be or how many financial hardships you face. Here are a few things to remember if you want to maximise your chances:

1. Do your research

Visit the Independent School Council website to search schools by the type of scholarship and bursary they offer, as well as other categories such as age or gender.

2. Start early

Most parents think about sending their kids to a private school when they’re 11 or 12 – the better prepared you are to apply ahead of time, the more likely you’ll be to get your child a place despite the competition. However, if it doesn’t work out, you can always try again when they’re older.

3. Focus on quality, not quantity

If you believe that your child will benefit from going to a private school, it might be tempting to send applications to many different schools. However, remember that private education isn’t always better if the school doesn’t match your child’s abilities and needs. Make sure you choose a place where you know your child will thrive and reach their potential.

4. Be honest about your financial situation

Schools will look at things like how often you go away for a holiday, how many houses you own and so on. If your circumstances change and the change affects the bursary, it will likely be reduced or withdrawn. 

Lastly, consider what your child’s wishes are. Children who receive a scholarship will have to continuously prove that they deserve the award and children who receive a bursary will have to be able to catch up with their peers, which can be a lot of pressure for a young person. If you are unsure whether this is right for your child, consider speaking to a mental health professional. Contact My Family Psychologist for a confidential chat


[1] https://www.goodschoolsguide.co.uk/digital-media/blog/scholarships-bursaries-means-testing-private-school#:~:text=Over%20the%20past%20year%2C%20private,tested%20fee%20assistance%2C%20namely%20bursaries.

If you are feeling pressured or need someone to speak to, contact My Family Psychologist for a confidential chat about how we may be able to help.

You can contact the My Family Psychologist Offices between 8 am and 8 pm to book an appointment.

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