Quick tips for those seeking fee assistance
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A lack of financial resources need not be a barrier to your child attending an independent school.
Approximately a third of pupils at independent schools are in receipt of some fee assistance - that is over 170,000 pupils.
Nearly a billion pounds are given every year in the form of scholarships, bursaries and other awards.
Each year, over five thousand pupils receive means-tested financial assistance of 100% of the fees.
Tip 1: Make full use of the extensive FREE resources on this website
Use this website to discover everything you can about scholarships, bursaries and other fee assistance at independent schools in the UK.
Tip 2: Sign up for our newsletter to keep up with new information
Sign up to our newsletters here to be kept up to date with new information.
Tip 5: Start early, if you can, but don't worry if you have left it rather late
Start to investigate fee assistance well in advance.
Tip 4: Schools are used to talking to parents about fee assistance
Do not be frightened of approaching schools to ask about financial support. Schools are used to talking about fee assistance with parents and they will be happy to discuss your queries and concerns.
Tip 3: Appreciate that a significant amount of fee assistance is regularly awarded
Remember that around a third of children at independent schools receive some fee assistance. Every year millions of pounds are given to thousands of children to enable them to accept places at independent schools. Therefore, if you need to apply for financial help, you are not alone.
Tip 8: Learn more about fee assistance by reading our Articles page
Our Articles page has informative articles about fee assistance written by those with expertise in the field, including Head teachers.
Tip 9: Stick to your own instincts and do not be put off by others.
Other people may tell you that you should not pursue the possiblity of fee assistance, that an award is impossible, or that you cannot afford to make an application or that your child will not win an award.
Tip 6: Talk to schools and listen to them
Ask for advice and information from schools and listen carefully to it. The staff employed by schools are usually very experienced about fee assistance.
Tip 7: Attend Open Days and other events
Attend open days and other events offered by schools to prospective parents.
Tip 12: Financial assistance for pupils already attending an independent school
Many schools are able to help current pupils whose families fall on hard times or have a significant change in circumstances which affects their ability to pay the fees.
Tip 13: Schools are very different
Schools have very differing financial reserves earmarked for fee assistance and widely varying criteria for awarding financial help.
Tip 14: Financial help from other organisations
Some educational trusts help with school fees. These awards tend to be for children in quite specific circumstances but they can be worth investigating. See our organisations page for further details.
Tip 15: Meet deadlines - for registration, applications etc
Meet deadlines set by schools for registration, acceptance of a place, deposit, application for an award etc.
Tip 16: Persevere
Persevere through setbacks. It is often those who do not give up who are successful in the end. Do not be afraid to fail. If you fail, try again.
Tip 17: Check application criteria
Check that your child meets the criteria for any award for which you want to enter them. If there is any doubt, talk to the school.
Tip 11: Try other schools
If you are disappointed at one school, approach another. Your experience there may be quite different.
Tip 18: If you cannot afford payments such as registration and deposits, talk to the school
Schools understand that even the cost of registration and deposit payments can be too high for some parents. If you are having difficulty with any payment, however small, talk to the school and ask if they can suggest a way forward.
Tip 19: Be aware of what you are committing to
Nowadays, particularly with the advent of pre-testing, schools may well offer a place, and ask for acceptance, long before your child is due to start the school.
Tip 20: Obligations of an award holder
It is important to appreciate that children who hold awards can often be expected to.............
Tip 21: Check out our Factsheets for information
Our Factsheets are designed to provide you will helpful information. They are divided into topics to help you locate the most appropriate factsheets for your circumstances.