Information for parents

Help applying for a school bursary

If you’ve never applied for financial support before, applying for a bursary might seem a little bit daunting. Do not fear! With our knowledge of the finance and education sectors, our associates are very experienced and know the bursary process inside out. We will walk you through every step of the process. Let’s start at the beginning…


What is a bursary?

A bursary is a monetary award made by a school to families who can’t afford to pay full tuition fees. Applications are means tested. This means we’ll look at your family income, expenditure, capital assets and liabilities, and make a report to the school who usually also assess the student’s academic ability before making a decision. Bursary funds are generally made up of financial donations so it’s important that schools allocate the money fairly, in line with their school bursary policy and their donors’ wishes.


Is applying for a school bursary complicated?

The bursary application process is guided by the school you are applying to. The process is competitive and rigorous for the reasons mentioned above. It’s worthwhile investing time and effort in your application to make sure it’s accurate and complete. This is where we can help.


The bursary application process

  1. Your chosen school provides a link to our online bursary application portal and introduces you to our team who will support you with your application.
  2. You complete your application online and upload any supporting documentation.
  3. Our team check and validate your application and provide feedback (if received at least one week before deadline).
  4. Our associate will visit you at home to ask about your family situation, look at original documents, and gather supporting information to fill in any gaps in your application.
  5. We submit a report to the school and they have the final say on any awards. The school will contact you directly with their decision.

Your school bursary questions answered

If you don’t see an answer to your question here, please send us an email to

Why the application process?

A bursary application is likely to be the single largest request for funding that a family will make. Many schools do not have the funds to offer financial support to all applicants so it is very important that parents invest the time to ensure that their application for financial support is accurate and complete.

Why do bursary applications need to be assessed?

As with any major financial application (and due to the high level of financial benefit gained by a bursary award), School Governors require a robust assessment process to make sure funds are awarded fairly and in accordance with their policy and donors’ wishes.

Why do you need to visit us at home?

The home visit helps us to fully understand your family situation so that the School Governors can make an informed decision on applications. Most schools rely on donors for their bursary funds so it’s important for School Governors to have the full picture and allocate funds in line with school policy and donors’ intentions.

How long does the home visit last?

If you have submitted your application with all supporting information, we will be with you for up to an hour.

What safety measures do you take before meeting in my home?

Our associates will show identification when they arrive at your home and follow all current government Covid-19 guidelines to keep us and your family safe. These include hand sanitising and social distancing. Every associate has completed training in infection prevention control. If you have any doubts about the authenticity of our associate, you can call our office to verify their identity.

What supporting information do I need to have ready?

We will send you a detailed checklist to help you to prepare fully for your bursary application. Our associate will need to see any documentation to validate income and expenditure, assets and liabilities. We advise parents and carers to keep their financial files close to hand for the visit so that we can review and locate documents easily.

Will you check my application to ensure I have got it right? Will it be rejected if I make a mistake?

If you would like feedback, please submit your application well in advance (at least one week) before the published deadline. This will give us time to review it and let you know if anything is missing or incorrect so that you have an opportunity to update your application before the school’s deadline.

Unfortunately, we cannot provide feedback on applications received on deadline day as this leaves no opportunity for you to make corrections in time. If you submit your application late or incomplete, it may be rejected.

Will you inform me if my application is incorrect?

Provided you have submitted your application at least a week before the deadline, we will review it and give you feedback. If we receive it on the day of the deadline and it is incomplete or incorrect we cannot accept it or provide feedback.

Who makes the decision about the bursary award?

The school will make the decision about your bursary application in accordance with their internal processes and they will contact you directly with their decision.

What is the likelihood of being awarded a full (100%) bursary?

This depends on the school’s bursary policy and the available funds. Full bursaries are quite rare, and disposable income and assets which the family could deploy towards school fees are taken into account. Ask to see the school’s bursary policy to find out more.

What happens to the information that we provide in support of our application?

We prepare a report for the school to summarise the information from our meeting and then securely dispose of any supporting documents in accordance with our data protection policy. Any original documentation will be returned to you.

How long will I have to wait to hear about my bursary award?

This depends on when the school’s bursary award panel meet, for further information contact the school.

Is it ok to have a friend or family member to support me during the home visit?

You can choose to have whatever support you need to help you during our visit. If in doubt, chat it through with our associate when they call to make the appointment.

Can families appoint you directly to help, rather than going through the school?

Our contact is with the school and each school has its own process. Unfortunately, we cannot work independently with families or carers.

How is the information I provide for my bursary application used?

Your information is only used for the purpose of the bursary application, it is not shared with any other third parties and it will be securely held in accordance with GDPR regulations.

I am separated from our child's mother/father. How does the application process work for us?

Each parent would need to complete a separate financial application through the portal and provide your own supporting documents. Any information you provide during the process will only be discussed with the person making the application, assuring absolute confidentiality for both parents.


A bursary can change a life forever

Bursary Assessment Associates

Company Number 11078885

ICO Reference Number A8422092

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