early scholarship preparation bursaries the scholarship hunt

It’s never too early to be thinking about school scholarships

Every year a select few parents find that their child has been offered a scholarship place to a top public school as a result of their child’s exceptional talents in a specific field of endeavour.

Scholarships, which are sometimes also referred to as Exhibitions or Awards, are awarded to a select few children for Academic, Musical or Sports related abilities.

Prep Schools and Senior Schools often award scholarships to a select few applicants each year.

Whilst, in theory, any child can be put forward for a scholarship, in practice each school will invariably have their own specific criteria for selecting the winning applicants.

In addition with their differing criteria, individual schools each have their own timetables and cut-off dates applications and subsequent exam sittings.

It’s important, therefore, to ensure that your child isn’t forced to sit a variety of tests for different schools and so where possible identify your first-choice school and set that as the focus of their exam preparation.

Adopt a focused approach

We’ve spoken to parents had been trying to prepare their child for multiple scholarship applications, something that invariably leads to disappointment.

It’s always better to take a holistic view, to consider all factors, such as the school, its location, the entrance criteria, any bursary options and so on, and from there narrow down ones focus to just a couple of scholarships.

This will enable parents, tutors, teachers and your child to work together following a structured timetable with clear end goals.


A Scholarship usually would entitle the child’s parents to a 5-15% reduction in the yearly fees, however, this could then be augmented by a bursary, subject to the family’s financial circumstances.

The UK’s public schools are all aware that not every scholarship candidate comes from a family who can afford their school fees in full.

Most will therefore have a way to augment or reduce the level of fees the child’s family will be required to cover.

To do this they would award a bursary, the amount of which would be determined on a case-by-case basis following an assessment of their personal financial situation.

Since approximately one-third of students attending private independent schools receive some element of bursarial support we council client parents to not feel uncomfortable about making an application, if one might be necessary.

You can find out more about bursaries on our bursaries page.

Scholarships and bursaries are discussed in further detail in our blog.