Independent School Parent
HOW I DID IT
Adam Hall, 18, explains how he applied for a bursary to Bolton School Boys’ Division, Greater Manchester
When did you apply for your sixth form bursary?
I applied for my bursary in my final year of GCSEs, at the beginning of year
11. The bursary was a part of my application for the school’s sixth form, where I had decided I wanted to sit my A-levels.
Can you give me a timeline of the application stage?
It was a small part of the application process. After I had been shown around and was confident I still wanted to apply, the application forms were submitted. Once interviews had been completed and I was made an offer, financial information was given to the school in a filled-in application form and accompanied with supporting evidence.
How much did you know about the bursaries on offer at Bolton School?
I was quite familiar with the bursary because I knew, as Bolton School was a private school, it would be the only way I could attend. The application for this was a small part, after I had proved to the school that I was worthy of a place by means of a test and a series of interviews. My application for the bursary was made after my place was confirmed so there was some worry that, due to my financial background, even though I had a place, I might not be able to attend if the full bursary funding I required couldn’t be offered to me.
Thankfully, this wasn’t the case and, once financial documentation was submitted, the school was more than happy to fund me on a full bursary for my two years of sixth form.
Did you have the bursary provision for the entirety of your sixth form years?
Yes. Between the two years there was a need to submit financial documentation, just to prove that my circumstances had remained the same.
Did you apply for a bursary to more than one school?
I applied for a bursary only at Bolton School because all my other sixth form and college choices were state schools.
Which members of staff knew that you had a bursary and did your peers know you had one?
Some members of staff, for example my heads of year and senior members, were aware of my bursary. Most teachers and pupils were unaware of this unless it was made clear by myself that I was on a bursary. The interesting thing was that a high percentage of my peers were also helped in some way by the bursary scheme, so having that assistance was never something that was frowned upon.
Was that your decision or school policy?
For the reasons that I’ve stated, it was entirely my decision who knew I had a bursary and who didn’t. But the question was never asked and no pressure was put on me to tell others about my financial background. If I chose to, it was something I could open up about to others with whom I felt comfortable, including staff.
A HIGH PERCENTAGE of my peers were also helped in some way BY THE BURSARY SCHEME, SO HAVING THAT ASSISTANCE WAS NEVER SOMETHING THAT WAS FROWNED UPON
What qualities do you have to have to consider applying for a bursary?
I believe the main quality is having a desire to learn and get wholeheartedly involved with school life. I feel like this needs to be considered when applying because most bursaries are offered on the basis of academic achievement. If you have a desire to achieve and are committed to working hard, it will inevitably happen and this is the best way to ensure you can fulfil your time here, and to say thank you for being given the opportunity.
What financial checks does the school make?
They need details of annual income and bank statements.