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In recent years there has been a move away from non-means tested scholarships to means-tested fee assistance, allowing for wider access to our schools. There are however still a number of independent schools who offer scholarships for a range of subjects, from academic to sporting, music to the performing arts. 

Scholarships offer the opportunity for talent to be rewarded in independent schools. They can be awarded to any pupil with outstanding potential, irrespective of their financial situation or background, and are based entirely on their performance within a specific subject or field. 

Here, we explore the options available for those looking for a scholarship and give advice on how you can go about applying for one.


What is involved when applying for a scholarship?

The process for applying for a scholarship varies for each school depending on what the scholarship is to be awarded for – a music scholarship application will look very different from a sports one, for example. Speak to the school when making your initial inquiry to ensure you know what the process is.

Each applicant will first have to successfully complete the normal entrance assessment. Thereafter for an academic scholarship, a further assessment will be required which might be followed with an interview or chat with a member of staff.  For a music or sporting scholarship, your child will have to be able to demonstrate exceptional ability and potential.


What does a scholarship provide?

Different schools offer various scholarship awards. Some hold the scholarship award in trust until the pupil completes their sixth year, others will give between a 10% - 50% reduction on fees and some may take the form of a prize with no fee reduction.  

It is possible to apply for additional fee assistance as well as a scholarship. Means-tested fee assistance allows children whose families would not otherwise have been able to afford it, the opportunity to attend an independent school.   

Although there is no guarantee that your child will be awarded a scholarship upon applying, as the selection process is highly competitive, it is worth taking the time to apply for one if your child shows exceptional talent in a particular area. It is always worth it to do your research and understand the criteria your chosen school has in place before making your scholarship application.


There are so many options available for those looking for some financial help when considering an independent school. SCIS can help in the search – use our find a school tool or get in touch with us today.