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Financial assistance is offered via two main channels, to ensure the College is accessible to as many pupils as possible who meet our entry criteria. Fee discounts can be offered via scholarships or bursaries. The differences are explained below.


A scholarship is awarded on the basis of academic, artistic or sporting excellence. A scholarship has to be applied for separately before admission to the College and normally carries a value of up to 10%, although in exceptional circumstances higher values can be awarded. More information on scholarships, and how and when to apply for them, may be found here


The College Governors are committed to broadening access to the school by offering means-tested financial support to eligible parents or guardians to assist with the payment of school fees. Such support is known as a bursary and may be awarded in the form of a discount on tuition fees, depending on the financial, compassionate or other pertinent circumstances of applicants.

Bursaries are awarded on the basis of the financial needs of the family and what the child can bring to and gain from the College. Bursary applications will only be considered after an applicant has formally registered with us.

If you indicate on your registration form that you wish to apply for fee support, we will email you an activation link to enable you to create an account on the online portal, through which you will need to complete a Statement of Financial Circumstance form. If you have not received this activation link but would like to apply for financial assistance, please contact the registrar on [email protected]

This initial Statement of Financial Circumstance is reviewed by the Bursar and most, but not all, are passed to an independent company, Bursary Administration Limited (BAL), which will examine a family’s financial situation in detail, usually via telephone or video call.

As a fairly young school, we have more applicants for financial assistance than we have bursary funds available so we need to ensure that we allocate support to the most deserving candidates who will reap the greatest benefit. Please note that significant financial support is unlikely for Year 7 applicants unless the pupil is the recipient of our special Year 7 All-Rounder Eggar Scholarship.

Since the financial assessment can be a lengthy process, it is important that bursary applications are submitted in a timely fashion in line with our registration deadlines (see these here: Year 7, Year 9, Year 12).

The Case for Assistance

The Headmaster and Bursar will consider a number of factors when making the judgement as to the justification for financial support:

The Child's Suitability

The child's suitability for the school is the first consideration. Attention will be given to the academic assessment result of each applicant, but potential will be considered alongside actual achievement. Bursary funds are limited and those judged most suitable and most likely to gain most from our education provision will be given priority (see Supplementary Bursary Application Form above). Each pupil to whom support is offered must, in the opinion of the Headmaster, be likely to make sound academic progress following admission and possess the potential to develop the quality of his or her work, and benefit from participation in the wider co-curricular activities on offer at the College. Previous school reports will be consulted for evidence of good behaviour. 

Financial Limitations

The second consideration is financial limitations. Each bursary application is assessed on its own merits and awards are made accordingly, subject to the College's ability to fund these within the context of its overall budget. As a small and relatively young school, Shiplake College has limited funds to make available for bursaries. It is recognised that judgements about what sacrifices a family should make to pay school fees will be personal. However, the School has a duty to ensure that all bursary grants are well focussed and so, as well as current earnings, other factors which will be considered in determining the necessary level of grant will include:

  • The ability to improve the financial position or earning power of the family. For example, where there are two partners, both would be expected to be employed unless one is prevented from doing so through incapacity, the need to care for children under school age or other dependents, or the requirements of their partner’s work.
  • Opportunities to release any capital. Significant capital savings and investments would be expected to be used for the payment of school fees, as would equity values in houses.
  • In cases of separation, the contribution made by the absent parent.
  • Contribution to household costs by other, wider, family members, any adults unrelated to the child or by outside sources.
  • Where fees are being paid to other schools (or universities) any bursary grant will take into account all these outgoings.
  • Acknowledging that others might have a different view, the College considers that the following would not be consistent with the receipt of a bursary:
    • Frequent or expensive holidays.
    • New or luxury cars.
    • Investment in significant home improvements.
    • A second property/land holdings.
Other Fee Discounts

The College offers an award worth 20% of fees to members of the Armed Forces. Families with siblings in the College are eligible to receive a 5% fee concession on their eldest child's fees, and Old Viking families are granted a 10% fee concession.

Further Information

Please contact the College Bursary on 0118 940 2455 for further information.