School grants, bursaries and scholarships are often seen as synonymous – but they are not in every case. Grants or bursaries may depend more so on a demonstrated financial need whereas scholarships are more often based on merit. Of course, some private school grants may have an aspect of merit in their requirements or qualifications.
A grant may also be given for a specific, detailed purpose, such as a student's undertaking a special research project of topical interest to the granting body. Finally, although grant and bursary may be essentially synonymous, the word grant is probably more common than bursary.
The one thing all of the above have in common is that they are non-repayable, a key factor distinguishing grants and scholarships from loans and other financial aid such as payment plans. Many schools also offer sibling discounts sometimes called sibling bursaries because tuition may be paid in full first, with a refund offered as a bursary.
If you feel that you have a demonstrable need, the time to apply for any private school grant is right now.
Where to find private school grants
There are two primary sources of grants and bursaries, as we have reiterated numerous times throughout the years.
Individual schools may offer specialized grants to families that can demonstrate a need. Inquire from each of the schools listed below as to what they offer in terms of financial aid, bursaries or grants.
Bursaries and grants are also available from organisations, notably Children First, a Fraser Institute-sponsored fund. This fund was started in 2003. Winners are chosen through a lottery system. Recipients can receive funding up to half of their child's yearly tuition up to a maximum of $4000 per year. For families in Ontario, the grant can last from JK through Grade 8, while Alberta families can be funded through Grade 6.
According to the website, there are essential eligibility requirements:
- Applicants must be entering any grade from JK to grade 8 only, for the upcoming school year.
- Applicants must live in Ontario or Alberta
- Applicants must live in a household where annual income does not exceed twice the poverty line and possesses low capital assets.
Research grants, on the other hand, might require focusing on a specific subject area, even a niche within a subject area. While these grants are typically available to university graduate students and professors, research grants for private school students is rare but not unheard of.
More about private school grants from Ourkids.net
We have covered private school grants a number of times on the pages of ourkids.net including a recent blog post, "Putting Children First."
In the past, we have covered the Youth in Motion Awards, which present a bursary to worthy students. Every year, private school students were awarded money in this including several private school student Youth in Motion grant winners in 2008.
You can learn more about Youth in Motion or apply for the Top 20 Under 20 here.
Student competitions are found across the spectrum and winning one of these competitions is certainly as good as a grant. The Annual Great Canadian Questions Essay Competition is one example.
Grants for private schools themselves
There are also school grants in some cases. Schools can receive grants from special interest groups if they meet certain requirements. There are numerous examples but one announced in late 2010 is the Green Community School Grants Program, available to any school, including private schools.