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.
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.
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.
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.
Attend information seminars on financial aid, including scholarships and tax breaks, at any of the Private School Expos every fall. These one-day events are a must for any parent or student considering an alternative education.