Widening participation is a key area for the independent school sector and bursaries have long been the means by which schools are able to make places available to families who would otherwise have been unable to fund a place.
According to the Independent Schools Council (ISC), “The total value of means-tested bursaries and scholarships provided by schools has increased by over £195m since 2011 and currently stands at over £455m per year.”
In their current 2021 Census, the ISC reported that 179,768 pupils attending ISC schools are in receipt of fee assistance in the form of bursaries or scholarships; 35% of students who would not otherwise be able to secure a place at an independent school.
Managing administration and delivery of essential bursaries is a significant role and that often falls to the bursar or might be outsourced to a specialist organisation. Applicaa is about to transform this area for independent schools.
Working with the head office and school teams at the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST), the largest and most-established UK group of independent schools for girls, Applicaa has developed a new cloud-based bursary management platform, Bursary+.
Bursary+ will use all the best features of the existing Admissions+ application and enrolment management system, such as email templates, school branding and live reporting, coupled with a completely tailored bursary management platform.
The ‘see at a glance’ live status graphs will display the number of bursary applications for an individual school and the various stages those applications are at.
Statuses include – in progress, validated, awarded, provisional, calculated and withdrawn.
Users will be able to report to SLT and other departments on the progress of each bursary applicant and on the amount of bursary that is available to them and for how long.
For families, it makes the bursary application process easy and digital. Families log on online and enter their key information, much like with the existing Admissions+ platform.
For bursary management, they enter parameters such as income, dependents and other assets, for example, value of owned property, business assets or rental income.
Gathering data on four key areas of income, expenses, liabilities and assets gives the fullest picture when coupled with personal family visits and interviews conducted by schools or a specialist third party.
The system will provide a summary of all the information entered for each student and provide an indication of eligibility.
The platform will enable staff to access a central management and processing facility for all bursary applications across one or more schools.
This will be particularly useful for school groups with multiple schools across different locations.
Key benefits of Bursary+
● Bursary+ lets families apply for a bursary online
● All key financial information can be uploaded online
● Data is securely stored in line with GDPR requirements
● Bursary+ will provide a guideline on eligibility
● View live data updates on applications
● Remaining bursary funding is shown
● Data across multiple schools in a group is displayed on a live data dashboard
● Easy reporting for SLT teams and governors
For more information on Bursary+ please visit https://applicaa.com/bursary-plus