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Financial Assistance

Financial aid guide and boy student talking

If your financial circumstances prevent your son from joining Merchiston, you may qualify for financial assistance called a Bursary (means-tested remission on day or boarding fees). 

Equally, if your circumstances change after your son has joined, you may apply for a bursary rather than disrupt his education at a critical time.

Bursaries are awarded from a Bursary fund, a finite ‘pot’ distributed as fairly as possible on a means-tested basis. Because bursaries may provide as much as 100% fee remission, the number and size varies from year to year depending on the circumstances of those applying.

The ultimate obligation to finance school fees lies with you, as parents, so we will only consider financial support in the form of a means-tested Bursary after all other avenues for financing school fees have been exhausted.

How to apply for a Bursary

  • Complete and submit a confidential Bursary application form by February half term in the year before your son will start. We may ask you for additional information if necessary.
  • Applications are assessed by external third party to ensure transparency and fairness
  • Bursary committee (Headmaster, Bursar and representative from Scott Moncrieff, our financial advisors) meets in March to award bursaries based on the means-tested information and the admissions process
  • Bursaries are subject to annual review and dependent on your son playing a full and active part in school life. To ensure the Bursary fund remains fairly distributed, we ask you to let us know if your circumstances change and may request additional financial information at our discretion.

We appreciate it might seem daunting, so please contact the Bursar on 0131 312 2215 or if you would like to discuss your circumstances in person. All your information will be treated with complete confidentiality. We may also be able to help you access additional support, if appropriate, from external educational funds.

Bursary criteria explained

We want to ensure that our limited Bursary fund helps the families whose need is greatest. For this reason we will only consider you for a Bursary when all other avenues have been exhausted.  The full list of conditions can be found by clicking the "Bursary Qualifications" button. Here are some of the factors we consider:

  • Have you taken all opportunities to release capital either through increased mortgages or sale of investments?
  • Are you able to improve the earning power of your family? In the case of two parent families, we would expect both parents to be earning where possible
  • Have you asked extended family for support before requesting a means-tested Bursary?
  • Have you considered the financial circumstances of both natural parents? In the case of re-marriage the application should include the step parent’s financial information. We will take into account the step parent’s obligation to his or her natural children
  • If you have children at other fee-paying schools, have you also applied for a bursary there? We will take into account commitments to the education of other siblings, but will expect you to have made Bursary applications to the other schools also.
  • If you live locally, have you considered day fees? We would expect you to consider a day place if you live locally and boarding fees are beyond your means

Infogrpahics Slider


132 Pupils receive means-test access


Pupils received Bursaries or Scholarships from External Trusts/Charities


means-tested financial assistance awarded