Chapter 4 – The Practical Stuff: Admissions and Fees

If you’ve made it this far, you probably want to know how to apply to an independent sixth form college, and how much its likely to cost

How to apply

Like any school application, our first tip is to apply as early as possible to make sure you avoid disappointment.

Colleges tend to be a bit more flexible on admissions than schools, so you don’t need to worry about any tough entrance exams or sky-high academic requirements.

They have fairly similar application processes, which will be made clear when you visit, as well as on their website and in their prospectus.

After you have submitted your application, the college will invite you for an interview in person or on Skype.

In the interview letter, they will ask you to bring a few documents, This is usually in the form of recent school reports, a reference from your school, and examples of your written work.

Interview Tips:

Refresh your memory of why youve chosen the college
Make sure you turn up on time
Dress smartly, avoiding jeans or trainers
Be confident and attentive, making eye contact with the interviewer(s)
Answer honestly, and be yourself

The interview is a chance for them to understand you better, and get a clearer idea of what the sixth form college can do for you- they are not trying to catch you out!

Fees, scholarships and bursaries

Independent sixth form colleges are far from cheap.

Without government funding, and with a large amount of specialist staff to cover a small number of students, fees are inevitably quite high.

Colleges set their own fees, but they usually tend to fall between 15,000 to 20,000 per annum, putting them in line with good independent schools. Fees are generally expected to be paid at the start of each term, though some colleges may agree to instalments in special cases.

Some colleges charge more than others, for various reasons including class size, facilities and location. Fees may also vary within colleges according to the courses studied.

A small number of scholarships and bursaries are available for academic ability and/or financial hardship, but the policies differ between colleges. These awards are often for particular subjects, or for teenagers from particular backgrounds. Some might also offer reductions for more than one family member attending, or if you pay a whole year’s fees in advance.

It is also important to bear in mind the costs incurred from accommodation and travel, which can be especially expensive in the London area.