The Opportunity Fund - Frequently Asked Questions


How are bursaries promoted by the College?

We promote bursaries at Open Evenings and publish information on our web site about how to make an application.  The Head Master has built relationships with Head Teachers of local Catholic primary schools in areas of Glasgow where there is significant deprivation, allowing us to work in partnership to identify pupils with potential and encourage applications.

Do Bursary applicants sit the same exam as fee-paying applicants?

Yes, our Bursary applicants sit exactly the same entrance exam as every other applicant.  They must attain excellent results. For the last 3 years, Bursary applicants have scored the top mark.  This year the top pupil – a bursary applicant - scored 137.5 out of 138!

How much is awarded to applicants?

Each case is taken on its own merits, but proof is required of any family income and assets.  Recipient families are means-tested on an annual basis.  Almost all Opportunity Fund applicants receive a 100% award as this is what is needed for them to access a College education.

Who decides how much and to whom the bursaries will be awarded?

There is a Bursary Committee of three Governors, together with the Head Master and Bursar which considers the applications after the Entrance Examination has taken place.

What else does a 100% Bursary cover?

Where financial assistance is needed, the College can provide up to 75% of the cost of an educational trip once during a pupil’s time at the College, and when possible, a full award can be made.  The types of experiences this covers can include:

  • Participation in the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award (well received on university applications)

  • Subject-related visits, e.g., Cern (for Physics pupils)

  • As retreats are intrinsic to our ethos, they are not regarded as trips. Assistance for retreats is given where parents ask for help and for as many of the annual retreats as the pupil wishes to attend.

    How much are the fees?

    A:  The annual fees in Senior School currently vary between £13,212 and £13,455.  Fee information can be found on the College web site at:

    If I support The Opportunity Fund, may I meet the Bursary Scholar?  

    No, it is not usually possible to meet them whilst at the College.  The identities of Bursary beneficiaries remain confidential and are only known to a small handful of staff on a need-to-know basis.  Their anonymity is protected so that they are given equal treatment on a par with their peers.  

    What is the proportion of pupils currently in receipt of a Bursary?

    For academic year 2019-20, 8% of our pupils in the Senior School gain Bursary support via The Opportunity Fund.

    Are bursaries available to pupils in the Junior School?

    Not routinely, but if an application is made by an outstanding pupil of Junior School age who shows early promise, then the earlier they are supported, the better.   

    How will my gift be used?

    Your donation forms part of the College Development Account and is ring-fenced for The Opportunity Fund.  No matter what size your donation, every gift towards The Opportunity Fund goes directly to fund bursaries and cannot be used to pay for any other College costs.

    What does “Needs Blind” mean?

    This means that pupils are awarded a place based solely on academic merit.

    What is the response to date for the Opportunity Fund?  

Since 2013, over 200 donors have made gifts and pledges worth over £700,000 towards bursaries alone at the College.  This includes two Legacies, one left by an Old Aloysian, the other by a former parent.  The Opportunity Fund will now be at the forefront for fundraising in order to widen access to a distinctive education for high ability pupils.

What is the difference between a Bursary and a Scholarship?

A Bursary is awarded on a means-tested basis for academic merit, whilst a Scholarship is awarded for a specific talent in Sport, Music, Choral Singing, etc.

 Q14:  Can I make a tax-effective gift?

Yes, our charitable giving operates under the Gift Aid Scheme.  The Development Office can provide you with tax-effective illustrations, but you should always seek professional advice from your accountant.