2022 will mark the eighth year of the cife scholarship programme which aims to assist suitable students to study an appropriate full A-level programme at one of the twenty-one participating cife colleges listed to the right. Tuition grants are at the discretion of each college, with some awards ranging from 50% to 100%. Scholarship students will generally be responsible for their own accommodation and maintenance costs.

Although cife colleges are not government-funded and must cover their costs by charging fees, those participating in the cife scholarship programme allocate money in their annual budget to assist worthy students to pay these fees. Each college has its own arrangements and procedures regarding scholarship applications and awards. Click on an individual college name to find out the details of their scheme and how to apply for an award.

The cife scholarship programme continues to expand and to offer more students the opportunity of benefiting from the excellent results achieved by the member colleges.

Click on the    symbols below to find out more.


Our Fees at cife colleges page includes links to the Fees page on each college's website.

What help with fees can cife colleges offer?

Most cife colleges offer some help with fees in the form of an ‘award’, usually called a scholarship, or a bursary. Colleges may also offer Prizes, Hardship Funds and Pay-as-you-go schemes. Some colleges offer a small reduction if two members of a family are studying there, or if you pay a whole year’s fees at the start of the course.

What's the difference between scholarship and bursary?

A Scholarship usually means an award which does not depend at all on how wealthy your family is. A Bursary is generally ‘means tested’: the wealthier your family, the smaller the award. However, some still use ‘scholarship’ to refer to a substantial award and ‘bursary’ to refer to a small one.

Awards may be based on your general academic potential, or may be tied to a particular subject area (such as Drama, Music or Art), or course-type. They may also be restricted, for example to students from the local area or who have not experienced private education before.

Which colleges offer cife Scholarships?

Many offer the specific cife Scholarships described above. Each college has its own application procedure, so to find out more you’ll need either to contact the cife Secretary, or to email the college. cife Scholarships range from 50% up to 100%, but typically the successful applicants will receive tuition free of charge. They will generally be responsible for their own accommodation and maintenance costs.

Click on a college’s name to visit the college’s cife site page, which describes the college and gives phone numbers and email links.

Are there any strings attached to an award?

In exchange for help with fees colleges will expect you to work hard and behave well. If you don’t they may stop your award altogether. And of course you can’t use a college award to study somewhere else!

What are prizes and hardship funds?

Each college gives an annual cife ‘College Prize’, and some give additional prizes to students who do very well on their course. Prizes are usually based on exam results, occasionally on ‘outstanding contribution to college life’. Though the prestige of winning a prize is considerable, its cash value is generally small.

If a student’s financial circumstances change drastically some colleges have a ‘hardship fund’ to help with fees and to enable him or her to complete the course

How do pay-as-you-go schemes work?

Generally fees for each term have to be paid ‘up front’ at the start of each term. Some colleges will allow you (by prior agreement!) to pay a regular amount each month, but all will expect you to complete payment by the time exam results are published.

How do colleges choose who to help with fees?

Each college has its own procedures, designed to assess your potential and (if a bursary is involved), your financial need. Ask your chosen college for details.

Assessing your potential will involve an interview, references and (probably) some sort of test appropriate to the award – a written test of general ability for an academic scholarship, or an audition for a drama scholarship etc. Colleges want to ensure that awards go to students who are likely to get excellent results and who will contribute fully to college life.

If you are applying for a means-tested award, your family will need to supply detailed information about income, savings, other assets and specific expenses. Colleges will expect details to be backed up with documentary evidence.

When do I have to apply if I want help with fees?

The later you apply for help with fees, the less likely it is that the college will still have award funds left. Most advise that you should contact them as early as possible, well before Christmas if you want an award for the following September.

Are there any other sources of help with fees?

Because cife colleges are private and the courses they offer are pre-university level, there are few other sources of help with fees. If you are ‘normally resident’ in Britain and your parents are diplomats or in the armed forces you may be eligible for assistance (Diplomatic Service Families Association and Ministry of Defence Children’s Advisory Service). You might also be able to persuade your Local Education Authority or Social Services Department to make you a grant, but you will have to demonstrate that you have an educational need which only a cife college can meet. There are a range of charities which provide funds for education, but these are often restricted in scope. To find out more, try The Educational Trusts’ Forum and Grants Expert.

If your family’s normal residence is outside Britain, have a look at the British Council site for advice on funding your studies. The UK Council for International Student Affairs also has helpful information.

Is there any other way to raise money to study?

If it not possible to get help with fees, your family may still be able to afford to pay for your course by setting up a ‘School Fees Plan’ which spreads the cost over time. There are a number of specialist companies, such as Independent School Fees Advice, which are experts in finding the best way to do this.

cife colleges offering scholarships

Bath Academy

MPW Birmingham

MPW Cambridge

CATS Canterbury

Ashbourne College
Cambridge Tutors College
David Game College
LSI Independent College
MPW London
Westminster Tutors

Market Harborough
Brooke House

Bosworth Independent College

Oxford International College
Oxford Sixth Form College

Padworth College

Rochester Independent College

Other related site page

Fees at cife colleges