Our “need-based” bursaries allow the School to partner with families who understand the added-value of a TCS education, and are prepared to make financial decisions to help make Trinity College School a reality for their child. Families looking to the School’s bursary program, should be prepared to support 50% of the tuition fees at a minimum.
A bursary is a need-based financial award offered to support a student to further their education. Bursary awards are determined based on a family's “demonstrated financial need” as determined by a third party (the ISM FAST Application). Any family that would like to be considered for a bursary is encouraged to complete the supplementary bursary application, once they have been formally accepted to the School. Bursary amounts will be determined by the TCS Financial Assistance Committee based on the ISM recommendation of “demonstrated need.” While awards are capped at a maximum 75% for both Senior School and Junior School families, these awards are subject to budget availability, so applying early is advantageous.
While more than household income is considered when evaluating a family for a needs-based bursary, the chart below provides a starting point to explore what is possible. The chart shows, by household income, what families at TCS received in bursaries last year.
Bursaries Received by TCS Boarding Families, 2022-2023
|Gross Family Income||0 – 25%||26 – 50%||51 – 75%||75% +||TOTAL # OF FAMILIES|
|$0 – $125,000||2||16||15||2||35|
|$125,001 – $200,000||10||24||16||1||51|
|$200,001 – $300,000||15||18||1||0||34|
|Entrance Merit Awards||10|
|Total # of students receiving Financial Assistance||151|
How to Apply for Financial Assistance
When applying to TCS, one of the questions we ask families is if they are interested in being considered for financial assistance (a bursary). (Please check “yes” on the Online Application or the Online Inquiry Form if your family would like to learn more or be considered for financial assistance.) Before the application for financial assistance can be completed, a student must first be accepted to the School. Once accepted, the application process will proceed as follows:
- An email will be sent to the family with a link to the TCS specific ISM FAST application page.
- Families will be asked to complete the FAST application which will include providing a fulsome financial disclosure along with supporting documentation. The disclosure will include information about all sources of income, tax documents and details, the net worth of the family, and other financial obligations.
- ISM will then provide a report to the School which will recommend how much a family should be able to contribute towards tuition and the level of financial need. Generally speaking, net worth is what usually disqualifies a family from our financial assistance program. The value of a cottage, for example, lumped together with a home, can put a family outside our formula for granting financial assistance.
- After the School's awards committee determines the amount to be given to a family, a full acceptance package will be sent to the family with the determined amount being offered.*
- A family may either accept or decline the offer.
- Families who accept are expected to sign the enrolment contract, a confidentiality agreement and pay the down payment and initiation fee within three weeks of the offer.
* Families must remember that there is a fixed amount of financial assistance available to give each year, so the earlier the application, the better the chance of receiving financial assistance (up to 75% of the tuition fee). An awards committee determines all awards given.
Explore other opportunities
Our financial assistance program is comprised of need-based bursaries and merit-based scholarships. Separate from our formal financial assistance program, we also offer incentive pricing that may benefit families of Canadian boarding students; the Canadian Families Boarding Incentive Program was introduced in recognition of the School's 150th anniversary and offers a $62,725 incentive for Canadian boarding students entering Grade 9.
To learn more about these opportunities, select from the options below.
Financial Assistance Frequently Asked Questions
- Who evaluates a family's financial assistance application?
Trinity College School uses the Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST) application which is a service of Independent School Management (ISM) to review applications for financial assistance.
- What is the difference between a bursary and a scholarship? What bursaries and scholarships are available?
Bursaries are awards based on "demonstrated need," or the amount of financial support deemed necessary to make TCS financially possible for a family. Any family who feels that they are unable to afford the full cost of tuition is encouraged to indicate their wish to explore financial assistance on the Online Application or the Online Inquiry Form. This will prompt a financial review by Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST) from Independent School Management (ISM), which is required in order to be considered for a bursary. Bursary awards can be generous, however, award size is typically capped at 50% of annual tuition for both Senior School and Junior School students. For more information visit the bursaries page.
Scholarships are awarded based on "merit" or ability. Requirements for scholarships are typically highly specific, with an additional application process, and can be competitive as there will usually only be one recipient per scholarship. Scholarships can be very generous, offering full tuition or, in some cases, awards over and above the cost of tuition. The scholarships offered each year will vary, for a full list of the scholarships offered for the upcoming school year and associated requirements, please visit the scholarships page.
Bursaries and scholarships are made possible through the generosity of past and present members of the TCS community; they are not loans, therefore, recipients are not expected to pay these back.
While not a scholarship or a bursary, the School also offers a $58,000 incentive to Canadian boarding students through the Canadian Families Boarding Incentive Program.
- Are there other factors that are taken into account when being considered for financial assistance?
In order to be considered for financial assistance, a student must have successfully completed the admissions application and been offered enrolment at the School. Students applying to TCS are evaluated on their test scores, school reports, performance in the interview, and follow-up on references. We weigh quite heavily the overall contribution a student is likely to make to the TCS community.
- Is financial assistance renewed annually? Does financial assistance carry over to subsequent years?
Bursaries will be reassessed annually based on the family's financial need as well as on the student’s performance both academically and as a citizen of the School. As for scholarships, please refer to the specific details of each individual scholarship.
- Before we begin the application process, can we get an idea of how much we might expect to receive in financial assistance?
Bursary awards are limited to a maximum of 50% of the tuition fee for both Senior School and Junior School students. The average award for the last three years has been $20,000 for boarding students, $7,000 for Senior School day students and $3,000 for Junior School day students. For more information about awards received through our financial assistance program, visit our bursaries page.
- Are there financial awards given for athletics or arts?
No. Financial assistance, in the form of bursaries, is determined based on need and not ability. While being a strong student or co-curricular contributor would put a student into consideration for admission to the School and possible financial assistance, if Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST)'s analysis indicates that no support is required, a student will not receive a bursary, regardless of merit. In the case of scholarships, the School is looking to enrol well-rounded young people. Scholarships have specific requirements and are awarded based on merit, not financial need.
- Do we have to pay back the financial assistance that we receive?
No. The financial assistance awards, both bursaries or scholarships, are given from the School’s endowment and were gifted to TCS from alumni and parents. This financial assistance is in place to help families who would otherwise not be able to afford a TCS education.