As we enter the new year, we had hopes that things would get better compared to last year, where children would be able to return to school for face-to-face learning. However, with the ongoing pandemic, many schools remain closed and students continue their lessons virtually in their own homes, with the assistance of their teachers and instructors, and with the use of technology.

Some parents may also be facing financial challenges, as pay cuts and retrenchments are common during these times. Therefore, parents are advised to relook their financial situation and plan carefully for their children’s education. 

International schools are aware of these challenges and many have started offering various types of financial aid to help those who have been affected by the pandemic.

Here are five important things that parents should know about financial aid that is being offered today:


1. What is financial aid?

Financial aid is a type of incentive that is provided by schools. It is an initiative by schools to encourage new students to enroll in their schools, to motivate current students to achieve and maintain good academic performance in school, and to ease the financial burden of parents who are keen on enrolling their children into international schools.


2. What are the types of financial aid available?

Financial aid comes in many forms such as fee waivers, scholarships, bursaries, financial rebates, and discounts among others. Some schools provide waivers and discount for application fees, registration fees, and boarding fees. For instance, to celebrate their 75th anniversary, Alice Smith School is offering 75% discount off their enrollment fee, along with a one-off RM75 application fee for the first 75 families that apply. 

There are scholarships where schools offer up to a 100% discount off tuition fees for a term or more for specific levels such as for Year 10 and for pre-university programmes. GEMS International School Tropicana Park is offering scholarships of 50% and 100% off tuition fees for Malaysian students between age 16 to 19 years. Meanwhile, Westlake International School is offering scholarships up to 100% off tuition fees.

Moreover, there are also instant rebates upon enrollment, especially during Open Days. Matrix Global Schools is offering a RM6,000 rebate, while Oasis International School Kuala Lumpur is offering 40% off their registration fee, both promotions are applied upon enrollment. 


3. Who qualifies for financial aid?

It depends on the school and the type of financial aid that you are interested in. For instance, some schools may offer financial aid to new students, while some schools offer financial aid to current students depending on the student’s record of academic performance, age group, the level they are enrolled in, and sometimes their nationality. In addition, there is a quota for eligible students that schools may set for a specific financial aid. It may also be based on a first-come-first-served-basis. 


4. How do students obtain financial aid?

Most schools require students to apply for it. For students currently enrolled at international schools, their parents can contact the schools directly for more information. For parents wishing to enroll their children in international schools, do find out about available financial aid for new students. 

Schools would also promote special offers to encourage parents to enroll their child in their school so keep an eye out for financial aid advertisements on the school’s website and social media pages. 

Due to the pandemic, some physical events have gone virtual. Parents should look out for international school fairs and interact with school representatives to enquire about the financial aid available or browse through the advertisements that promote discounts and fee waivers.

For more information on fee waivers and scholarship offered by international schools, visit the Education Destination Malaysia website where we compile and update the latest financial aid for parents.


5. Are there deadlines for financial aid?

The deadlines for financial aid vary according to the school offering it. Usually, you can find the deadline on the advertisements themselves or within in the terms and conditions for each offering. Always read through carefully so you will be able to apply for the financial aid on time!

A final tip for parents is that we recommend using our Fee Calculator to help you allocate the right budget for your child’s education. You can input the different types of fees on the calculator where it will generate the estimated fees per year.