The Old Collegers Fund has been established to create a new endowed bursary fund that will support New Foundation Scholars in College.
The New Foundation Scholarship was introduced in 2009 for boys coming from State schools at the age of 13. This scholarship is aimed in particular at boys who would not be able to attend Eton without very substantial financial assistance (in certain cases, full assistance may be given), and who are not in a position to prepare easily for the King’s Scholarship. The intellectual standard expected is very high and comparable with the King's Scholarship, but the emphasis of the New Foundation Scholarship is more fully on potential rather than knowledge.
Over the past three years almost all the recipients of the New Foundation Scholarship have gone into Oppidan Houses, however, in September 2010 a boy entered College via this route, bypassing the conventional path of a prep school education and the King’s Scholarship exams. Eton sees this as a natural evolution of the aims of the Founder and an important development in retaining College’s character - it should be remembered that Eton was founded by Henry VI for 70 poor scholars.
College has always been made up of a compelling (and ever-changing) mix of boys from diverse backgrounds, with widely differing interests, and with different temperaments and character traits. This is one of the key ingredients in what makes it special.
At present, the New Foundation route does not constitute an annual place in College. Only when the School’s rigorous outreach and selection processes deliver into the system a boy suited to College, and likely to enhance College, is it contemplated that the place should be made available. It is therefore envisaged that the Old Collegers’ Fund would underwrite some portion of the funding of the process and of the boys who benefit from it, but that there would be no separate designation of these boys as beneficiaries thereof. Once they are members of College, they are King’s Scholars like their peers – again wholly consistent with the culture of College.
Some individuals have already promised contributions to get the Fund started, in the light of which a target of raising £500,000 has been set.