Applications for the Orwell Award for entry in September 2025 are now open.

Click here to apply for the Orwell Award 2025.

We aim to give recipients a transformative educational experience they otherwise would not have been able to access.

This life-changing opportunity is for boys with potential; you will need to embrace the breadth of the Eton experience in and out of the classroom and have the academic aspiration, with our support, to apply to the most competitive universities. To be a successful applicant you will need intellectual curiosity, an openness of mind and character, and the willingness to step outside your comfort zone. If this is you, we want to meet you.

The Orwell Award is aimed at boys at a UK state school and recognises that academic achievement may sometimes have been held back by personal circumstance. Applicants are therefore assessed on academic potential and against specific criteria, such as if you have refugee status or are a Looked After Child, if you are in the first generation of your family to go to university, if you are in receipt of the Pupil Premium, or if you currently attend a school Ofsted has identified as ‘requiring improvement’ or in ‘special measures’. Applicants are also means-tested.

Gagan’s Story

As an Orwell Award holder, you will be a fully-boarding member of our school community with allowances to enable you to fully participate in the life of the school, enjoying all the academic and co-curricular opportunities that all our students receive. Eton’s outstanding facilities will be yours, with our staff ready to support you every step of the way.

There are two further strands of the Orwell Award, the Sixth Form Music Award and the MCM Drama Award, which are available to outstanding musicians and exceptional drama students.

What is the Orwell Award?

Ask Our Boys

I’m from East London so it’s a completely different thing coming into a school like this, but it’s not as daunting as it seems… The best thing about Eton is that it allows you to become who you want to be. It brings out what your passions are and it gives you the chance to try anything that you think you will be good at and, if you are good at it, Eton pushes you to become even better and really brings out the best in you.

Hamza, Orwell Award holder

Personally, for me, I had my doubts as to whether I’d get in or not – and look at me now. Coming to Eton has broadened my horizons in many ways, but it has definitely made me feel anything I want to do is possible as long as I put my full effort into achieving it.

Josh, Orwell Award holder

Our Brochure

Ask Our Parents

Speaking as a mother of a former Orwell Award holder, I can honestly say that I was sceptical when my son said he was going to apply to Eton. Now, as he finishes his Master’s course at Imperial College London, I can say – hand on heart – that it was the best thing he could have done.

Parent of an Orwell Award holder

It was the making of him and I didn’t lose my son – rather, I gained a young man who grew in confidence and independence and was well prepared to make the transition to university that parents often worry about.

Parent of an Orwell Award holder
How to Apply

Ask Our Staff

Eton can seem very daunting to the outside world, and it takes real courage to take that first step and apply for an Orwell Award. Yet, those who gain awards soon realise that the school offers much more than the highest academic standards, a vast and varied co-curriculum and a full-on boarding lifestyle: they are readily welcomed into the Eton community, feel that they can contribute to it and go on to forge close friendships that will endure long after they have left the school.

Paul Smith, Director of Admissions

Whenever a new boy comes in at a senior level, it doesn’t matter what scholarship they’re on, the boys really fall over backwards to make them welcome.

Hazel Nash, Former Dame (House Matron)

Josh’s Journey

The Orwell Award is named, with the kind consent of the Blair family, after George Orwell: Eton alumnus and himself the recipient of financial aid as an Etonian. 

Broadening Access

Scholarships and Awards