All Caymanian students in one of the three Government high schools are provided with a free education up until the end of secondary school (Year 12).
However, the Government, through the Scholarship Secretariat, have made certain financial/scholarship provisions available to families of Caymanian high school students who have qualified to enter a private institution to take A Levels, a BTEC Level 3 Extended course, AP or CAPE courses or the IB. Any students who leave one of the government high schools to enter a private school (or ICCI or UCCI) are given what is called ‘Dual-Entry’. This simply means that these students are tracked through to the end of Year 12.
A Level Students
If a Caymanian government high school student has the qualifying grades and is formally accepted onto an A Level course at either Cayman Prep & High School (CPHS) or St. Ignatius Catholic School, the student can apply to the Scholarship Secretariat for funding to pay up to CI$12,500 towards tuition fees for the first year of the two year course, and then up to CI$7,000 for the second year of the course. Parents need to be prepared to pay for all incidentals including PTA fees, uniforms and AS and A Level exam fees. To qualify for financial assistance towards the fees, students need to have achieved a minimum of 5 IGCSE/GCSE/CXC passes at grade C or higher and have passed English and Mathematics. To qualify for funding in the second year of the course students must achieve a minimum of C, C, C in their AS Level exams at the end of the first year of their A Level course. Any money received from the Scholarship Secretariat is paid directly to the school and cannot be used for uniforms or any other incidentals. An additional contribution is also made towards books.
Some children also leave Cayman at 16 and go to England to take A Levels or a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma at a 6th form college. In the UK government school system if a child has a British passport then they are ‘fee-free’ until they turn 19 years of age. The Scholarship Secretariat will then contribute up to CI$7,000 towards the student’s living expenses but only if the A Level/BTEC are not available locally.
Caymanian students who have been at Cayman Prep or St. Ignatius all the way through their secondary schooling, and who have been accepted onto the A Level programme, plus have gained a minimum of 5 IGCSE/GCSE/CXC passes at grade C or higher including English and Maths, can also apply for assistance with the fees for their A Level course. On achieving a successful application to the Scholarship Secretariat, these students can get financial assistance of up to CI$7,000 for each of the two years of their A Level course. Students must have achieved grades C, C, C in their AS Levels to get funding for their second year.
Associate’s Degree Students
If a Caymanian government high school student chooses to finish their secondary education doing an Associate’s Degree at UCCI or ICCI then they can apply for the fees to be paid. However, all students who have not achieved either an A or B grade in English and Maths are mandated to take remedial Maths and English at college level, as well as College Skill classes and Career Classes. History has shown educators that if a student fails English and Maths at IGCSE/GCSE/CXC then they are likely to fail their Associate Level course, and that fail then remains in their academic history and affects their university accumulative performance, the student’s ability to get into other universities, and it affects their ability to get a scholarship to help with funding. The Associates Degree takes about 2.5 years at UCCI (with 68 credits), 18 months at ICCI (which is a quarter-term institution) and you will graduate with an Associate’s worth 90 credits.
If any other Caymanian student wants to do an Associate’s Degree at UCCI/ICCI then they can also get funding towards both years of their course if they have achieved enough passes in external exams to qualify to take the course. Funding is capped at CI$7,000 per year and is awarded based on the student’s IGCSE/GCSE/CXC results.
BTEC Diploma Students
If a student would rather do a course which includes lots of hands-on special project assignments and work experience then they might want to choose a BTEC Level 1, 2 or 3 Diploma. The Government high schools in Cayman offer BTEC Level 1 and 2 courses, and CIFEC offers BTEC Level 1, 2 courses as well as the first year (only) of the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma. For students to compete their Level 3 diploma, which is considered the equivalent of taking 3 A Levels, they will need to go to England to take the second year. To qualify for an overseas undergraduate scholarship students taking the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma will need to finish the two-year course with a minimum grade of triple merit (MMM).
CIFEC currently offers two BTEC Level 3 Extended Diplomas in a) Creative Media Film & TV and b) Business.
AP, CAPE and IB Students
Scholarship funding of up to CI$7,000 is available to Caymanian students who are going into their final year of studying Advance Placements (AP), Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE), or the International Baccalaureate (IB). Students must have already completed the first year of their course and have taken the minimum number of courses required by the Scholarship Secretariat in their first year of AP, CAPE or IB, and have achieved minimum grade passes of C/3 or a GPA of 3.25 (with no D’s or F’s).
GPA – Grade Point Average
A GPA of 4.0 is the equivalent of an A, 3.5 GPA is the equivalent of a B+, 3.0 GPA is the equivalent of a B and a 2.0 GPA is the equivalent of a C. To qualify for an overseas scholarship to attend university, the student must finish with a GPA of at least 3.0 or 3 x A Levels at C grade.
Note on University Entry Requirements
For those students wanting to go to university, it is worth them checking the entry criteria at a few different universities to get a clear idea of where they need to aim. The universities will clearly outline what subjects they require you to have taken at A Level (or its equivalent) and what results they require for you to be considered for entry to the course.
Documents Required for Secondary School Funding
- A completed application form
- Official high school or college transcript (final transcripts may be uploaded after closing date)
- Birth Certificate and Status letter/Right to be Caymanian certificate
- Letter of Acceptance (may be uploaded after closing date)
- Personal Statement (to include why you are deserving of a scholarship, how you plan to use that A Level, what you intend to do with it, how it will be beneficial to the community)
- Cover Letter
- One passport-sized photograph