Date Uploaded: 06/08/2014
Although most college places will not be decided for almost two weeks after the issue of exam results to more than 53,000 Leaving Certificate students next Wednesday, families can seek provisional approval before securing entry to a course.
The 54,632 first-time grant applicants to Student Universal Support Ireland (Susi) are among 92,136 students or intending students to have lodged applications by last Friday’s deadline. There were 37,504 renewal applications from students who received a grant over the past academic year.
Around 10,000 further applications are anticipated by Susi, but it will prioritise the processing of those who applied by August 1.
Susi head of communications and customer service Graham Doyle said more than 100,000 applications are expected to be handled this year, with more than 10,000 new claims having arrived after the deadline last year.
“We would expect the vast majority of remaining applications to be new ones, rather than renewals,” said Mr Doyle. “It’s not too late to make an application, and you don’t have to wait until you have been offered a place to apply.”
SUSI expects to award grants to around 70,000 students, up from around 60,000 last year. However, rather than a major increase in qualifying students, this reflects the expanding role of the organisation, which has taken over the running of the grant schemes on a phased basis since 2012.
Of 53,737 people who were entered to sit the Leaving Certificate this year, 45,728 applied for college courses through the Central Applications Office, up from just under 44,000 a year ago. The total CAO applicant figure for 2014 is just under 78,000, an increase from 76,121 in 2013.
Almost 40% of new entrants to college now qualify for some level of grant support, either a direct maintenance payment and payment by Susi of their student contribution, or a fees-only award.
Journalist: Niall Murray