Date Uploaded: 05/04/2017
The SUSI college grant application scheme reopens on Monday, with added demand expected this year due to the availability of maintenance grants for postgraduate students.
The grant, worth almost €6,000, will be made available to students in the lowest income category.
The scheme is part of a package to support disadvantaged students, including lone parents and Travellers, in accessing higher education.
The postgraduate maintenance grant scheme to support students at third level was abolished by the Government in 2012 in order to save €50 million per year.
Student Universal Support Ireland, which administers the student grant scheme, anticipates that it will receive over 105,000 applications when it reopens for applications on Monday.
It will provide some €380 million in student supports that will benefit more than 80,000 students.
Key changes being introduced this year include:
Maintenance grants to support 1,100 of the most disadvantaged postgraduate students.
A change to the “Second Chance” provision, which will allow mature students who previously dropped out to complete a PLC programme within the five-year break period. This allows a mature student who had previously attended, but not successfully completed an approved course, to apply to SUSI as a new applicant following a break in study of five years.
Additional funding of €4 million was secured in Budget 2017 to facilitate the reinstatement of full maintenance grants from September 2017 for the most disadvantaged postgraduate students.
Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton said third-level education “has a unique capacity to break down the cycles of disadvantage”.
“I would encourage students who think they might be eligible for support to submit their online applications to SUSI as soon as possible to ensure that they are processed as quickly as possible.”
The priority closing dates for the 2017/18 student grant scheme are July 13th for new applicants and June 15th for renewal students.
Journalist: Aine McMahon