Students urged to avail of new grant
Only 25% have applied for €500 grant
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris has encouraged students to take advantage of new student supports as it emerged only one in four of those eligible had applied for a €500 grant towards their contribution fee.
Changes introduced as part of Budget 2023 included a measure which allows students from households with an income of between €62,000 and €100,000 apply for a €500 grant towards their student contribution fee.
However, although in the region of 40,000 students are estimated to be eligible for the grant, the most recent figures suggest only 10,000 have applied.
Minister Harris said: “We have been working hard to reduce the cost of going to college for students and their families by putting money back into people’s pockets.
“That’s why we have brought in important changes for this academic year so that more people can avail of the supports available.
“One of these changes is a €500 grant for students from households earning between €62,000 and €100,000.
“While a large number of students have already applied for the grant, there are potentially tens of thousands more who could be availing of this support.
“Today I am encouraging students and their families to go to susi.ie and to use the eligibility reckoner and take advantage of the supports that are there to reduce the cost of education.”
As well as the €500 grant towards the student contribution fee for eligible households earning between €62,000 and €100,000, the household earnings threshold for the €1,500 grant towards the student contribution fee was increased from €55,240 to €62,000
Students in this 2023/'24 academic year will also see the full benefit of increases to the maintenance grants announced in Budget 2023. From January 1, 2023, the Special and Band 1 maintenance grant rates increased by 14 per cent and all the other maintenance grant rates increased by 10 per cent.
The increase in student earnings outside of term time from €4,500 to €6,552 has also come into effect this academic year and there has been a reduction in the eligibility period from five years to three for second chance mature students who did not complete a course and are returning to college to pursue an approved course at PLC, undergraduate or postgraduate level.