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Do I qualify for a student support grant?

April 24th, 2024 11:00 PM

Do I qualify for a student support grant? Image
The student grant scheme is the main financial support available for eligible students studying in Ireland. (Photo: Shuttertstock)

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THE Student Grant Scheme is the main financial support scheme for students studying in Ireland and abroad.

It is also known as the SUSI grant because the Student Universal Support Ireland (Susi) is the awarding authority for the Student Grant Scheme.

Q. When does the application process for SUSI Grants open?

A. The student grant application process opened on since Thursday, April 4th. If you submit your application before the priority closing dates, your application will be assessed as a priority. The priority closing dates are June 6th for renewal applications and July 11th for renewal applications.

Q. Do you have to reapply for the grant each year?

A. Yes, you are approved for one year at a time e.g. if you are starting a three-year course, you will have to reapply each year. If there is any change in your circumstances, you will need to let Susi

Q. What do I need before starting my application?

A. You must make your grant application on-line. To register with Susi and apply online for a student grant, you will need your Personal Public Service (PPS) number, an email address and a phone number. The applicant is the student not the parent.

Q. Do I need to know the course which I will be taking before applying?

A. No, you do not need to know what course you will be taking to apply online. If you ticked the Susi box on your CAO application, the CAO will notify Susi of the course that you have accepted.

Q. Who qualifies for a student grant?

A. There are a number of conditions which applicants must satisfy and to qualify for a student grant, you must meet all the conditions of the scheme. These include:

• Nationality condition

• Residence condition

• Means test

• Approved course of study: you must be attending an approved course of study

• Progression: you must be progressing from your previous level of study

• Maximum period of grant assistance

You can get an indication of your eligibility by using the Eligibility Indicator on

Q. What does the student grant cover?

A. Student grants are divided into Maintenance grant and Fee grants

Maintenance grants help students with their living costs. Fee grants pay tuition fees for students who do not qualify for the Free Fees Scheme. Fee grants can also pay the Student Contribution and the cost of essential field trips.

Q. What is taken into account in the means test?

The means test for a student grant in 2024-2025 is based on you or your family’s gross income for the previous full tax year (2023). However, if you or your family have had a change of circumstances (which is likely to be permanent) since December 31st 2023, your changed circumstances will be taken into account.

Q. Is that the parental income only?

A. No, it is the parental income and the student’s income, however €7,925 of the student’s income which they earn outside term time is excluded. However if a student has job during term time at weekends for example, that income will be counted in the means test and added to the parents income.

Q. What type of limits apply to the grant?

A. Well, it varies, but if the student was coming from a family with less than four dependent children, in order to qualify for the maximum rate of grant the total net income in the previous tax year would have to have been €40,875 or less. However, if there is more than one student attending college from the same household, the limit may be increased by €4,950 for each student. You should talk with your local Citizens Information Centre and they will go through your particular circumstances with you.

Q. How much is the maximum amount of Student Grant?

A. The Susi grant rate you get depends on the following factors:

• Your assessed means

• The distance you normally live from the college you are going to attend

• If you are a disadvantaged student

If you normally live 30 kilometres or less from your college you get the adjacent rate. If you live further away than 30 kilometres, you get the non-adjacent rate. This is based on the distance of where you ordinarily lived in the year before you started college ie. your home address not college address.

The maximum non-adjacent rate is €4,292 (paid over nine months €476.89 per month)

The maximum adjacent rate is €1,774

Disadvantaged students can qualify for a special rate of maintenance grant.

Q. How do you qualify for the special rate of maintenance grant?

A. In order to be considered a disadvantaged student one of the parents would need to have been on a long-term social welfare payment on December 31st 2023 and their net income would have to be less than €26,200, not including Qualified Child Increases and standard exclusions.

If this is the case a special rate of grant is paid.

The non-adjacent special rate of grant is €7,586. The adjacent special rate of grant is €3,280.

Q. If you are a mature student returning to education and have been on a social welfare payment, can you get the Student Grant?

A. If you are in that situation you may qualify for the Back to Education Allowance or the student grant depending on your circumstances. You cannot get the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) and a full student grant at the same time. It would be best to have a chat with your local Citizens Information Centre or Intreo office to discuss which would be the best option for you.

Susi has a helpdesk to assist applicants. The email is [email protected] and the telephone number is 0818 888 777.

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