DOWN through the years Bantry Credit Union has enabled a number of people to reach their potential with the award of a third-level scholarship.
Deirdre Hurley, originally from Blackrock Terrace in Bantry, was awarded her Bantry Credit Union scholarship back in 2008 and embarked on an Arts degree at UCC.
‘My plans were to get my degree in Irish and English,’ Deirdre told The Southern Star. ‘But I found that after 18 months in UCC the Arts degree was not for me. I thought that Credit Union would not be very happy with my decision after awarding me the scholarship but this could not have been further from the truth. They were very supportive.’
Bantry Credit Union worked with Deirdre as she went about deciding the next step in furthering her education.
‘I got a job at a local nursing home here in Bantry and then I decided to go back and study nursing,’ Deirdre said. ‘I got on to the credit union and explained what I wanted to do and they agreed to continue on the scholarship for another year to allow me to go back to college. This was absolutely amazing.’
Deirdre went to Tralee to study nursing and with the support of the Bantry Credit Union scholarship she completed her degree.
‘The scholarship and the student loan, that the Bantry Credit Union gave me, really helped me to achieve what I wanted. I would definitely encourage people to apply for the Bantry Credit Union scholarship. The credit union is always very supportive. Without this support it would have been very difficult indeed,’ Deirdre said.
Deirdre is now a full-time nurse at Bantry General Hospital.
Bantry Credit Union annual third-level education scholarship, which was first set up in 2003 is worth up to €6,000 (€1,500 a year for up to a maximum of four years). Each year an independent panel is set up to oversee and adjudicate on all stages of the competition. These stages include an application form, written submission and interview.
To be eligible you must be:
1. Either a member or the child of a member of good standing of Bantry Credit Union Ltd as at 1 January 2018.
2. The applicant must be in receipt of an offer of a place at a recognised third-level institution within the European Union.
3. The course the applicant intends to pursue must be a full-time course of at least two years’ duration and must lead to the award of a Higher Certificate, its equivalent or a higher award.
4. The applicant must be entering third-level education in the academic year 2018/2019 for the first time, whether as a school-leaver or as a mature student.
5.With the exception of a SUSI Student Grant, the applicant must not be in receipt of any other scholarship or other form of funding to a value greater than €250 per annum.
Copies of the rules and procedures concerning the scholarship scheme and the application forms are available from Bantry Credit Union’s offices at Wolfe Tone Square, Bantry, and Main Street, Castletownbere.