Sunday 11 December 2016

Still time to apply for grants

Grants - what you need to know

Published 17/08/2016 | 02:30

Some students have received confirmation of college grants before receiving their exam results Stock photo: PA News
Some students have received confirmation of college grants before receiving their exam results Stock photo: PA News

The SUSI grant is a means-tested financial support for students in higher or further education.

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While July 8 was the deadline for applications to receive priority processing, if students have not already applied there is time to do so.

To understand if you are likely to qualify for a grant, students and their parents should check out the eligibility reckoner on susi.ie. This facility asks applicants a number of questions about their personal and financial circumstance and gives an idea about eligibility.

Applicants will be assessed on gross income from all sources for the period January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015. They will be assessed as either a 'Dependant' or 'Independent' applicant. A dependant applicant is assessed on the income of the parents or legal guardian while an independent applicant is assessed on their own income and that of their spouse/civil partner or cohabitant.

The income threshold applied to a household to decide on eligibility differs depending on factors such as the number of children, the number of those children currently attending college and type of courses the applicant intends to pursue, i.e. Post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) or undergraduate degree programme. Income threshold varies from €22,703 to €64,285 (more than eight children with at least one attending third level).

The amount awarded may vary from 100pc maintenance and 100pc student contribution to no maintenance and 50pc student contribution depending on income.

Once an application is successful and SUSI has received all requested information and documentation, maintenance payments will be transferred to the bank account of the applicant in nine monthly instalments while the fee grant will be paid directly to the college or institution.

The first payment for higher education courses will be made September 23, while the first payment for PLC courses will be made on October 21.

Students who are planning to enter a further education (PLC) course should remember that SUSI will not pay the course fee directly to the college. Students should ensure that they pay this fee from their maintenance grant.

Irish Independent

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