Answers to some common SUSI questions
Going to college
SUSI, the centralised student grant processing body, opened for applications last week. The grant is a means-tested payment design to support students in higher or further education. Here are some of the most common questions my students ask about the grant.
Why is it important to apply early?
SUSI processes applications in the order they arrive, so by submitting the application as early as possible you will receive your answer in good time. Not only will this mean that any payments you are entitled to will be available when you need them, but applicants will know in advance of registration if they are to expect payments or fee support,
Do I have to alert SUSI when I receive my CAO offer or should I wait until I receive my offer to apply?
You should not wait until you receive your CAO offer to apply and should submit your application even if you are not certain you will accept a place. When completing the CAO form all applicants were asked if they intended to apply for a SUSI grant. Those who did not tick the SUSI option on their CAO application forms will be required to submit an online Final Course Acceptance (FCA) form. Students access these forms by logging into their online SUSI accounts.
How do I know what information I need to complete my application?
When beginning a SUSI application, you will be asked to create an account with your own own log-in and password. You will then be asked to submit information about family circumstances as well as income and social welfare payments. Due to the nature of the information requested it can be very helpful for applicants to complete these sections with the help of a parent/guardian.
If, at any stage, an applicant cannot answer a question or does not have the relevant information to hand they can save their progress, log out and return at a later date. SUSI will begin processing the application after it is submitted. Once all sections have been completed the website will generate a personalised list of any documents which will need to be forwarded to SUSI. Applicants should forward these documents when they have collected them all, and as soon as possible.
What about students who wish to study outside the Republic of Ireland?
Eligible students attending approved courses in approved institutions outside of the Republic of Ireland may receive a maintenance grant from SUSI for undergraduate courses only. However there is no funding available towards fees. In the case of courses in the four institutions in Northern Ireland funding is also available for postgraduate and further education courses.
Aoife Walsh is a guidance counsellor at Malahide Community School, Co Dublin
Question: I am a Leaving Cert student and I am feeling more and more stressed. I feel anxious when I think about everything I have to do.
Answer: Most students are taking their oral and practical exams this week and next week. This creates stress in the most relaxed students and those who find stress difficult to manage can become completely overwhelmed. Some stress is good; it motivates us to do our best and helps us keep our focus. When you begin to experience the physical symptoms of stress try not to think of this as a negative. Instead, try to remind yourself that this feeling is simply your body preparing to meet the challenge ahead and you will do better because you are experiencing it.
Try not to think about everything you must do before June. Focus on what you need to do today and remind yourself that every little bit of study you get done could earn you extra points in the Leaving Cert. You can only complete this challenge one step at a time. Take care of yourself: eat healthily, exercise and make sure you get enough sleep and relaxation.
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