SUSI is now open for grant applications
Going to college
As of yesterday, and earlier than than in any previous year, SUSI, the centralised agency for student grants, is open for applications. Students should apply as early as possible in order to avoid delays in payment come September.
SUSI grants are means-tested support for students attending full-time undergraduate, PLC and post-graduate courses.
Applicants will be assessed as either 'dependent' or 'independent'. Dependent applicants are those under the age of 23, or applicants over the age of 23 who live with their parents. Dependent applicants should supply the financial information of their parents for the financial year of 2015. Independent applicants are those who are over 23 and lived independently of their parents in October 2015 (for entry in September 2016).
Applications are made through www.susi.ie. Students should use the Eligibility Reckoner on the homepage to help them work out whether they may be eligible for funding before making a formal application. Due to the large amount of financial information required, it is prudent to fill out this section with the assistance of parent/guardian.
Applicants are required to set up their own online SUSI accounts. They will need to create a username, password and PIN number. It is important to ensure that these are easy to remember as they will be needed on an ongoing basis.
Applicants are encouraged to use the SUSI Online Application Tracker, where they can track the progress of their applications and confirm that their documentation has been received. This will help applicants ensure they are on top of their application and prevent potential delays in receiving their payment.
SUSI requires information on all income, including rental, farming and self-employed.
Applications for 2016/2017 will be assessed based on income for the 2015 tax year. Therefore, where such income exists, applicants will be required to submit a full set of trading accounts for 2015, as well as confirmation that the tax returns for 2015 income have been made to the Revenue Commissioners.
It is therefore important for students that such tax returns are made as early as possible in 2016, to enable SUSI to fully assess such applications.
The process for PAYE applicants and those in receipt of social welfare is more straightforward as SUSI can access evidence of income directly from the Revenue Commissioners and the Department of Social Welfare.
If SUSI requests any other documentation from applicants, it is essential that this should be forwarded as soon as possible to avoid any delays in payment.
* Aoife Walsh is a guidance counsellor at Malahide Community School, Co Dublin
Question: What is a Defence Forces cadetship and how do I apply?
Answer: This is the training programme for officers in the Defence Forces. The Defence Forces recruit to fill these roles from time to time and are currently seeking applicants for training for a variety of roles across the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service.
Applicants may be school-leavers, graduates or existing service personnel. They must be aged between 18 and 28, and meet the minimum education requirements, including three higher level C3s and six subjects from one sitting of the Leaving Cert. Students who are sitting the Leaving Cert or completing their Level 8 degree programme this year are eligible to apply.
The selection process will involve psychometric testing, fitness testing, and competency-based interviewing. More information can be found at www.miliarty.ie. Recruitment closes on April 17.
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