FIRST-YEAR student Ronan Healy applied for his grant last August – and waited, and waited. In fact, he's still waiting.
Apart from a request for a college acceptance form, Ronan heard nothing back from the new, centralised grant awarding body, SUSI.
So, almost six months on from his initial application, the 18-year-old Dubliner emailed SUSI last week to ask where he stood. On Monday, Ronan of Silchester Park, Glenageary, received a response.
But he was astounded to read the date and contents of the letter.
"It was dated August 15, 2012 and it was a request for supporting documentation for my application. This letter was the first request I had for documentation and was dated almost six months ago," he said.
Ronan, who is studying architecture at UCD, is one of a family of five, three of whom are at college,
Ronan's father runs his own small business and his mother works occasionally. He said while they had managed to support him, "obviously it is very difficult for them".
Ronan has already cashed in savings bonds he received for his 18th birthday, and is doing some part-time work to help support himself.
SUSI , which is administered by City of Dublin Vocational Education Committee (CDVEC), has been mired in controversy since it was introduced last year.
Delays associated with SUSI have been blamed for severe hardship among students and some drop-out cases.