Teagasc outlines plans to means-test college grants
Teagasc is to introduce means-tested maintenance grants for agricultural college students in 2012 as part of a raft of cost-cutting measures.
The new maintenance grant will replace the traditional system where students were automatically offered residential places at agricultural colleges.
Students who meet the means-testing criteria will be paid a maintenance grant similar to the Vocational Education Committee (VEC) grant.
With the grant money, students can decide to pay for residential accommodation at their college, use it for alternative accommodation or spend it on commuting from home.
Under the means-testing system, the threshold for the maintenance grant will be a total household income of €41,110, including net farm income as per Revenue returns and other income such as PAYE income from a spouse.
The €41,110 threshold will vary depending on the number of dependent children in each household.
Students from households that come under this threshold will receive a grant of around €3,120 for a 28-week college year (equivalent to the VEC rate), while students from households that exceed this threshold will not be eligible for the grant.
The grant will be paid based on a weekly rate of approximately €111.43.