Written answers

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Department of Education and Skills

Student Grant Scheme Eligibility

Photo of Arthur SpringArthur Spring (Kerry North-West Limerick, Labour)
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59. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if a student who previously enrolled in third level education, received a student grant and did not complete the first year due to exceptional circumstances is entitled to a student grant for year one when commencing a different third level course five years later. [50872/13]

Photo of Ruairi QuinnRuairi Quinn (Minister, Department of Education and Skills; Dublin South East, Labour)
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The decision on eligibility for a student is a matter in the first instance for the awarding authority. The Deputy will appreciate that in the absence of all of the relevant details that would be contained in an individual's application in relation to nationality, residency, previous academic attainment and means, it would not be possible for me to say whether or not a student would qualify for a grant.

Article 13(6), is the relevant governing article in the 2013 student grant scheme in relation to second chance students. The intention of this article is to focus resources on second chance and mature students. The five years break in studies will ensure that the emphasis is, as intended, on facilitating these students to return to education. Article 15(8) of the Student Grant Scheme 2013 provides awarding authorities with discretion to waive the provisions of Article 15(7)(b)(ii) in exceptional circumstances and consider funding for a repeat period of study, in line with guidelines drawn up by the Minister. The guidelines include the nature of the exceptional circumstances as documented by the applicant, when they occurred and the period of time over which they continued, how the circumstances impacted on the applicant's ability to participate in their course of study, take exams or submit projects on time and whether the circumstances happened to the applicant or a third party.

Where an individual applicant considers that he has been unjustly refused a student grant, or that the rate of grant awarded is not the correct one, he may appeal, in the first instance, to the awarding authority. Where an individual applicant has had an appeal turned down, in writing, by the awarding authority, and remains of the view that the awarding authority has not interpreted the scheme correctly in his/her case, an appeal form outlining the position may be submitted by the applicant to the Student Grants Appeals Board. The relevant appeal form is available to download from .

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