Written answers

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Department of Education and Skills

Student Grant Scheme Eligibility

Photo of Josepha MadiganJosepha Madigan (Dublin Rathdown, Fine Gael)
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117. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if there is a scheme whereby a person who is 21 years of age, whose application is pending for refugee status, can attend college here and receive a grant for the purposes of attending college, if so, the body from which a grant may be obtained; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17657/16]

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin Bay North, Fine Gael)
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The Deputy will appreciate that, in the absence of all of the relevant details that would be contained in an individual's application form and supporting documentation, it is not possible to say whether or not a particular student would qualify for a grant. However, for the Deputy's convenience I've outlined below the various options open to the student.

1. SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland)

Under the terms of the statutory based student grant scheme, grant assistance is awarded to students who meet the prescribed conditions of funding, including those relating to nationality, residency, previous academic attainment and means.

The eligibility of the individual to which the Deputy refers is a matter for SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland) to determine; upon receipt of the relevant application form and supporting documentation.

The SUSI online application process for 2016/17 is now open. Perspective students are advised to apply to SUSI (www.susi.ie) before the priority closing date of the 8th of July.

2. Pilot Support Scheme

The Deputy will also be aware of my Department's Pilot Support Scheme which is targeted at students in the Protection System or at the Leave to Remain (but not deportation order) stage. Students who do not qualify for support under the statutory based scheme may be eligible to apply for this pilot scheme.

To qualify for this scheme prospective students have to meet a number of criteria, including a requirement to have:

- 5 years in the Protection system at the 31st of August 2016;

- 5 years in the Irish school system as at the 31st of August 2016; and

- have obtained a Leaving Certificate.

The closing date for receipt of applications for the 2016/17 academic year is 4th November 2016. Application forms can be accessed at www.education.ie/en/Learners/Services/Pilot-Support-Scheme/.

3. Tax Relief on Tuition Fees

Further information on this tax relief is available from the Revenue Commissioners on www.revenue.ie and

4. The Student Assistance Fund Students in third-level institutions experiencing exceptional financial need can apply for support under the Student Assistance Fund. This Fund assists students, in a sensitive and compassionate manner, who might otherwise be unable to continue their third level studies due to their financial circumstances. Information on the fund is available through the Access Officer in the third level institution attended. This fund is administered on a confidential, discretionary basis.


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