Wednesday, 2 March 2022
Department of Education and Skills
Third Level Fees
147. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if the increased distance criteria for SUSI and income thresholds will be in place for the forthcoming applications in the 2022-2023 academic year. [11905/22]
The Student Grant Scheme, administered by SUSI, provides grant assistance to students pursuing an approved course in an approved institution who meet the prescribed conditions of funding, including those relating to nationality, residency, previous academic attainment and means. It assists over 70,000 students annually to access third level education.
The eligibility criteria for student grants are reviewed annually by the Department and approved by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. All proposals made in relation to education expenditure, including student grants, are considered in the context of the annual Budget.
As part of Budget 2022, I have secured an additional €15m to enhance the existing financial supports under the Student Grant Scheme for implementation in 2022.
For the academic year 2022/23 this will mean:-
- An increase to all student grant maintenance payments, including the special rate of grant, of €200 per year which will benefit all students entitled to receive a maintenance Grant.
- The income thresholds to qualify for the standard rates of student grant have been increased by €1,000.
- The qualifying distance criterion for students to qualify for the non-adjacent rate of grant has been reduced from 45km to 30km, effective from the start of the 2022/23 academic year.
I have prioritised these changes for the 2022/23 academic year and they will benefit thousands of students, building on the improvements that have already been made for postgraduate students through this year’s student grant scheme. These improvements to the student grant scheme have been a priority for me since taking up my Ministerial appointment.