Written answers

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Department of Education and Skills

Third Level Costs

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Social Democrats)
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104. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills for a schedule of financial supports available to persons and or their family household in respect of their ambition to attend and or remain in third level education that are not eligible for SUSI. [46299/22]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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The decision on eligibility for a student grant is a matter, in the first instance, for the centralised student grant awarding authority SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland) to determine. A student may wish to discuss his/her individual circumstances with the SUSI Support Desk by calling 0818 888 777.

A very important feature of the scheme is the change of circumstances provision. If a student or party to their application experiences a change in circumstances that is not a temporary change and is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, they can apply to SUSI to have their application assessed under the change in circumstances provision of the relevant Student Grant Scheme. The income of all parties to the application will be assessed or reassessed on current income and applicants may also be asked to provide evidence of same.

Any student who believes his/her student grant application has been assessed incorrectly may also avail of the opportunities to appeal to SUSI and subsequently to the independent Student Grants Appeals Board.

My department provides funding for students in third-level institutions experiencing exceptional financial need, through the Student Assistance Fund (SAF). Students can apply for the SAF to help with either temporary or ongoing financial difficulties and can be assisted with the cost of:

- books and class materials

- rent and other utility bills

- food

- essential travel

- childcare costs

- medical costs

This Fund is administered on a confidential, discretionary basis and assists students, in a sensitive and compassionate manner, who might otherwise be unable to continue their third level studies due to their financial circumstances. Details of this fund are available from the Access Office in the third level institution attended.

The Fund for Students with Disabilities (FSD) supports participation by students with a disability in further and higher education.

I would also encourage students to review information on the student assistant fund, the fund for students with Disabilities and other financial supports available at www.studentfinance.ie and to contact their Access Office in the third level institution attended.

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