Wednesday, 17 May 2023
Department of Education and Skills
257. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the reason there are no provisions made for those who have been renting rooms in properties that are not registered with the RTB and are trying to prove independence when applying for SUSI grants (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23622/23]
With regard to the specific application referred to by the Deputy, I have been advised by my officials that an application from the student in question for the 2023/24 academic year has been commenced online by the student but has not yet been finalised and submitted to SUSI for assessment.
In general for student grants purposes, students are categorised according to their circumstances either as students dependent on parents or a legal guardian, or as independent mature students.
A student may be assessed as an independent mature student if he or she has attained the age of 23 on the 1st of January of the year of first entry to an approved course or of re-entry following a break in studies of at least three years and is not ordinarily resident with his/her parents from the previous October. Otherwise he or she would continue to be assessed on the basis of parental income.
Only in exceptional cases, where compelling evidence of estrangement from parents/guardians is provided, can candidates who are under 23 be assessed without reference to their parents/guardians income or address, Article 21(3)(b) of the Scheme refers.
The types of documents accepted in respect of proving independence under the Student Grant Scheme is a matter in the first instance for SUSI, as the awarding authority. A full list of accepted documentation and details on the appeals process are outlined in the "Independent Students" section on the SUSI website at www.susi.ie/eligibility-criteria/income/applicant-class/independent-students/.