Going to college can be expensive – there are fees, laptop, equipment, travel, accommodation to consider – however, there are a range of student financial supports to help you with the cost. The main one is the Student Grant Scheme (SUSI) but there are other financial supports available too.
Higher Education Authority gives a really good overview of the various options that might be open to you in their student finance section.
The main financial support available for students attending full-time further and higher education courses is the student grant, which may include a maintenance grant and/or a fee grant, depending on your eligibility. Applications open in April and close in November but apply early to have a better chance of having the funding secured before starting college.
susi.ie is where you make your grant application. One thing we always say is to just start. It may be helpful to know that the application form usually needs more than one sitting to complete, but you can save your application as you go along. So you can start, then go back to it and you will not have lost any of your work.
SUSI Support Desk – Phone: 0818 888 777 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Appealing Your Grant Decision – If you are unhappy with the outcome of your grant application you may make an appeal. We can support you in the process.
Other Student Financial Supports:
HEAR (Higher Education Access Route) scheme : offers ‘reduced points’ college places and extra college support to school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. There is range of financial, social and cultural criteria that must be met. You apply for the Hear scheme through the CAO and students must tick the Hear scheme option which will then direct them to a separate Hear application form which must be completed by March 1st. If you get a place through HEAR you will also be offered a range of supports while you are studying at college, such as an orientation programme, extra tuition, study skills and mentoring. The supports available will vary from college to college.
St Vincent De Paul Education Grant : established to support students of all ages who may financially struggle to access or stay in third level education and training programmes.
1916 Bursary Fund: to encourage participation and success by students who are most socio-economically disadvantaged and who are from groups most under-represented in higher education. Applications for a 1916 Bursary should be made directly to the higher education institution you are going to (listed in the link). Further information on the application process is available from the website or access office of the institution in which you intend to study.
Credit Union Scholarships and Bursaries: an educational fund awarded to members partaking in undergraduate, postgraduate or master degrees. Sometimes, credit unions fund personal development courses, or other types of further education.
Student Assistance Fund
Once you’re in college, there is still help at hand if you find yourself struggling financially. The Higher Education Authority’s Student Assistance Fund is available to those who are struggling to cover the costs of books, rent, electricity bills, food, medical expenses, and a number of other issues, aside from fees. This is in addition to the SUSI grant. You need to contact the Access or Student Services Office in your college to apply for the Student Assistance Fund.
Most third-level institutions offers scholarships that vary from academic, sports, arts, research – it allows students to access additional supports – check as early as possible with the college you are hoping to go to about closing dates for applications. The HEA has a great list of bursaries and scholarships.
Uversity Scholarships For adult learners to help them gain a Bachelor’s Degree for the first time. The value of the Scholarships depends on the successful recipients’ circumstances and need. Payments are made monthly and are subject to continued academic registration and progress.
Brexit has not affected the grants available to eligible students. Students from Ireland will continue to be able to study in the UK and students from the UK will be able to study in Ireland with grant rules continuing to apply in the normal way.
People in International Protection System
This student support scheme aimed at people in International Protection System, provides grants for students who are in the protection system or at the leave to remain (but not deportation order) stage. It is aimed at people who wish to pursue either PLC courses in further education, undergraduate courses or postgraduate level course in higher education. More information and how to apply.
Direct Provision – If someone is living in Direct Provision, they can apply for the Student Support Scheme for Asylum Seekers for help with the cost of going to third level education. The Student Support Scheme provides a similar level of financial support for international protection applicants as is provided for Irish students who are eligible for support under the SUSI grant scheme.
If you would like additional support or information, contact Crosscare Migrant Project (Dublin).
Eligible Ukrainian students living in Ireland can attend Solas approved Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses free of charge and will be offered financial assistance to help them with their course under the PLC Bursary for Displaced Persons (Ukraine) Scheme: More information.
University of Sanctuary Ireland (UoSI) Scholarships
University of Sanctuary Ireland is an Irish initiative to encourage and celebrate the good practice of universities, colleges and other education institutes in welcoming refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants into their university communities and fostering a culture of welcome and inclusion for all those seeking sanctuary. List of the Universities / Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) that offer Sanctuary Scholarships.
The Irish Refugee have produced a very helpful booklet Guide to Further and Higher Education for Refugees and people seeking Asylums.