Going to college can be expensive – there are fees, laptop, equipment, travel, accommodation to consider – however, there are a range of schemes to help you with the cost. The main one is the Student Grant Scheme (SUSI) but there are other financial supports available too.
The student finance section on the Higher Education Authority gives a really good overview of the various options that might be open to you.
If you have any questions about applying for a grant or other financial support to go to college, you can chat online to a trained Youth Information Officer or leave us a message and we can get back to you.
Student Grant Scheme
Student Grant Scheme (SUSI)
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: 0761 08 7874 or Email: email@example.com
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.
SUSI is accepting applications in the usual way from Irish students intending to study approved courses in the UK and from UK students intending to study in Ireland, as they can continue to avail of student grants if eligible.
Brexit will not affect 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. More information on SUSI for students studying abroad
Student Support Scheme for Asylum Seekers
The Student Support Scheme for people in the International Protection System provides financial 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 will be required to meet the following criteria:
- Meet the definition of a protection applicant or a person at leave to remain stage (other than those at the deportation order stage);
- Have been accepted on an approved post-leaving certificate course, an approved undergraduate course or an approved postgraduate course; and
- Have been part of an application for protection or leave to remain for a combined period of three years.
Further information on how to apply, including the application form, is available here. The application usually end of November.
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; https://www.migrantproject.ie/immigration-information/how-we-can-help/ (Dublin)
Student Support for Ukrainian Refugees
Ukrainians will be able to do to begin a higher education course in Ireland without being charged international fees. It is not clear at this time if Ukrainians can avail of the Free Fees or Susi grant – information will come soon. Useful information from Refugee Council
A quick overview of other 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 The SVP Education and Training Bursary Fund has been 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
The 1916 Bursary Fund is 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.
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 are 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.