Applying for a student grant from SUSI
If you want to go to college but need some financial assistance in getting there, you may be eligible for a student grant
Student grants are available to those who want to go to college, but may need some financial assistance in order to get there. They are means tested, which means that if you are living at home, your parents income will be taken into consideration when you apply for a student grant.
In Ireland, the student grant scheme is run through Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI).
There are two types of student grants for undergraduate study available through SUSI. These are maintenance grants and fee grants.
Student Maintenance Grant
The student maintenance grant contributes to a student's living costs while they are at college.
- Grants are means tested based on your parents' income, and if you work (legally and paying tax) during the summer or while studying, this income will also be counted when you apply for a grant.
- This means that how much you receive depends on this income.
- You cannot get a maintenance grant if you are on a Back to Education Allowance or a VTOS allowance.
- You are eligible if you're applying for a full time course and are a resident of Ireland. You must also have been living in Ireland, the EU, EEA or Switzerland for the past three out of five years.
- You must be an Irish, EU, EEA or Swiss National or have specific leave to remain in the State.
- If you have EU nationality or official refugee status, then you may also apply.
- Your grant is re-assessed each year, so if your financial circumstances change, you may no longer be eligible for a grant. The body that awarded your grant will be in touch to renew or re-assess your grant at this time.
The means test
If you were living with your parents from October 1 of the year before the year of entry to the course (so 2013 if you’re applying for September 2014), you are considered dependent on your parents and any income you earned is assessed together with your parents' income.
Independent mature candidates are candidates aged over 23 who live separately from their parents from 1 October of the year before the year of entry to the course. If you are an independent student, you are assessed on your own income (and that of your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant, if applicable).
The second type of grant is a fee grant. This can cover:
- All or part of the student contribution
- Costs of essential field trips
- All or part of a student’s tuition fees
Qualifying for the fee grant
- This type of grant is means tested and follows a lot of the same conditions as the maintenance grant.
- Generally, if you qualify for a maintenance grant, you will also qualify for the fee grant.
- You must be in an approved undergraduate or postgraduate course in an approved institution.
- If you are a 'tuition student' (not currently resident in Ireland, but have been living in an European Economic Area (EEA) state for three out of the last five years), you may qualify for a fee grant, but not a maintenance grant.
You are not eligible for either of these grants if you already have a degree, are studying for a degree at the moment or have completed more than the first year of a degree.
To find out if you are eligible for a maintenance or fee grant, you can use SUSI's Eligibility Reckoner.
Avoid delays in getting your grant
- Make sure you fill in the grant application form correctly and without leaving empty spaces. If you have any questions, call SUSI.
- If SUSI need to contact you for details of documents that you forgot to include, this can cause delays.
- Send your grant application in on time to avoid delays. Apply for the grant when you’re waiting for a CAO offer.
Things to keep in mind when applying for a grant
- You will need your PPS number, CAO number, and documents about your parents’ income when applying for the grant.
- If your grant is delayed, you might be able to get a grant advance from your bank. This is an interest free loan for up to nine months, so long as you can prove that you’ll eventually get a grant.
- The grant may cover your college registration fee. If the grant is late, there’s a risk that your college will ask for a late payments fee. Check this at the College Fees office where you pick up your grant cheque.
- The grant isn’t usually paid on repeat years unless you can prove that illness caused you to repeat.
- The grant is paid into your bank account each month.
To find out more about the application process, visit the SUSI website.