If you want to go to college but need some financial support, you might be eligible for a student grant. In Ireland, the student grant scheme is run through Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI).
What is the SUSI Grant?
There are two types of student grants for undergraduate study available through SUSI: maintenance grants and fee grants.
A student maintenance grant contributes to a student’s living costs while they are at college. A fee grant can cover:
- All or part of the student contribution
- Costs of essential field trips
- All or part of a student’s tuition fees
The maintenance grant is paid into your bank account each month for nine months. Fee grants are paid directly to the college you are attending.
Generally, if you qualify for a maintenance grant, you will also qualify for the fee grant.
Am I eligible for a student grant?
To find out if you are eligible for a maintenance or fee grant, you can use SUSI’s Eligibility Reckoner. It does not guarantee anything but can help you to get an idea of your chances of being approved.
To be eligible for a grant, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be an Irish, EU, EEA, UK 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
- You must have been living in Ireland, the EU, EEA or Switzerland for the past three out of five years
- You must be progressing in your education (increasing your NFQ level)
- You must be attending an approved course in an approved institution. You can read a list of approved institutions and courses on SUSI’s website
- You must undergo a means test
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
Student grants are means-tested. This means that you and/ or your family’s gross income for the previous full tax year will be taken into account when you apply for a grant. This will determine if you receive a grant and how much you can receive.
If you were living with your parents or legal guardian from October 1 of the year before the year of entry to the course, you are considered a dependent candidate. Any income you earned is assessed together with their income.
Independent candidates are candidates who:
- Are aged 23 or over on January 1 in the year of entry to the course
- 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.
On the SUSI website, you can find information on Income Thresholds And Grant Award Rates. This section will explain how much you may be entitled to depending on your personal income or the income of your family.
In certain circumstances, the income of your parents/ legal guardian(s) may not be taken into account. Find more information on these circumstances on the SUSI website.
Am I eligible for the grant if I already have a degree?
If you already have a third level qualification, this may affect your eligibility for a grant. You will not get a grant if you start a new course that does not represent a progression from your previous qualification (for example going from a level 8 to another level 8 course), even if you did not get a grant in your previous course.
However, you may be considered eligible for funding as a “second chance” student if you meet the following conditions:
- You have previously attended but not completed a course,
- You have had a five year break in studies since leaving that course
- You are returning to attend an approved course at the same level
If you are a postgraduate student seeking information about financial support, read about postgraduate student grants here.
How much is the SUSI grant?
The SUSI grant rate you get depends on the following factors:
- Your assessed means
- The distance you normally live from the college you are going to attend
- If you are a disadvantaged student
How can I apply for the SUSI grant?
You must make your SUSI grant application online. You do not need to know what course you will be taking when you apply.
You will need to create an online account with SUSI in order to apply. For this, you will need your PPS number, a phone number and an email address. Before submitting your application, It is important that you supply SUSI with all of the documentation that they request from you.
When can I apply for the SUSI grant?
It is important to send your grant application on time to avoid delays.
The student grant application process is open to all applicants from Thursday, April 28th 2022.
If you are already getting a student grant, you can already submit a renewal application.
Student grant applications received by SUSI before June 9th 2022 (for renewal applications) and July 7th 2022 (for new applications) will be given priority. SUSI will still accept student grant applications after these dates. The closing date for applications last year was November. The closing date for student grant applications in 2022 is to be confirmed.
It is important to fill in the grant application form correctly and without leaving empty spaces. If you have any questions, call SUSI.
I’ve forgotten my login details for my SUSI Grant application
If you have forgotten your login details for your SUSI Grant application you will need to reset your password, username or pin. You can do this at susi.ie. Click the login button and then choose the option underneath of which detail you have forgotten.
To find out more about the application process, visit the SUSI website.
What happens if my grant is delayed?
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 have been approved for 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. Read answers to frequently asked questions about the student grant here.
Need more information?
We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.