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Earlier decisions on SUSI Grants this year

Posted by Francis O' Toole on May 31, 2016

 

Students and parents could have earlier decisions on their application for a college grant this year as a result of improvements to the €375 million scheme.

Earlier opening date for applications

Among the changes was the earlier opening date for applications to SUSI – Student Universal Support Ireland.

This year, SUSI has been open for online applications since 5th April. Previously, students could not apply until late April.

To date, over 47,500 grant applications have been received. This includes 21,500 new applications from first-time applicants, as well as renewal applications from students who had a grant in the past college year.

Last year, 108,000 applications were received, but almost 28,000 of the 83,000 who got a grant or a fee waiver were paid in September. This was the first time students have been paid their grants before October.

Qualifying criteria

In addition to the continued streamlining of the system, more students may qualify this year for the top rate of grant — as high as €5,915 for those studying more than 45km from home — this is due to changes to the qualifying criteria this year.

Although grant rates are unchanged since last year, a budget of €375m has been set aside, down €12m on what was spent last year. The spend in 2015 had jumped from €345m to over €387m last year, partly due to the fact that the student contribution paid on behalf of grant recipients increased to €3,000 — a figure that remains unchanged this year.

Video: How to Apply for a Student Grant

Priority application dates

With an expected rise in applications to more than 110,00 this year, SUSI communications and customer service manager Graham Doyle said availing of the early application date is more important than ever. Not only did applications open earlier, but students must also register before an earlier deadline this year in order to be prioritised for processing their grants later in the summer.

“apply before July 8 for new applications. You don’t have to wait until you get your Leaving Cert results and CAO offers.”
They or their families must apply by July 8 or face what could be considerable delays later in the process. Last year, 17,000 applications were received after the priority application dates

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