Financial support in the form of grants is available to eligible students in most colleges in Ireland. Also some eligible Irish students in many colleges throughout Northern Ireland, the UK and other EU states can avail of grants.
There are two main grants available, the maintenance grant and the fee grant.
The maintenance grant is a contribution towards the student’s living costs. The fee grant covers some or all of the student contribution fee (discussed below) and the cost of essential field trips.
The closing date for grant applications for the academic year 2014-2015 is August 1, 2014.
In order to qualify for either grant the student must meet three conditions:
Studentfinance.ie have a guide to the grant process and checking eligibility.
Most full-time, undergraduate degree courses in the public system in Ireland are free. This free fees initiative extends to the majority of full-time degree programmes in Irish Institutes of Technology, Irish Universities and qualifying colleges.
There are certain criteria that have to be met however. For instance, it must be the student’s first degree.
Although fees for eligible students are paid for, there are costs, known as registration fees or student contributions, for things like student services. Currently these can be no more than €2,750 but, this could go up for the academic year 2015-2016.
There is however, the possibility of getting a grant to cover the cost of the student contribution (mentioned above).
Student grants are means tested. If your son or daughter is under 23 years of age the means test will be based on parental income, as well as any income your son or daughter may have. It also takes into account the number of dependent children the parent or guardian has.
Studentfinance.ie can help you to assess whether they are eligible and guide you in how to apply. Though it’s important to remember this is guidance and in all cases the grant-awarding bodies make the official decision.
If you think your son or daughter may be eligible for the student grant, you should apply as soon as possible. They don’t need to have been offered a place in college before starting the process.