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Susi Grant and Other Financial supports for full time college and further education students

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Susi grant scheme queries, Back to Education Allowance or any related questions can be answered at the Citizen’s Information Centres around Limerick.

Susi Grant and Other Financial supports for full time college and further education students

Leaving Cert results and college offers will soon be landing in many people’s inboxes and the question of how to finance full time third level studies will be puzzling students and their parents. Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) award further and higher education grants to eligible students, from school leavers to mature students returning to education, in approved full time third level courses. SUSI have been accepting grant applications since April on their website www.susi.ie. Many people may not have yet applied or may not be aware that they may be eligible for a grant.

Also, if you have been getting an unemployment payment, been made redundant or are getting PUP (Pandemic Unemployment payment) you may qualify for the Back to Education Allowance to support yourself as you attend a course. Students or anyone who pays the students college fees can claim tax relief on these fees paid assuming the student is attending an approved course at an approved college, conditions apply.

According to Ciaran Casey, Limerick Citizens Information Service Development Manager “Most first-time undergraduate students attending publicly funded third-level courses do not have to pay tuition fees under the terms of the Free Fees Initiative. The Department of Education and Skills pay the fees to the colleges instead. A separate annual student contribution fee is payable to colleges for the costs of student services and examinations which will be covered if you qualify the SUSI Grant Scheme”.

Perry Keane Information Officer Limerick Citizens Information Centre stated “There are several different criteria which will determine if you’re eligible for the SUSI Grant Scheme, for example, you must be increasing your NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications) level, you must be attending an approved course and your reckonable income must be below a certain amount for your personal circumstances. I would encourage students to use the eligibility reckoner on the SUSI website www.susi.ie to see whether they meet the criteria for the SUSI Grant Scheme”

One parent told Citizen’s Information: “our son got offered his college place in 2020 and was very excited about starting his new adult life away from home. However, he hadn’t a clue about how his Dad and I were going to finance this big new adventure. He had to make the application so I contacted my local CIC so I could understand the process. They helped calculate our means and assured me that he would get the grant. It doesn’t cover everything but knowing he was going to get it allowed us to plan our finances. Thanks a million to the local CIC for clarifying things for us”

Citizens Information Centres are funded by the Citizens Information Board. They provide free, impartial and confidential information, advice and advocacy services to the public on social services, rights and entitlements.

Information Officers in Citizens Information Centres throughout the County Limerick are available to answer any queries you may have about the SUSI grant scheme, Back to Education Allowance or any related questions. They are available from Monday to Friday and while the drop in service is not currently available due to COVID-19, the centres are still staffed and are assisting clients by phone and email and have limited face-to-face appointments. They can be contacted at 0761 07 5780 and [email protected]

Visit the Citizen’s Information website HERE for more useful information.

For more stories on Citizen’s Information, see HERE 

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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