Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (275)

Dara Calleary


275. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Education and Skills the application process that exists for students currently in receipt of a higher education grant but who are repeating first year in another discipline; if he will confirm that such students will again be eligible for the HEG once they have completed first year of this new course and move onto second year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30515/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

To satisfy the terms and conditions of the student grant scheme in relation to progression, a student must be moving from year to year within a course having successfully completed the previous year or be transferring from one course to another where the award for the subsequent course is of a higher level than the previous course.

The objective of this policy is to help as many students as possible to obtain one qualification at each level of study. Given the level of demand on the student grant budget from first time students and students that are progressing with their studies to a higher level, there are no plans at present to change the arrangements in place.

In the scenario presented by the Deputy, a student who is repeating first year at the same level but in a different course is not considered to be progressing and cannot be considered for funding under the Student Grant Scheme. The student will be eligible to apply for a grant under the scheme once he/she is progressing on to the second year of his/her course.

Tax relief at the standard rate of tax may be claimed in respect of tuition fees paid for approved courses at approved colleges of higher education including approved undergraduate and postgraduate courses in EU Member States and in non-EU countries. Further information on this tax relief is available from the Revenue Commissioners.