Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Questions (83)

Jerry Buttimer

Question:

83. Deputy Jerry Buttimer asked the Minister for Education and Skills if there are any other financial supports open to a person (details supplied) in County Cork who does not qualify for back-to-education allowance. [51025/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The main financial support available to students attending further and higher education is my Department's Student Grant Scheme. Under the student grant scheme, eligible candidates may receive funding provided they are attending an approved course at an approved institution and meet the prescribed conditions of funding, including those which relate to nationality, residency, previous academic attainment and means. The Deputy will appreciate that in the absence of all of the relevant details that would be contained in an individual's application in relation to nationality, residency, previous academic attainment and means, it would not be possible for me to say whether or not a student would qualify for a grant. The grant application process is now closed for the current academic year but a student may submit an online application for 2014/15 at www.susi.ie when the process reopens. However, if an individual has a change of circumstance which occurred after 20th November 2013 and is likely to be permanent e.g. parent made redundant, they should contact the SUSI helpdesk at 0761-08-7874 or email support@susi.ie for advice Eligibility for the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) and associated payments is determined and administered by the Department of Social Protection. Students in third-level institutions experiencing exceptional financial need can apply for support under the Student Assistance Fund. This Fund assists students, in a sensitive and compassionate manner, who might otherwise be unable to continue their third level studies due to their financial circumstances. Information on the fund is available through the Access Officer in the third level institution attended. The fund is administered on a confidential, discretionary basis. In addition to the student grant, 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. Further information on this tax relief is available from the Revenue Commissioners on www.revenue.ie.