Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (530)

Michael Moynihan

Question:

530. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the payment of tuition fees by a sponsoring company to secure a place for a postgraduate student are considered as income for that student for the purposes of applying for a student grant in circumstances in which the sponsoring company pays these fees on the understanding that the fees will be repaid to it when the student receives a student grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33203/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The decision on eligibility for a student grant is a matter in the first instance for the grant awarding authority, Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI).

SUSI's online grant application system for 2019/20 opened on 25 April 2019. Although the priority closing dates have now passed, students can still apply to have their eligibility for support assessed. Details are available at www.susi.ie

Article 14 of the Student Grant Scheme 2019 sets out clearly the eligibility exclusions for a student grant. It states that a student is not eligible for a grant if he or she has been awarded or holds any grant, scholarship, prize, allowance, bursary or award of similar description made from public funds, with the exception of the following awards:

- awards such as scholarships, prizes or bursaries, made by the institution being attended;

- postgraduate research awards where the stipend portion of the award does not exceed a specified amount, which for the relevant academic year, is specified to be €16,000;

- awards to applicants under the Student Assistance Fund or the Fund for Students with Disabilities;

- Easter Week Scholarship Scheme;

- Donogh O'Malley Scholarship Scheme;

- Department of Education and Skills Third Level Bursary Schemes;

- All Ireland Scholarship Scheme; and

- TUSLA – NTRIS Employment Support Scheme.

If an individual applicant considers that he has been unjustly refused a student grant or that the rate of grant awarded is not the correct one, she/he may appeal, in the first instance, to an appeals officer in SUSI. Please note that there are statutory time limits for making an appeal.

Where an individual applicant has had an appeal turned down in writing by an appeals officer and remains of the view that the scheme has not been interpreted correctly in his case, an appeal may be submitted by the applicant via www.studentgrantappeals.ie outlining the position to the independent Student Grants Appeals Board within the required timeframe.