Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (534)

Bobby Aylward

Question:

534. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the possibility of raising the financial thresholds for SUSI applicants will be investigated in view of the increases in the costs of living since the current grant system was launched in 2012 with a view to implementing same in the context of budget 2020; if increasing the sum of money paid to successful SUSI applicants through the maintenance grant will be examined in view of the increases in the cost of living for students with a view to implementing same in the context of Budget 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33279/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The student maintenance grant is a contribution towards the living costs of a student. It is not intended to cover the full cost of attending college. The student grant scheme does however, provide for different levels of maintenance support, depending on means.  Grants are also provided at adjacent and non-adjacent rates.  The higher non-adjacent rates are intended to provide additional support to those students who may be living away from home.

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. Details of this fund are available from the Access Office in the third level institution attended. 

Tax relief also is available on tuition fees. Details in relation to this relief are available from the Revenue Commissioners at www.revenue.ie

The Deputy will appreciate that there are a large number of competing demands for available funding. Decisions with regard to Budget 2020 will be announced on Budget day.

The Student Grant Scheme and Student Support Regulations for the 2019/20 academic year, were published in April and SUSI's online grant application system subsequently opened on 25 April 2019. Prospective applicants can still apply for support via the SUSI website at

https://susi.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Student-Grant-Scheme-2019.pdf