Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (601)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

601. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science if student grant income thresholds will be increased for the 2021-2022 academic year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7342/21]

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Written answers (Question to Further and Higher Education)

The Student Grant Scheme contains a number of qualifying thresholds for various grant values. These gradations allow students just over a threshold margin, to remain in receipt of a grant, albeit at a reduced rate that reflects their relative income vis-à-vis other applicants.

The scheme provides for different levels of income thresholds where families have (i) less than 4 dependent children (ii) between 4 and 7 dependent children and (iii) 8 or more dependent children. In recognition of the additional cost to families where more than one person is attending college, income thresholds may also be increased by up to €4,830 for each additional family member attending college at the same time. In this way, the Student Grant Scheme is responsive to the individual circumstances of particular families.

Budget 2021 provided for enhanced postgraduate supports from next year including the fee grant amount rising from €2,000 to €3,500 and the income threshold for eligibility for these grants to increase from €31,500, now €54,240. This is an initial step in meeting part of the Government’s commitments regarding SUSI grant support.

The Deputy will be aware that I recently announced a review of the SUSI grant scheme. It is anticipated that this review will commence shortly and will report back to me in late 2021. This review will consider issues such as income thresholds and grant rates. It is intended that the future direction of the SUSI scheme will be guided by the outcome of the review.