My Department will provide circa €450m for measures to help people to access further and higher education in 2018.
The principal support provided by my Department in financial terms is the Student Grant Scheme, which makes available means-tested financial assistance to students in further and higher education. The student grant scheme is administered by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) which is a business unit of CDETB. Under the terms of the student grant scheme, grant assistance is awarded to students on full-time courses who meet the prescribed conditions of funding including those which relate to nationality, residency, approved course, previous academic attainment and means. The grant scheme is complemented by the Student Assistance Fund and the Fund for Students with Disabilities, as well as a programme of scholarships and bursaries.
The means tested Scheme provides for higher income thresholds for larger families. In addition to this, further increases in the income thresholds are provided for where additional family members are attending further and higher education at the same time.
The criteria for the scheme are applied nationally and are reviewed annually.
SUSI’s online system for the 2018 Student Grant Scheme is now open. Students attending college in the academic year 2018/19 are required to submit their grant application to SUSI (via www.susi.ie) to have their eligibility for grant assistance assessed.
Third-level students who are experiencing exceptional financial need, can also 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. This fund is administered on a confidential, discretionary basis.
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 at www.revenue.ie.