Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris has announced certain amendments made to the Student Grant Scheme that will provide improvements to the scheme for disadvantaged students. He likewise has announced the opening of the Student Grant Scheme for renewal applications for the 2021/22 year.
In his announcement on the opening of the Scheme, Harris stated that “new grant applicants will be able to apply on April 22”.
“The early opening date for renewal students will facilitate earlier decisions for students on their grant applications and provide students with greater certainty about the financial support that will be available to them, he continued.
“I would encourage students who think they might be eligible for support to submit their online applications to SUSI.”
The priority closing dates for this year’s Student Grant Scheme are July 8 for students new to the scheme and June 10 for renewal applications.
Minister Harris added that the financial strains caused by Covid-19 would create difficulties for students, resulting in a larger number of SUSI applications than past years have seen. Commenting on this, Minister Harris stated that additional funding had been secured to facilitate the anticipated influx.
All renewal applicants have been contacted by SUSI and as of yesterday could begin to submit their applications. All new applicants will be able to apply on April 22.
The Department of Further and Higher Education has brought forward changes that will be made to improve the Student Grant Scheme for disadvantaged students.
Changes to be made to the scheme this year include:
Social welfare payments given to 65-year-olds will be “included as a qualifying payment for the special rate of maintenance grant.”
Postgraduate fees are to be increased, along with an increase in the “income threshold.”
Certain Department of Social Protections and select payments are to be considered income disregards.
And finally, students who received an improved offer on sitting the Leaving Certificate this year will not lose their entitlement to the SUSI grant.
Minister Harris has likewise commented on an independent review being conducted on the Student Grant Scheme, in the hopes of further improving the scheme for students.
“We are conducting an independent review of the student grant scheme, which is underway, with more than a hundred submissions received”.
The review commenced last week, and is open for public consultation until April 16.
More than a hundred submissions have been received for this review. People can email [email protected] to contribute to this review.