The student grant is the main source of financial help available from the Irish State for students in full-time Post Leaving Certificate Courses (PLCs) and full-time Higher Education Undergraduate Courses. Support is available to eligible students in most colleges in Ireland as well as eligible Irish students in many colleges in Northern Ireland, the UK and other EU States.
SUSI, Student Universal Support Ireland is the single Awarding Authority for all new student grant applications. The online application system provides you with a quick, user friendly way to apply for your grant for the coming year. If you are thinking of embarking on either a Post Leaving Certificate Course (PLC) or Higher Education Course you should investigate whether you are eligible, and, if so, submit an application at www.susi.ie
Free Fees Initiative
Under the free fees initiative, the Department of Education and Science meets the tuition fees of eligible students who are attending full-time undergraduate courses. Such courses must generally be of at least two years duration, at approved colleges. These colleges include the publicly funded colleges and a number of non-publicly funded religious colleges which are approved for the purposes of the Higher Education Grants Scheme and which are part of the CAO system of entry. Eligible students are those who:
(a) are first-time undergraduates, and
(b) hold E.U. Nationality or Official Refugee Status
(c) and have been ordinarily resident in an E.U. Member State for at least three of the five years preceding their entry to an approved course.
Students who are repeating a year at the same level are generally not eligible under the Initiative. The Free Fees Initiative does not cover the student contribution charge. Eligible students will have the student registration fee paid for them by applying for a student support grant.
If you are getting the Back to Education Allowance you do not qualify for the maintenance component of the student grant but you can apply for a fee grant to cover the student contribution and any course tuition fees not already covered by the Free Fees Initiative. Essential field trip costs may also be covered under a fee grant.
Please note, however, that people getting BTEA may not qualify for payment of a fee grant – unless they meet the terms and conditions of the student grant scheme. If you are getting the BTEA and wish to apply for these charges to be covered by a fee grant you should apply for a grant as soon as possible.