Local Fine Gael Minister of State, Deputy Peter Burke, has confirmed that applications for student grants for the new academic year are now open with changes to the grants enabling significant improvements for students.
He has said that grant eligibility has been raised with him by a number of families and students in recent years, who just missed out on grants, so has welcomed the changes made by his colleague Simon Harris.
From September maintenance grants will increase by €200, the income threshold for the standard rate of grant increase by €1,000 and the distance for the higher non-adjacent student grant will be reduced from 45km to 30km
“These changes to the grant system will deliver much-needed assistance to students and families across the country. In particular, the non-adjacent rate change will mean that more students from elsewhere in the county may be entitled to an increased rate if travelling to college in Athlone, depending on where they live.
“For example, someone that may live in Roscommon travelling to Athlone may not have been in receipt of the non-adjacent rate previously if they lived between 30 and 45km away from the college, but they can apply to get this reviewed now. The same may go for students who live in Mullingar and who travel to Athlone. If you think these changes may affect your grant rate, please call in or phone my office and we can ask for your grant to be reviewed in light of these recent changes.
“The €200 increase in the maintenance grant will offer direct financial assistance to over 62,000 students across the country, and increasing the eligibility cut off point by €1,000 will ensure even more students qualify, and more families can access support.
“These are real and tangible changes which will help students and families, and they are in line with the forthcoming Review of the Student Grant Scheme, which will be brought to Government in the coming weeks,” Deputy Burke stated..
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