All Leaving Cert students and others planning to go to college from September should apply for their grants now, before the exam results are issued, according to former teacher and Mayo Fine Gael TD John O'Mahony.
Deputy O’Mahony said a new central, online, system for all third level students will ease the grants process but could be prone to some teething problems.
“The new Department of Education and Science system – Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI ) – will replace the existing system whereby students apply to their individual local authority for supports with a centralised online application system,” he said.
“Like any system, this one will most likely suffer some teething difficulties. I know that students haven’t even got their results yet and many more are still toying with the idea of returning to education. I would urge both groups to make their application now by logging on to www.grantsonline.ie ”
Until now, students heading to third level had to apply to one of 66 local authorities and VECs for grants. The system was prone to regular delays and many students were well into their courses in many instances before their payment came through.
“An estimated 40 per cent of all third-level students receive grants,” said Dep O’Mahony. The new system will accept all new grant applications and will give out payments to students starting college in the coming academic year or those beginning new courses on a monthly basis.”
The closing date for receipt of grant applications is August 31. Visit www.studentfinance.ie for relevant information about student grants and to read the guidance notes for completing an application, before applying on-line.