Updated Student Grant Scheme Launched For 2019/20 Applicants

Government has launched the application process for student grants in the 2019/20 academic year with a few added improvements aimed at benefiting the most disadvantaged students.

Over €400 million has been allocated in financial support for further and higher education, including various targeted measures under the National Access Plan and €370 million for student grants.

The 2019 scheme incorporates two additional income disregards and an increase in the reckonable income threshold for the special rate of maintenance group, meaning more students should qualify for additional support.

The announcement coincides with SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland) opening its online system for student grant applications for the 2019/20 academic year.

SUSI processed approximately 99,000 grant applications in the 2018/19 academic year, with almost 80,000 applicants assessed as eligible for grant support. It is anticipated that a similar number will apply for grant support for the 2019/20 academic year.

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. and Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O'Connor T.D. unveiled the updated plans yesterday.

Minister McHugh said: "I am pleased that the SUSI online application process is now open for the 2019/20 academic year. Irish students wishing to study in the UK and UK nationals wishing to take up studies in Ireland remain eligible for grant support. This is a key commitment that Minister Mitchell O'Connor and I have given for the 2019/20 academic year.

"It is important that students have this clarity, irrespective of the outcome of Brexit negotiations. We are working to bring longer term clarity for student mobility between Ireland and the UK under the Common Travel Area and hope to have this finalised in the coming weeks."

Minister Mitchell O'Connor added: "The SUSI grant is a hugely important support to our students, enabling almost 80,000 students annually to have a rich learning experience in further and higher education. The changes in reckonable income threshold for the special rate of maintenance grant, and additions to the income disregard system are part of our commitment on access to higher education.

"I encourage students who think they might be eligible for support, to submit their online student grant applications to SUSI without delay; to ensure that they are processed as quickly as possible."

The closing dates for the 2019/20 scheme are 13 June 2019 for renewal applicants and 11 July 2019 for new applicants.


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