76,000 student grants paid so far, Susi says

Third-level award body to grant €370 million to meet fees and maintenance costs this year

Susi was previously the subject of widespread criticism after the system experienced significant problems and delays in its first year of operation. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Susi was previously the subject of widespread criticism after the system experienced significant problems and delays in its first year of operation. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

Student grant body Susi has awarded third-level and maintenance funding to 76,000 students so far this academic year, an increase of 14,000 on the same period last year.

A change to the custom of not awarding grants before students received CAO offers at the end of August and an earlier application date helped speed up processing times this year, said Student Universal Support Ireland’s Graham Doyle.

“When we looked back at previous years we found that somewhere in the region of 70-80 per cent of students got the course they told us they were going for,” Mr Doyle said.

“We had over 20,000 students who had already received an award letter from us before they received the Leaving Cert results.”

“There was a tiny bit of re-working with some of them who didn’t get the initial option they chose with the CAO,” Mr Doyle said.

Maintenance payments

Susi will award in the region of €370 million in grants this year. It is estimated that €170 million will pay for third-level fees while roughly €200 million will be allocated for maintenance payments.

Now in its fifth year, Susi was previously the subject of widespread criticism after the system experienced significant problems and delays in its first year of operation.

Susi has worked closely with guidance counsellors who, in turn, advised students to apply for their grants as early as possible.

Payments were issued to some 50,000 students this September and a total of 68,000 students have been paid to date.

The 8,000 remaining students who have been awarded grants and are still to be paid will receive their grants as soon as their colleges confirm that they are registered.

105,000 applications

Of the almost 105,000 applications received to date, 90,000 of these applications have been processed.

Some 14,000 were refused or cancelled mostly on the basis of not meeting financial threshold criteria.

Susi is calling on students who have yet to submit their documentation to do so “as soon as possible” in order for their applications to be assessed.

Others who have yet to apply are advised to do so ahead of the closing date for applications on Thursday, November 3rd.

“There are also some students who have begun the online application process but have yet to complete it and similarly they need to complete their applications before the closing date,” said Mr Doyle.