Susi grants and the ‘adjacency rate’

 

Sir, – I read your coverage of the disparity in the awarding of student grants nationwide and I think you miss an important point.

The fact is that one of the factors in the means testing for Susi grants is the “adjacency rate”.

While this is intended to help facilitate those who are located in isolated areas to access higher education, it is also applied to those who may be close to a college or university but are entering one that is significantly further away.

In the case of those living in Dublin or the surrounding areas (such as in Kildare or Wicklow, as cited in your article) it is no mystery that there is a lower award rate of student grants because the applicants simply live closer to their institution of entrance which is more than likely Dublin, given the high concentration of institutions in the city.

If these same applicants were were to study in say, Limerick or Cork, they would be more likely to get a grant.

In my own case, being from Co Monaghan and studying in Galway, I would easily be in the running for a grant due to the distance between my home and term addresses, irrespective of my family income. If I were to study in Dublin instead I would still be considered far enough away to be receiving the aforementioned adjacency rate.

Clearly the adjacency rate is a good-natured, yet flawed idea that is highly biased towards those living in the countryside.

It should be the first point of call for revising the grants scheme. – Yours, etc,

JORDAN MARKEY,

Carrickmacross,

Co Monaghan.