Leaving Cert students are being encouraged to apply early for their third level grants in order to avoid delays if the new online application system suffers from ‘teething difficulties’.
Students applying for third level grants are to apply through the new Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) system which replaces the existing system of applying to their individual local authority.
This is the first year of the centralised online application system and Mayo TD John O’Mahony is encouraging students who are planning to go to college in September to apply for their grants even before the Leaving Cert exam results are issued.
“An estimated 40 per cent of all third-level students receive grants,” said Deputy 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.
“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.”
The new system which was introduced in June will according to the Department of Education save the taxpayer €5 million per year by replacing the 66 grant awarding authorities. The SUSI online system will be run by City of Dublin VEC and will mean that students will not have to wait for their grant payments to come through depending on which VEC or local authority they were with.
However, SUSI will only be dealing with new applications in its first year of operation and renewal applications for students who already get a grant will continue to be dealt with by their existing grant awarding authority until they finish their courses.
The closing date for receipt of grant applications is August 31 and the relevant information about student grants is available on the website studentfinance.ie.