27 April 2023
By Tom Collins
Undergraduates and prospective students in Cork could be entitled to a reduction in the third level contribution fee of up to €1,500, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Cork North Central Deputy Colm Burke said applications for the student grant scheme for the 2023/24 academic year are now open, with a number of important improvements for students.
Deputy Burke said: “Changes, introduced in Budget 2023, include a reduction in the contribution fee of €1,500 for families earning €55,240 to €62,000, and a reduction of €500 in the contribution fee for eligible households earning between €62,000 and €100,000.
“These changes, which come into effect in September, mean that up to 50,000 undergraduates around the country could receive support under the Student Grant Scheme for the first time.
“Fine Gael is working hard to reduce the cost of going to college for students and their families.
“That’s why we have brought in important changes for the coming academic year so that more people can avail of the supports available.
“This comes on the back of significant increases to the maintenance grant introduced in January,” Deputy Burke said.
Minister for Further & Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, said: “It is really important students and their families know they must apply for these important changes.
“I would encourage current undergraduate students, and those considering going to college in September, to go to susi.ie to apply for these new supports.
“I believe these changes will deliver much-needed assistance to students and families across the country.”
Deputy Burke said: “Students in the 2023/24 academic year will also see the full benefit of increases to the maintenance grants announced in Budget 2023. From 1 January 2023, the Special and Band 1 maintenance grant rates increased by 14% and all the other maintenance grant rates increased by 10%.
“The increase in student earnings outside of term time from €4,500 to €6,552 will also come into effect for the 2023/24 academic year and there will be a reduction in the eligibility period from 5 years to 3 for second chance mature students who did not complete a course and are returning to college to pursue an approved course at PLC, undergraduate or postgraduate level.
“The student grant system opened on March 9th for renewal students, who were all contacted by SUSI directly, and on April 13th for new applications.”