Third level Leitrim students could see grants halved next year

A LARGE number of Leitrim students attending IT Sligo or Cavan Institute will see their grants halved if Government proposals are implemented next year.

A LARGE number of Leitrim students attending IT Sligo or Cavan Institute will see their grants halved if Government proposals are implemented next year.

Changes to the maintenance grants system, announced as part of the Budget, will hit third level students from North and South Leitrim.

The Government has changed the qualifying criteria for the non-adjacent grant so that students will now only qualify for the non-adjacent rate if they live more than 45 kilometres from their college whereas before it was 24 kilometres.

Cllr Siobhan McGloin told VEC members at the December meeting that the "majority of North Leitrim students" will now only qualify for the adjacent grant. At the moment only those students living in the Dromahair area are effected by the current regulations but the new distances will include much more including students from the Carrick-on-Shannon area attending IT Sligo.

The proposed changes will also hit Leitrim students attending Cavan Institute, those in South Leitrim who live within 45 kilometres from Cavan Town will also be placed into the lower grant category. John Blunnie said even PLC students could be hit.

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