Leitrim students who have just completed their Leaving Cert Exams are being asked to start collecting information for their application for third level grants and to familiarise themselves with the new online process.
As of June 13, the new student online grant system went live on Student Finance. This is the new application system for students applying for maintenance third level grants for the first time.
Martin Fallon, Acting CEO said the Carrick VEC office is still getting calls from students and parents about the new system. There has been no effect on staff at the VEC offices, as they are still dealing with return applications for second, third and consequent students.
Cllr Siobhan McGloin expressed concern that students don’t know about the new online process. The members heard that national advertising had been taken out, but nothing was placed in local media.
Cllr Mary Bohan said the grant process will not be more streamlined, as delay in grant payments only occur when the relevant information is not submitted.
Senator Mooney paid tribute to the great work done by the VEC staff on processing grants, he called the new central system “anti-democratic.” Sean Wynne said schools should send a webtext out to students telling them about the new system, Sinead Dore said not everyone has access to computers, but there is free access in libraries.