Local Fine Gael TD, Frank Feighan, has urged students in Co Leitrim who haven’t already done so to apply for their third level grants as soon as possible. His call comes following major reforms of the entire student grant system which will see one unified grant scheme being implemented by the newly established authority, Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI).
“Up until recently all students applying for third level grants had to apply to either their local authority or the VEC for funding. Under the new scheme, SUSI will replace the 33 VECs and 33 local authority bodies currently processing applications with one centralised online system,” he told the Leitrim Observer.
“In its first year SUSI will be dealing solely with new applications and students can apply now, regardless of whether they have chosen a college course yet. It is vital that students who are seeking financial assistance apply as soon as possible to ensure their application is processed well in advance of them beginning their third level course.
“Students who are currently in receipt of a student grant and who are progressing to the next year of the same course will continue to be assessed and paid by the existing awarding authorities - i.e. the relevant local authority or Vocational Educational Committee. If you are changing your course or progressing to a new course, including an add-on course, you will need to apply to SUSI.
“Normally, the deadline for applications is the end of August if the qualifying student has secured a place on a college course before then. However, going on previous years, there is some leeway depending on the circumstances of the applicant.
“Students or parents with queries on the application process can contact the SUSI Support Desk on 0761-08-7874 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information can be accessed on http://www.studentfinance.ie/,” he concluded.