Bank of Ireland (BOI) have also come under fire from the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) for their new postgraduate loan scheme.
USI President, John Logue said the postgrad loan scheme will make it difficult for people to get a postgrad degree. “We are creating a two-tiered system whereby those with a decent credit history or with decent financial means can access postgrad education but if you do not have that decent credit history, goodbye”
The loan scheme, which was developed with the Department of Education and the National Treasury Management Agency, will provide loans for full time postgraduates in all Third Level Insitutions, including DCU.
However, Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, who scrapped the postgraduate grant in Budget 2012, welcomed the loan scheme. “I warmly welcome this initiative from Bank of Ireland to help postgraduate students access the finance they need to pursue their further studies.” Minister Quinn said he hoped the loan scheme will mean those who were concerned about financing their postgrad will now be able to access a loan to do one.
Two types of loans will be available to Postgraduates. The postgraduate finance loan for fees will cover the total amount of fees, minus any grant the student receives to cover part of their fees. This will be paid directly to the college or institute.
A maintenance loan of up to €2,000 is also available for those who received one from their local authority for their undergraduate course. Those applying for one must provide BOI with a letter from their local authority confirming they had received a loan from them.
Students will be subject to interest only repayments (currently 10.8%) for the duration of their postgrad and for three months after they completed their course. Full capital repayments along with interest must then be made for a period of up to 60 months (five years).
Aoife Mullen is our News Editor