The Higher Education Authority said in a recent study that 67% of Donegal students receive some level of state funded assistance in comparison to only 35% of students from Dublin.
Tom Boland, CEO of the HEA, said that families from rural communities place a greater value on higher education and, even though incomes are low, there is an emphasis on continued participation in education.
He said, “It remains a concern that in some urban areas, particularly in Dublin, levels of participation in education are too low.”
Means testing for the grant is based on income only and doesn’t take into account assets. This favours students from groups such as farmers and the self-employed.
The study also finds that Institutes of Technology have the highest proportion of students receiving grants compared to Universities. 71% of first years at Letterkenny IT receive grants while just 24% of Trinity College entrants do.
DCU has a higher number of recipients than UCD, TCD and UCC with 36%. However, they fall behind NUI Maynooth, NUI Galway and University of Limerick.