There has been a significant rise in the number of students who have received grants in 2016 compared to this time last year, student grant body SUSI has said.
An extra 14,000 grants have been awarded to third-level students compared to the same period in 2015. This is thanks to a systematic change where students can now receive their grants before their CAO offers are published.
Reactions to the SUSI grants have been largely positive among DCU students. “It’s free money, what’s not to like?”, said Joshua Freeman, a first-year journalism student in relation to the grants.
There have been major problems concerning SUSI in recent years, which saw many students receive their grants months after they had begun attending college. However, Student Universal Support Ireland spokesperson Graham Doyle believes that these issues have been sufficiently addressed.
Students receiving their grants before their CAO offers allowed SUSI to speed up the process, with only “a tiny bit of re-working for those who didn’t get the initial option they chose with the CAO”, Mr Doyle said.
SUSI will award students around €370 million worth of grants this year. Somewhere in the region of €170 million of this will pay for third-level fees while the remaining €200 million will go towards maintenance payments.
A total of 105,000 applications have been received by SUSI this academic year, with 90,000 of these being processed by late October. 14,000 applications were refused or cancelled as they didn’t meet the financial threshold criteria.
In the region of 50,000 grants were awarded to students this September. The 8,000 students who have not yet received their grants are waiting for their colleges to confirm that they are registered.
Image Credit: Tipperary Times