Qualifying for a student grant

Maintenance grant

To qualify for a maintenance grant, you must fulfil the conditions of the scheme as regards:

  • Previous study
  • Nationality and immigration status
  • Residence
  • Means

You must also be attending an approved course in an approved institution.

Previous Study

Previous study at further education or higher education may affect your eligibility to be considered for a grant.  If you hold a qualification you will need to be “in progression”. If you previously attended, but did not complete a course and are now pursuing an approved course you may still be eligible to be considered for a grant. There are limits on the number of years for which you can be grant-aided for post leaving certificate, undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Residency

To be eligible for a student grant you must be legally resident in Ireland for at least 3 of the 5 years immediately before the date on which a year of study commences on an approved course in an approved institution.

To be eligible for a student grant you must be legally resident in Ireland for at least 3 of the 5 years immediately before the date on which a year of study commences on an approved course in an approved institution.

If you do not satisfy the residency requirement in Ireland, but have been living in another EU Member State, the EEA or Switzerland for at least 3 of the last 5 years immediately before the date on which a year of study commences, you may be eligible for a grant for tuition fees only.

Nationality & Related Status

To meet the nationality or immigration status requirements for a student grant, your nationality/immigration status must fall into one of the following categories:

  • EU nationality, nationality of state which is a contracting state to the EEA Agreement or Switzerland;
  • Refugee Status;
  • Subsidiary protection;
  • Permission to remain as the family member of a European Union, EEA or Swiss citizen under the European Communities;
  • Permission to remain because of marriage or civil partnership with an Irish national or because you are the dependent child of such person;
  • Humanitarian leave to remain granted before the Immigration act 1999;
  • Permission to remain in Ireland following a decision not to deport you under section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999.

If you are not an Irish national or a national of another EU Member State, the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you must have current permission to remain in Ireland.

 Fee grant

If you qualify for a maintenance grant, you will qualify for all relevant elements of a fee grant.

You may qualify for a fee grant, but not a maintenance grant, if you are what is called a ‘tuition student’ under the Student Grant Scheme.

A tuition student is someone who fulfils all the conditions for a student grant except for residence in the State, but who has been resident in an EEA state or Switzerland for 3 of the last 5 years. The members of the EEA (the European Economic Area) are the 27 members of the EU, along with Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

Full details on all aspects of student finance can be found in studentfinance.ie

Income limits for maintenance grant and full fee grant

The family income limits for eligibility for a maintenance grant in 2011/2012 are set out below.

These limits also qualify you in respect of the fee grant (if you are otherwise eligible).

Number of dependent children Full maintenance Part maintenance (75%) Part maintenance (50%) Part maintenance (25%)
Fewer than 4 €41,110 €42,235 €44,720 €47,205
4 to 7 €45,165 €46,415 €49,145 €51,880
8 or more €49,045 €50,400 €53,360 €56,320

Income limits for partial fee grant

The family income limits for eligibility for a partial fee grant in 2011/2012 are set out below.

Number of dependent children 50% tuition fees and 100% student contribution 50% student contribution only
Fewer than 4 €51,380 €55,920
4 to 7 €56,460 €61,440
8 or more €61,295 €66,700

Rates

Changes in grant rates are considered during the annual Budget process and become effective in January at the beginning of the financial year.

Budget 2012 reduces the rate of student grant by 3% from January 2012.

Maintenance grant rates for 2011

Type Non-adjacent rate Adjacent rate
Special rate €6,100 €2,445
Full Maintenance €3,120 €1,250
Part maintenance (75%) €2,340 €940
Part maintenance (50%) €1,560 €625
Part maintenance (25%) €780 €315

Adjacent and non-adjacent rates

For students who live 45 kilometres (formerly 24) or less from the college being attended, the adjacent rate of maintenance grant is payable. This rate applies to all students living within this distance, including all mature students, both dependent and independent.

The non-adjacent rate applies to everyone else.

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