Three measures were announced in Budget 2012 relating to the student grant schemes:

A: Reduction in overall rates of grant

  • A reduction of 3% was applied to the rates of all student grants effective from 1 January 2012
  • This reduction applies to all existing grant holders and to new grant holders alike.

B: Fees and Maintenance Grants for new entrants to postgraduate studies

  • Students entering new postgraduate courses from the 2012-13 academic year onwards will not be entitled to any maintenance payment under the Student Grant scheme
  • However, students on the lowest level of income entering new postgraduate courses from the 2012-13 academic year who qualify for the special rate of grant will be eligible to qualify to have tuition fees paid up to the maximum fee limit under the Student Grant scheme
  • A limited number of other low-income students who would previously have qualified under the standard grant thresholds will qualify to have a €2,000 contribution made towards the costs of their fees. However, there will be a new income threshold for this payment which will be lower than the standard grant threshold. The income threshold for this level of grant is currently being determined in the context of the formulation of the student grant scheme for the 2012-13 year.

C: Student Contribution

  • The student contribution is being increased by €250 to €2,250 from the 2012-13 academic year. All undergraduate students covered by the Free Fees scheme who are eligible for means-tested student support will continue to have the student contribution paid on their behalf in addition to receiving any maintenance grant and tuition fee grant to which they are entitled.
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