SUSI grant eligibility criteria must be clarified

Education

Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe has said that the Minister for Education Joe McHugh needs to clarify the eligibility criteria for SUSI grant applications for those whose incomes have been drastically reduced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Teachta Crowe made his remarks as the SUSI grant application process opened on 23rd April. Teachta Crowe said: “Hundreds of thousands of workers have had their incomes reduced through no fault of their own as a result of the impact of Covid-19. “We all hope that the impact of this crisis will be short lived. However, for these workers and families, many will struggle with the financial burden of sending children to third-level in a few short months.

“However, it appears that the Department of Education has made no provision for these families as the SUSI grant application process opens up and it appears that the Department will make a determination on grant applications based on incomes earned in 2019, ignoring the new reality for thousands of families. “The SUSI application process only allows for a change of circumstances to be taken into account where the change is ‘permanent, or for the foreseeable future’. Unfortunately, we know that many workers will not be returning to work following this pandemic as many employers and businesses will not be in a position to reopen. 

“I am calling on the Minister to clarify what arrangements are in place to support students from families that have seen a significant drop in income to meet the costs of third-level education for the new academic year. “It is clear that the criteria applied in previous years is not fit for purpose and the Minister must take account of these new realities to ensure that those families and students who require financial support can access it.”   

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of www.newsgroup.ie with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at info@newsgroup.ie.

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