Student Grant Scheme

What is the Student Grant Scheme?

The Student Grant Scheme is the main financial support scheme for students studying in Ireland and abroad. It is also known as the SUSI grant because the Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) is the awarding authority for the Student Grant Scheme.

Student grants are divided into:

  • Maintenance grants
  • Fee grants

Maintenance grants help students with their living costs. Fee grants pay tuition fees for students who do not qualify for the Free Fees Scheme. Fee grants can also pay the Student Contribution and the cost of essential field trips.

If you qualify for the maintenance grant, you also get the fee grant. Some people only get a fee grant - see ‘How much will I get?’ below.

You cannot get some types of social welfare payments and the student grant.

Postgraduates can get information about financial assistance in our page on postgraduate student grants.

Student Grant applications 2024-2025

Student grant applications for the academic year 2024-2025 are open.

The closing date for SUSI grant applications is usually sometime in November. We will update this page when the final closing date for 2024-2025 is confirmed.

Recent changes to the Student Contribution and grant

Student Contribution

In the 2023-2024 academic year, the Student Contribution was reduced by €1,000 for students who qualify for the Free Fees Scheme.

From September 2024, the Student Contribution fee is abolished for all incomes under €55,924. This includes students on specified part-time undergraduate and part-time online courses.

Who qualifies for a student grant?

To qualify for a student grant, you must meet all the conditions of the scheme. These include:

  1. Nationality condition
  2. Residence condition
  3. Means test
  4. Approved course of study: you must be attending an approved course of study
  5. Progression: you must be progressing from your previous level of study
  6. Maximum period of grant assistance

We cover each of these conditions below.

1. Nationality condition

To get a student grant you must be a citizen of:

  • Ireland
  • UK
  • An EU or EEA country
  • Switzerland

If you are not a citizen of one of these countries, you may still qualify for a grant if you have refugee status, or have an immigration status or leave to remain permission accepted by SUSI.

2. Residence condition

You must have been resident in the State for 3 of the previous 5 years to qualify for a maintenance grant. However, if you are temporarily resident elsewhere in the EU in order to pursue a course of study for a recognised qualification, and you were resident in the State for 3 of the 5 years before starting that course, you meet this requirement.

If you fulfil all the criteria for a maintenance grant except for the residence condition, you may still qualify for a fee grant or a postgraduate fee contribution as a tuition student.

Studying in the UK

Eligible Irish students studying in the UK, and eligible UK students studying in Irish higher education institutions, can apply for a student grant.

3. Means test

The means test for a student grant in 2024-2025 is based on your and your family's gross income for the previous full tax year (2023). However, if you or your family have had a change of circumstances from 1 January 2024, your changed circumstances will be taken into account. See what counts as a change in circumstances on the SUSI website.

SUSI looks at all ’reckonable income’ when assessing your student grant application. Reckonable income is gross income from all sources. Some social welfare payments and financial support payments are excluded - see more details on reckonable income on the SUSI website and in the Student Grant Scheme 2024 (pdf).

If you’re dependent on your parents

If you are dependent on your parent(s), your income (if any) is assessed together with your parents' income(s). This means you must give details of your parents’ or legal guardians’ income when filling out your application. You are dependent on your parents if you:

  • Are under 23 on 1 January of the year you first enter further or higher education
  • Are over 23 on 1 January of the year you enter or re-enter further or higher education, and you live with your parent(s) or legal guardian

SUSI makes an allowance of up to €7,925 (previously €6,552) for your earnings outside of term-time. This is called your ‘holiday earnings’. Outside term time includes:

  • Christmas holidays
  • Easter holidays
  • Summer holidays

If you get holiday earnings outside these periods, it may also be allowed if the school or college confirms the exact term-dates in writing.

Over 23 and not dependent on your parents

You are considered an ‘independent student’ if you:

  • Are aged 23 or over on 1 January in the year of entry to the course, and
  • Live independently from October of the year before you first enter or re-enter the course.

Can I be considered ‘independent’, rather than ‘dependent’?

You can only be reclassified from a ‘dependent student’ to an ‘independent student’ when you:

  • Progress from further education to higher education, or
  • Have a 3-year break in your studies, or
  • Are returning as a second-chance student after a 3-year break in your studies.

Income limits for maintenance grant and full fee grant

The family income limits for eligibility for a maintenance grant in 2024-2025 are set out below. These income limits are applied after your means are assessed (see ‘Means test’ above). The income limits also apply to the grant (that is, if you don't qualify for the free fees scheme and are eligible for a fee grant).

Number of dependent children Full maintenance (Band 1) Part maintenance (Band 2) Part maintenance (Band 3) Part maintenance (Band 4)
Less than 4 €40,875 €41,970 €44,380 €50,840
4 to 7 €44,810 €46,025 €48,670 €55,768
8 or more €48,575 €49,890 €52,760 €60,445

Income limits for partial fee grant and Student Contribution

The family income limits for eligibility for a partial fee grant in 2024-2025 and Student Contribution in 2024-2025 are set out below:

Number of dependent children 50% tuition fees and 100% student contribution 50% student contribution only €500 grant for your student contribution
Less than 4 €55,924 €62,000 €100,000
4 to 7 €61,342 €68,014 €109,600
8 or more €66,501 €73,727 €118,806

The 50% tuition fee is not payable if your fees are covered under the Free Fees Scheme.

Other family members in college

The reckonable income limits may be increased for each additional family member who is doing a full-time course of at least one year’s duration:

  • In full maintenance (Band 1) and partial fee grant categories by €4,950
  • In part maintenance Bands 2, 3 and 4 categories by €4,785

If you are an independent student, the family member taken into account is your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant. If you are dependent on your parents, the family members taken into account are your parent(s) and their other dependent children.

4. Approved course of study

You must be attending a course that is approved for a student grant. You can read a list of approved courses on SUSI's website. They are also listed in legislation - see 'Approved colleges and courses' below.

5. Progression

In general, you do not get a grant for repeating a year or attending a course at a level that does not represent progression from your previous studies. However, you may get a student grant for the following:

  • You attended a further or higher education course and left before it finished. In this case, you may get a portion of a student grant once you have completed the repeat period of study. For example, you did 3 months of a level 7 course and left. You are now starting a new level 7 course. You will not get a student grant for the first 3 months of your new course.
  • You are repeating a year due to exceptional circumstances
  • You are starting a PLC course as part of the Tertiary Education Programme. The course must be leading to a qualification at a higher level than your previous further education or undergraduate qualification. If you previously started an undergraduate qualification and are not a second-chance student, you may have to complete the repeat period of study before getting a student grant.
  • You are a second-chance student – see below.

Second-chance student

A ‘second-chance student’ is someone who:

  • Is aged over 23
  • Did not successfully complete an earlier course
  • Is returning to do an approved course (at PLC, undergraduate or post-graduate level) after a full break in studies of at least 3 years

You may do a course during this 3-year break and still qualify as a second-chance student if the course:

  • Was below undergraduate level
  • Meets the progression rules
  • Is not part of the Tertiary Education Programme

Read more about previous education and progression on the SUSI website.

6. Maximum period of grant assistance

You do not qualify for the Student Grant Scheme if you have already got a grant for the maximum number of years allowed for the level of study you are undertaking.

You can use SUSI’s Eligibility Indicator to see if you may qualify for a student grant in 2024-2025.

Student support scheme for asylum seekers

The International Protection Student Scheme (for Further and Higher Education Students) 2023-2024 provides supports in line with the Student Grant Scheme to students who are in the international protection system.

The criteria for the Scheme include:

  • You must meet the definition of a protection applicant or a person at leave to remain stage
  • You must be accepted on an approved Post Leaving Certificate course or an approved undergraduate course or an approved postgraduate course
  • You must be part of an application for protection or leave to remain for a combined period of 3 years or more before the start date of the course
  • You must be resident in the State for a combined period of 3 years or more before the start date of the course

You do not meet the criteria for the student support scheme if you have been issued with a deportation order.

The closing date for applications was 30 November 2023. This page will be updated once details for 2024-2025 are available.

Renewals

If you successfully applied under last year's scheme and you are still a protection applicant, you can renew your application. SUSI will email you a renewal form.

If you got your status during the last year, you no longer qualify for the International Protection Student Scheme, but you may qualify for the Student Grant Scheme.

How much will I get?

The SUSI grant rate 2024-2025 that you get depends on the following factors:

1. Your assessed means

The means test determines whether you qualify for a full or partial grant. See ‘Means test’ above.

2. The distance you normally live from the college you’re going to attend

If you normally live 30 kilometres or less from your college, you get the ‘adjacent rate’.

If you live further away than 30 kilometres, you get the ‘non-adjacent rate’.

This is based on the distance of where you ordinarily lived in the year before you started college.

3. If you’re a disadvantaged student

Disadvantaged students can qualify for a special rate of maintenance grant.

To qualify, you must meet all the normal criteria for the grant and have a total reckonable income in the tax year January to December 2023 of less than €26,200 (not including Qualified Child Increases and standard exclusions).

Your parent(s) or guardian(s) must, on 31 December 2023, have been getting a qualifying social welfare payment or participating in a designated programme. For example:

  • Getting a long-term social welfare payment
  • Getting a Working Family Payment
  • Taking part in a Community Employment (CE) Scheme
  • Taking part in a Further Education and Training (FET) course or apprenticeship

You can find a full list of qualifying payments and programmes for the special rate of maintenance grant on the SUSI website.

Rates for the Student Grant Scheme 2024-2025:

 
Type of student grant Non-adjacent rate Adjacent rate
Special rate €7,586

 

€3,230

 

Full maintenance

Band 1

€4,292 €1,774
Part maintenance

Band 2

€3,332 €1,343
Part maintenance 

Band 3

€2,502 €975
Part maintenance

Band 4

€1,666 €612

How to apply for a student grant

Online applications for the student grant 2024-2025 opened on 4 April 2024.

The closing date for SUSI grant applications is usually early November.

Applying online

Applications for the 2024-2025 academic year are open.

You must apply for your grant online before the closing date. You don’t need your Leaving Certificate results or to know what course you will be taking (you can add this information at a later date).

To register with SUSI and apply online for a student grant, you will need your:

You can use your verified MyGovID account to automatically create and log in to your SUSI account without having to register directly with SUSI.

SUSI has a helpdesk for email and telephone queries (see 'Help with your student grant application' below).

You can use SUSI’s online application tracker to get the most up-to-date information about your student grant application and confirm that your supporting documentation has been received.

Supporting documents

If you are considered eligible on initial assessment of your application, you will get a provisional grant approval in the post and a personalised list of the supporting documents that you need to provide. You should send the necessary documents (photocopies, not originals) as soon as possible in the envelope supplied.

SUSI will then process your application to award stage, subject to confirmation of your acceptance on an approved course.

You should send all documents and correspondence to P.O. Box 869, Little Island, Cork.

Disability access officer

If you have a disability, SUSI’s Access Officer can assist you with your student grant application. For more information, email: AccessOfficer@susi.ie.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can access SUSI’s services through the Irish Remote Interpreting Service (IRIS). An Irish Sign Language (ISL) interpreter service is provided free of charge by the Sign Language Interpreting Service (SLIS). To book an appointment with SUSI for this service, email: AccessOfficer@susi.ie.

Appealing a decision

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your grant application, you may appeal to SUSI using the form Appealing Your Grant Decision (pdf). You must appeal within 30 days of getting your decision.

If your appeal is turned down, and you feel that the conditions have not been interpreted correctly, you can make a further appeal.

Further appeals

If you have received an appeals decision letter from a SUSI appeals officer and you are not satisfied with the decision, you can make a further appeal to the Student Grants Appeals Board.

You should submit your appeal online to the Student Grants Appeals Board. Your appeal must be submitted within 30 days from the date of the letter from the appeals officer in SUSI.

You can only appeal to the Student Grants Appeals Board after you have exhausted the SUSI Appeals Process and received notice of an appeals officer’s decision.

Contact SUSI

If you have any questions or need help applying for a student grant, contact the SUSI Support desk Monday to Friday, from 9.00am – 5.30pm (excluding public holidays):

Email: support@susi.ie

Phone: 0818 888 777 if calling from within Ireland, or (+353)1 524 2257 if calling from abroad.

Post: Send all documents and correspondence to P.O. Box 869, Little Island, Cork.

Approved colleges and courses

Other financial supports for students

You can read more about the Fund for Students with Disabilities, the Student Assistance Fund and some third-level scholarships in our page on financial supports for students.

You can find more information on grants and funds available for students on the Higher Education Authority website.

Page edited: 18 July 2024