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20 Credit Union Bursaries and Scholarships for Students

Education 4 min read

21 Aug 2020

In 2019, we published research that said two thirds of all students struggle financially while at college – with over half skipping lectures in order to work and support themselves. And although some students can avail of government grants, many aren’t eligible, or sometimes this money just isn’t enough.

Many credit unions, as well as offering low cost student loans, choose to further support struggling students by offering funds in the form of educational bursaries or grants. The amounts and types of sponsorships differ in each credit union, but all stand for one purpose – supporting students in achieving their academic goals.

Below, we’ve listed 20 bursaries and scholarships. If you, or your children need financial support for the year ahead, or would like more information on a bursary that’s not listed below - don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local credit union to see what they can do.


1. Health Services Staff Credit Union  

Health Service Staff Credit Union has two educational awards – divided into educational scholarships and educational bursaries. Their scholarship is significant – a total of €50,000 divided between 6 people.

If you are not successful with either award, they also offer funds in the form of the Betty Noone Memorial Bursary which gives grants of up to €500 for personal development, cultural and further education for members.


2. Public Service Credit Union Bursary 

Public Service credit union, last year offered a total of €36,000 shared with six of their members who were students – that’s €6,000 each over the entire course of their studies. This bursary, dedicated to Seamus P. McEoin, was free to apply. The 2020 bursary will be open for applications on their website when the Leaving Cert results are released.


3. Capital Credit Union Scholarship 

Capital credit union give €1,500 to a total of 20 third level students – a total of €25,000. It’s free to enter for 2020.


4. Teacher’s Union Credit Union Scholarship

Teacher’s Union credit union give away a prize of €3,000 to two students -  €1,500 per year for up to four years. More info on how to apply here.


5. St. Canice’s Credit Union Scholarship 

St. Canice’s credit union scholarship is a draw of €3,000 to five students, a total of €15,000. For details on how to apply, click here.


 6. Member First Credit Union Scholarship 

Member First credit union offer a total bursary fund of €10,000 to students at third level. More info here.


 7. Clonakilty Credit Union Bursary

This year the Clonakilty Credit Union Bursary has been named to honour the late Kevin Mullen and his contribution to the credit union movement and offers three students €500 each toward college expenses. Info here.


8. Killarney Credit Union Bursary

Killarney credit union offer €4,000 in total, given to six students; two will receive €1,000 and four will receive €500. More info on applying here.


9. St. Dominic’s Credit Union, Scholarship

St. Dominic’s credit union offer a total of €10,000 to any member who is a student entering first year. They student will receive 2,500 a year for up to 4 years. More info here.


10. Waterford/St. Dominic’s Credit Union, John Hume Scholarship 

This scholarship, dedicated to John Hume, is open to members of Waterford or St. Dominic’s credit union who are first year or undergraduates of any course of the business school in Waterford IT. It awards €1,000 per year for the duration of the college course. More info here.


11. New Ross Credit Union Bursary

New Ross credit union offer €1,000 to six students attending third level, as well as €500 to two PLC course students. More info here.


12. First Choice Credit Union Scholarship

Set up over 40 years ago in memory of past director John Hopkins, the First Choice scholarship offers €1,500 to three students in conjunction with GMIT Castlebar campus. Apply here.


13. St. Antonthy and Claddagh Credit Union Bursary

This year St. Antonthy and Claddagh Credit Union are giving five Leaving Cert students, a once off payment of €1,500 towards their Diploma/Degree in a third level institution, apprenticeship or full time PLC. Info here.


14. Buncrana Credit Union Bursary

Buncrana credit union is open to all members pursuing third level or other forms of higher or further education, with a total of €500 for ten winners for every three years of their studies, More info here.


15. Clare Morris Credit Union Bursary

The 2020 Bursary draw is now open, and the credit union has €1750 to give away to four students. Separate draws for Claremorris and Ballinrobe area will mean two winners in each area. Apply here.


16. Donore Credit Union Scholarship

Donore credit union offers €3,000 for their Brendan Lynch scholarship. More information here.


17. Cana Credit Union Bursary

The Cana Credit Union Bursary is awarded to two first time students entering Third Level education, each awarded €2,000 each year towards their course fees, for a maximum duration of 3 years. More info here.


18. Kildare Credit Union Bursary

A draw offering €1,000 per year for three years to a student toward college expenses was set up in 2005 in memory of the founder of Kildare credit union, Chris Kelly. More details found here.


19. Ballyconnell Credit Union Bursary  

Ballyconnell Credit Union are offering €1,000 for three students in third level of entering this year. More info here.


20. Unity Credit Union Bursary

Unity Credit Union offer €2,000 as an award, for a minimum of 2, or a maximum of 4 years. That could be a total of €8,000 for the winning student. You can fill in an application and an essay on what the bursary would mean to you. Info here.


If your credit union is not listed above, see if you can get in touch with your local office here, and ask what educational supports they have. Many credit unions also offer low cost student loans.