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Credit Union Scholarships and Bursaries: FAQs

Education 2 min read

10 Jun 2021


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 some popular questions around our scholarships. If you, or your children need financial support for the year ahead, or would like more information on a scholarship or bursary  - don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local credit union to find out more.


1. What is a credit union scholarship or bursary?

A credit union scholarship or bursary is an educational fund awarded to members partaking in undergraduate, postgraduate or master degrees. Sometimes, credit unions fund personal development courses, or other types of further education.

Usually, the fund is award to more than one member.

2. Am I eligible for a credit union scholarship or bursary?

There are different criteria for each credit union, but usually if you are a member of the credit union, (or your parent is a member) and you are starting a fulltime undergraduate or postgraduate course as outlined above, you are eligible to apply for the scholarship or bursary.


3. How is the scholarship or bursary paid?

Sometimes, the fund is paid directly to your college by cheque, to cover registration fees. In other cases, your local credit union deposit the money as installments into your credit union account, each year you are at college.


4. How much might I receive if I win a credit union college bursary?

The funds range from €500 for college expenses up to €8,000 per student over the course of their studies, to help cover fees and other expenses each year. Contact your local credit union to see what they might offer.


5. How are the successful applicants chosen?

Sometimes, successful applications are chosen based on short essay question, while other credit unions might choose successful applicants from a random draw.  


6. When can I apply?

Many credit unions open scholarships or bursaries applications at the beginning o fthe summer (May-June) with some waiting until the leaving cert results are announced. Credit unions usually close applications at the end of August, or start of September. Keep an eye on your local credit union website and social media channels for updates.


7. How do I apply?

Most credit unions allow members to download a scholarship or bursary application form from their website. Members can email the completed form into the credit union, or bring it into the office.


8. If I am successful, when will I receive my funding?

The closing date for many scholarships is in August or the start of September, with winners picked by the end of that month. Funding can be given in your first semester.


If you’re interested in applying, get in touch with your local crdit union here, and ask what educational supports they have. Many credit unions also offer low cost student loans.