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'Credit Union Scholarship Opened Door to my Dream Job'

Education 2 min read

26 Aug 2020

‘The HSSCU scholarship has effectively changed my life – and opened up the door to my dream job.’

Alan O’Connor is one of the recipients of the 2018 HSSCU Scholarship fund of €15,000. His story is below. For more information on what education supports are available to you, contact your local credit union here. You can also read our blog on Credit Union Bursaries and Scholarships.

Worry of Fees 

When Alan embarked on the path to his dream job – studying to become a physiotherapist – the beginning of his journey was etched with guilt.

 He began his course €11,000 in debt to his grandmother - who, knowing how much the Masters meant to him - had given him the first instalment of fees. The next fee instalment was looming, and Alan didn’t know how he could pay these, in addition to his grandmother’s loan, while also trying to focus on the most important thing at hand - his studies.

‘The payment of fees was something I could not help but think about. I felt a constant responsibility to pay my grandmother back and to simultaneously save for next year’s fees.’


HSSCU Student Scholarship

Although Alan had applied to the HSSCU Scholarship that year, he said he didn’t think he would be successful - but he received a call in September of 2018 which he says changed his life:

‘In September, I received a call to say that I have been awarded the HSSCU scholarship to the value of €15,000. I am not sure I can accurately put into words how much this scholarship means to me and the level of impact it has had and will continue to have on my life. It has served as a means for me to engage in something truly meaningful and has opened up a door to my dream job. The scholarship has allowed me to enter into education without a constant concern for money and to just focus on my studies.’

Credit Union student scholarships and bursaries, like the one offered by the HSSCU, were established for this very reason; to enable students achieve their dreams without the worry of financial pressure.

‘I’m delighted to provide insight into how big of an impact this scholarship could have - and I would certainly encourage people to consider how beneficial this can be.’


This year, HSSCU have made available again a scholarship fund to the value of €50,000 for members undertaking 3rd level studies. The scholarship is designed for members currently undertaking, or about to undertake, 3rd level studies such as a Diploma, Degree, Masters or Post Graduate Course. As every year previous, all applicants submitted a typed essay between 400 – 500 words long where they discussed, “What The Scholarship Would Mean to Me”.  More info here.

Get in touch with your local credit union here, to see what educational supports are available to you. Many credit unions also offer low cost student loans.