Mature Student Grants and Supports

Education 2 min read

16 Sep 2020


Mature students, we salute you for going back and following your dream.

As most know, under the free fees initiative, undergraduate students do not have to pay tuition fees, as most are covered by the department of education - but this does not apply to postgraduate students.
 
If you’ve decided to return to college as a mature student, you will be expected to pay fees, and they’re significant.  

At the credit union, we think the only thing you should be focused on is your degree – not how to pay for it. That’s why most credit union’s offer supports in the form of student bursaries or scholarships to their members, as well as some of the lowest student loan rates in the country.

Make sure to check with your local credit union what’s available to you. Below, we’ve outlined the various government grants supports available to mature and postgraduate students.

 
 

SUSI Grant

The SUSI grant is the government’s financial support scheme for students. Both undergraduate and post-graduate/Master students are able to apply, and it offers funds in the form of fee grant and maintenance grant. (funds to cover college expenses)

Most students who qualify for the maintenance grant will also qualify for the fee grant also. Each student is means tested; so you must be earning a certain threshold in the tax year previous to when you apply, to be eligible for the full or partial fee and/or maintenance. If you are living with your parents in the year before you apply, then your income will be assessed with theirs. If you live alone and are over the age of 23, you will be assessed as an independent, mature student.

 

More information here.

 
 

Tax Relief on College Fees

Don’t forget that for post-graduate and masters courses, you are able claim 20% tax back on your college fees for every year you are in college. This can be done through the PAYE online form. If your fees are €8,000 per year, you’ll get back €1,600 per year; a total €3,200.

 

More information here.

 
 

Back to Education Allowance

If you are unemployed, parenting alone or have a disability and are getting certain payments from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, you may take part in an approved second-or third-level education course and get a Back to Education Allowance.

 More information here.
 
 

Springboard Courses

The Springboard upskilling initiative gives free and subsidised courses for certificates, degrees and masters. The courses are geared toward employment opportunities in the economy, hoping to reskill graduates in areas of skills shortage and emerging technologies such as ICT, High End Manufacturing, Data Analytics, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence. 

 
More information here.

 

Funds for Students with Disabilities

If you have a disability, you may be entitled to some financial support. The Department of Education and Skills administers a special fund that helps students with disabilities during the period of their studies. That includes ADD, ADHD, Blind/Vision impaired, Dyslexia/dyscalculia, physical mobility, mental health conditions (clinical depression, anxiety, bipolar, eating disorders).

 

More info here.

 
 

Student Assistance Fund

The Student Assistance Fund is for students who, are experiencing financial difficulties while studying in college, and may not be able to continue their studies. The fund pays for things like heating, books, commute costs, rent, and food – but not toward fees or loan repayments.

Applications can be made by the student to the access/disability officer in your college.

 

More info here.

 

If you’re thinking of going back to college but are worried about finances, you can always talk to your local credit union. We’re here to help.