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 2023-2024
Online applications for the student grant 2023-2024 closed on 2 November 2023.
Late applications are accepted in certain circumstances only – see ‘How to apply for a student grant’ below.
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.
Budget 2024: changes to the Student Contribution and maintenance grant rates
Student Contribution and refund
In the 2023-2024 academic year, the Student Contribution is reduced by €1,000 for students who qualify for the Free Fees Scheme.
If you have already paid your Student Contribution in full, you must provide your bank details to your higher education institution before the end of November 2023 to get your €1000 refund in December 2023.
If you are paying the Student Contribution in instalments, your second instalment will be reduced by €1000 at the start of the new term in 2024.
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.
Maintenance grant rates increased by €615 for all non-adjacent rates and by 10% for adjacent rates from September 2024. A pro-rata increase will be available from January 2024.
Who qualifies for a student grant?
To qualify for a student grant, you must meet all the conditions of the scheme. These include:
- Nationality condition
- Residence condition
- Means test
- Approved course of study: you must be attending an approved course of study
- Progression: you must be progressing from your previous level of study
- 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:
- An EU or EEA country
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 satisfy this requirement.
If you fulfil all the criteria for a maintenance grant except for the residence condition in the State, you may still qualify for a fee grant or a postgraduate fee contribution as a tuition student.
3. Means test
The means test for a student grant in 2023-2024 is based on you or your family's gross income for the previous full tax year (2022). However, if you or your family have had a change of circumstances (which is likely to be permanent) since 31 December 2022, your changed circumstances will be taken into account.
Reckonable income for a student grant is gross income from all sources. Some social welfare payments and financial support payments are excluded from 'reckonable income' for the purposes of student grants - see more details on reckonable income on susi.ie and also in the Student Grant Scheme 2023.
If you were ordinarily resident with your parent(s) from 1 October of the year before the year of entry to the course, you are considered dependent on your parent(s) and your income (if any) is assessed together with your parents' income(s). An allowance is made for your earnings outside of term-time – up to €6,552. Outside term time is 2 weeks at Christmas, 2 weeks at Easter and 12 weeks during the summer months of June, July and August only. (Holiday pay earned outside these periods may also be allowed on receipt of a letter from the school/college confirming the exact dates of term).
The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) is reckonable income for the student grant means test. The allowance for earnings outside term-time earning cannot be deducted from PUP paid during that time.
Independent mature candidates are candidates aged 23 or over on 1 January in the year of entry to the course. To be assessed as an independent mature candidate you must also live separately from your parents from 1 October of the year before the year of entry to the course. If you are an independent student, you are assessed on your own income (and that of your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant, if applicable).
The only points at which you can be reclassified from a dependent student to an independent student are 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 2023-2024 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||Part maintenance (75%)||Part maintenance (50%)||Part maintenance (25%)|
|Less than 4||€40,875||€41,970||€44,380||€46,790|
|4 to 7||€44,810||€46,025||€48,670||€51,325|
|8 or more||€48,575||€49,890||€52,760||€55,630|
Income limits for partial fee grant and Student Contribution
The family income limits for eligibility for a partial fee grant in 2023-2024 and Student Contribution in 2023-2024 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|
|Fewer than 4||€50,840||€62,000||€100,000|
|4 to 7||€55,765||€68,014||€109,600|
|8 or more||€60,455||€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 and partial fee grant categories by €4,950
- In part maintenance 75%, 50% and 25% categories by €4,785
If you are an independent applicant, 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.
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
A second-chance student is someone who is aged over 23, did not successfully complete an earlier course and 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 and is not part of the Tertiary Education Programme.
You can find out 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.
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.
You should apply before 30 November 2023.
If you successfully applied under last years 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 2023-2024 that you get depends on the following factors:
- Your assessed means
- The distance you normally live from the college you are going to attend
- If you are a disadvantaged student
The means test (as described in ‘means test’ above) determines whether you qualify for a full or partial grant.
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.
Disadvantaged students can qualify for a special rate of maintenance grant. To qualify, you must fulfil all the normal criteria for the grant and have a total reckonable income in the tax year January to December 2022 of less than €25,000, not including Qualified Child Increases and standard exclusions.
For students, including mature students, who are assessed on parent(s)/guardian(s) income, their parent(s)/guardian(s) must, on 31 December 2022, have been:
- Getting long-term social welfare payments, or
- Getting a Working Family Payment or
- Taking part in designated programmes (for example, a Community Employment Scheme).
These payments and programmes are listed in Schedule 2 of the Student Grant Scheme 2023.
If you are assessed on your own income, on 31 December 2022 you must have been getting one of these social welfare payments or taking part in a designated programme.
Rates for the Student Grant Scheme 2023-2024:
|Type||Non-adjacent rate||Adjacent rate|
|Part maintenance (75%)
|Part maintenance (50%)
|Part maintenance (25%)
How to apply for a student grant
Online applications for the student grant 2023-2024 closed on 2 November 2023.
To apply after the closing date, you must meet one of the following criteria:
- Your course starts in 2024 and before the end of the 2023-2024 academic year
- Extenuating circumstances affected your ability to apply before the closing date of 2 November 2023
- Your circumstances have changed due to one of the following:
- Reckonable income
- Number of dependent children
- Relevant person starting an approved course
- Normal residence
- Nationality or immigration status
- Change of course or institution
You can find more about late applications for 2023-2024 on the SUSI website.
Applications for 2023-2024 closed on 2 November 2023.
You must apply for your grant online before the closing date. You do not need to know what course you will be taking to apply online.
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.
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.
All documents and correspondence should be sent to P.O. Box 869, Togher, Cork.
Help with your student grant application
If you have any questions or need help applying online contact the SUSI Support desk Monday to Friday (9.00am – 5.30pm):
Phone: 0818 888 777 or (01) 524 2257, if calling from abroad.
All documents and correspondence should be sent to P.O. Box 869, Togher, Cork.
Disability access officer
If you have a disability, SUSI’s Access Officer can assist you with your student grant application. For further 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. 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.
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.
Please note: 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.
You can contact SUSI for student grant information, Monday to Friday (9.00am – 5.30pm), excluding public holidays.
Phone: 0818 888 777 or +353 1 524 2257 if calling from abroad
All documents and correspondence should be sent to SUSI at: P.O. Box 869, Togher, 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 document on Financial supports for students.
There is detailed information on the range of grants and funds for students in further and higher education on the website studentfinance.ie.