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.

Applications for the student grant 2022-2023 close Thursday, 3 November 2022. You apply online for a student grant - see 'How to apply' below. To apply after the closing date, you must contact SUSI to make a late application request.

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. You can read about social welfare payments and the student grant.

Postgraduates can get information about financial assistance in our document on postgraduate student grants.

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 2023 supports for students

It was announced in Budget 2023 that once-off measures to support students would be provided in 2022 and further measures would be introduced in 2023-2024 academic year.

Once-off measures to support students in 2022:

  • An additional maintenance grant payment will be paid 16 December 2022. This includes PLC, undergraduate and postgraduate students getting the Special Rate of Grant. You can find out more about the extra payment.
  • The student contribution is reduced by €1000 for undergraduate students who are eligible for free fees. Students on the 50% student contribution rate will get a reduction of €500 in their contribution rate. If you paid the contribution and are due a refund you must provide the college with your bank details by Wednesday, 30 November 2022. Find out more about getting a student contribution refund.
  • Postgraduate students who qualify for the postgraduate SUSI fee contribution grant will get a once-off increase of €1,000 (from €3,500 to €4,500)
  • PhD students getting Science Foundation Ireland or Irish Research Council awards will get a payment of €500.

From January 2023

Students getting the Special Rate and Band 1 maintenance grant rates will get a 14% increase in their SUSI maintenance grant. Students on all other maintenance grant rates will get a 10% increase in their maintenance grant.

Total increase for students getting the SUSI maintenance grant (January to May 2023)

Band Existing 2022-2023 grant rate New grant rate (from January 2023) Partial academic year increase January - May 2023
Special rate non-adjacent €6,115 €6,971 €475.56

Special rate adjacent €2,575 €2,936 €200.56

Band 1 non-adjacent €3,225 €3,677 €251.11

Band 1 adjacent €1,415 €1,613 €110

Band 2 non-adjacent €2,470 €2,717 €137.22

Band 2 adjacent €1,110 €1,221 €61.67

Band 3 non-adjacent

€1,715

€1,887 €95.56

Band 3 adjacent €805 €886 €45

Band 4 non-adjacent €955 €1,051 €53.33

Band 4 adjacent €505 €556 €28.33

This increase will take effect from January 2023 for the remainder of the 2022-2023 academic year and will not be backdated.

Measures to be introduced in 2023-24 academic year:

  • The income threshold for the 50% student contribution grant will increase from €55,240 to €62,000 per year (from 1 September 2023)
  • The student contribution will be reduced by €500 for families earning between €62,000 and €100,000 (from 1 September 2023)
  • The postgraduate SUSI fee grant will increase by €500 (from €3,500 to €4,000)
  • Income up to €14,000 received under the rent-a-room scheme will not be included when calculating reckonable income for the 2023/24 student grant scheme.
  • Mature ‘second chance’ students who return from a break in their studies can apply for the student grant after 3 years (previously 5 years).
  • The limit for earnings outside of term time will increase from €4,500 to €6,552 from 2023/2024 academic year.

Who qualifies for a student grant?

To qualify for a student grant, you must meet all the conditions of the scheme. These include:

  1. Nationality condition
  2. Residence condition
  3. Means test
  4. Approved course of study: you must be attending an approved course of study
  5. Progression: you must be progressing from your previous level of study
  6. 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:

  • Ireland
  • UK
  • An EU or EEA country
  • Switzerland

If you are not a citizen of one of these countries, you may still qualify for a grant if:

  • You have refugee status.
  • You have subsidiary protection status.
  • You are the family member of an EU/EEA citizen.
  • You are the spouse, civil partner or dependent child of an Irish citizen.
  • You were granted ‘leave to remain’ under Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999. This is also called residency following a notification of intention to deport.
  • You were granted ‘leave to remain’ under Section 49 of the International Protection Act 2015.
  • You were granted Humanitarian Leave to Remain before the commencement of the Immigration Act 1999.
  • You are an applicant for International Protection who qualifies for the International Protection Student Scheme (for Further and Higher Education Students) 2022-2023. See 'Student support scheme for asylum seekers' below.

You should have received a letter that states under what provision you have been granted residence. If you have residency that was granted for a reason other than those described above (for example, because you are the parent of an Irish citizen child) you do not qualify for a student grant, even if you have a Stamp 4.

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 2022-2023 is based on you or your family's gross income for the previous full tax year (2021). However, if you or your family have had a change of circumstances (which is likely to be permanent) since 31 December 2021, 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 2022.

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 €4,500. 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 5-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 2022-2023 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

The family income limits for eligibility for a partial fee grant in 2022-2023 are set out below.

Number of dependent children 50% tuition fees and 100% student contribution 50% student contribution only
Fewer than 4 €50,840 €55,240
4 to 7 €55,765 €60,595
8 or more €60,455 €65,700

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 institutions and courses on SUSI's website.

5. Progression

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, second-chance students may be eligible for a grant. 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 after a full break in studies of at least 5 years. You may do a course during this 5-year break and still qualify as a second-chance student, if the course was below undergraduate level and meets the progression rules.

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) 2022-2023 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 (other than those at the deportation order 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

The closing date for International Protection Student Scheme applications is 30 November 2022.

How much will I get?

The SUSI grant rate 2022-2023 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 2021 of less than €24,500, 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 2021, 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 2022.

If you are assessed on your own income, on 31 December 2021 you must have been getting one of these social welfare payments or taking part in a designated programme.

The rates for the Student Grant Scheme for the academic year 2022-2023 are:

Type Non-adjacent rate Adjacent rate
Special rate €6,115 €2,575
Full maintenance €3,225 €1,415
Part maintenance (75%) €2,470 €1,110
Part maintenance (50%) €1,715 €805
Part maintenance (25%) €955 €505

In January 2023, grant rates will increase, see ‘Budget 2023’ above.

How to apply for a student grant

Applications for the student grant 2022-2023 close Thursday, 3 November 2022. To apply after the closing date you must contact SUSI to make a late application request.

Applying online

You must apply for your grant online. You do not need to know what course you will be taking to apply online.

To register with SUSI and apply online for a student grant, you will need your Personal Public Service (PPS) number, an email address and a phone number.

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.

Supporting documentation

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):

Email: support@susi.ie

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.

Further appeals

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.

Contact SUSI

You can contact SUSI for student grant information, Monday to Friday (9.00am – 5.30pm), excluding public holidays.

Email: support@susi.ie

Phone: 0818 888 777 or (01) 524 2257 if calling from abroad

Postal address

All documents and correspondence should be sent to SUSI at: P.O. Box 869, Togher, Cork.

Approved courses and institutions

In general, the Student Grant Scheme covers all the approved courses and institutions covered by the 4 schemes it replaced. The approved institutions and courses are listed in Schedule 1 and 2 of the Student Support Regulations 2022.

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.

Page edited: 28 November 2022