PLC and Third level education can be an expensive commitment. Thankfully there is funding available that can alleviate some of the financial burden; if you qualify. 

Read on below to find out about who can apply and what factors are considered.


There are two types of grants available to students in Ireland: Fee paying grants and Maintenance grants. 

The Fee grant is a scheme that pays all or part of a student's applicable tuition fees and may also cover the cost of the 'student contribution' element also. Irish citizens have a natural born right to free tuition for College or University as a result of the free secondary & third level tuition initiative announced (to the surprise of the Cabinet) by Donogh O'Malley TD in 1967. However, almost all Colleges and Universities require a 'voluntary contribution' or 'student contribution'. This can range anywhere from hundreds into the thousands (usually about €3000 per year). If you qualify for the Fee grant, you may be eligible to have part of all of your student contribution included also. 

The Maintenance grant is a grant that pays your Fee grant, as above, but also includes a monthly payment for the duration of the school year, to assist with accommodation, food, bills & college material costs, etc. It is NOT a wad of cash to spend on pink gin, cans with the lads and various other poor decisions. There are a lot of hidden expenses associated with going to college such as the cost of printing (and you will print a lot unless you are a paperless master), text books, student society activities, transport, accommodation, etc.

These payments are not necessarily available outright to all students. Each applicant will be assessed based on the total household income or 'means' for the previous year. There are a number of social welfare payments that, to be in receipt of such, will disqualify you from obtaining these grants. Conversely, there are also many social welfare payments that are exempt from the means test.


All Government issued student grants are processed by 'Student Universal Support Ireland', known colloquially as SUSI. The SUSI website can be accessed by clicking HERE. Once there you can use the 'eligibility reckoner' to determine whether you satisfy the basic requirements to receive a grant.


Students from outside Ireland, or who are not citizens, will, in most cases, not be eligible to receive a student grant from SUSI. However, there are hundreds of scholarship opportunities for international students. Click HERE to view a list of these schemes.


Information on applying for a student grant whilst in receipt of a social welfare payment can be found by clicking HERE.

To view a list of the sources of income that are calculated as part of the grant application, along with a list of income sources that are disregarded and not calculated as part of the application process, click HERE.


The following videos from SUSI offer information on how your income is assessed, your eligibility, and tips for applicants:

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