Important Notes for Grant Applicants
The text below contains important information for grant applicants and for other parties to their grant applications. You should refer to it at each stage of your grant application.
When you apply for a student grant, each party to your application is required to confirm that they have read and understood these important notes as terms and conditions relating to your application and to any grant awarded to you.
This document will be updated to reflect any changes in legislation and is updated on this page.
The legal terms and conditions governing student grants are contained in the legislation under which SUSI operates:
- Student Support Act 2011, as amended,
- Student Grant Scheme for relevant year,
- Student Support Regulations for relevant year.
2. Grant Eligibility
The legislation sets out eligibility criteria and other conditions that determine whether you may receive a grant including –
- nationality and residency,
- previous education and grant history,
- progression in education and repeating,
- maximum periods of grant funding,
- approved institutions and courses,
- chosen institution and course,
- applicant class,
- income of parties to an application,
- income threshold limits,
- other sources of education funding,
- dependent children,
- relevant persons in education,
- distance from ordinary residence to college.
Some key criteria and conditions are highlighted below but you should also refer to the full text of the legislation provided at www.susi.ie
3. Grant Application and Decision Processes
All grant applications and supporting information and enquiries must be submitted by you, the applicant, through the official processes operated by SUSI.
SUSI will determine whether you are eligible to receive a grant, having regard to –
- information furnished by you,
- other relevant information, including information from other relevant Government bodies,
- criteria specified in the legislation.
4. Full, Complete and Accurate Information
Under the legislation, all information required by SUSI in respect of all parties to your application must be provided by you, the applicant. SUSI communicates directly with you, the applicant only, for these purposes.
SUSI will therefore request all required information from you, the applicant, only and will notify you directly in writing of its decision on your application.
All information that you provide must be full, complete and accurate in every respect. Before submitting a grant application each party to your application must make a declaration to confirm this in respect of their information.
If you fail to provide information or if you provide information that is incomplete or inaccurate this may result in the delay or refusal of your application.
You must immediately inform SUSI if you become aware of a material change in circumstances concerning you or another party to your application that may mean any of the following:
- any information that you have provided to SUSI in your application is no longer correct, or
- any other information that you have provided to SUSI in relation to yourself or another party to your application is no longer correct, or
- you no longer comply with the criteria or conditions necessary to remain eligible for a grant.
5. Review of Eligibility
You may apply to SUSI for a review of your eligibility to receive a grant in the event of any of the following changes of circumstances occurring between 1 January of the year in which you apply for a grant and the end of the academic year to which your application relates:
- number of dependent children,
- number of relevant persons in education,
- normal place of residence,
- nationality or immigration status,
- course or institution.
SUSI may review your eligibility to receive a grant where-
- you apply for a review of your eligibility,
- you provide or fail to provide information required by SUSI,
- SUSI receives a report or other relevant information relating to your application.
Following a review of your eligibility, SUSI may determine that-
- you remain eligible for a grant,
- you are eligible for a different grant, or
- you are not eligible for a grant.
SUSI may cease grant payments while it is reviewing your eligibility to receive a grant.
6. Right of Appeal
You may appeal a decision by SUSI to award or refuse you a grant. Your appeal must be made to the SUSI Appeals Officer within 30 days of receipt of the letter notifying you of the decision. An appeal form is provided on our Appealing your Grant Decision page at www.susi.ie
7. Offences and Penalties
Where any information that you provide to SUSI includes a deliberate or reckless omission, falsehood or inaccuracy or where you fail to notify SUSI of a material change of circumstances having a bearing on your application or your grant, you may be liable to prosecution for an offence which may lead to penalties including a fine, imprisonment, or both, or to loss of grant and repayment, with interest, of any moneys received.
8. Grant Payments
Payment of any maintenance grant awarded to you can commence after your college has confirmed to SUSI that you are registered and in full time attendance on your course. This information is requested by SUSI directly from your college.
Payment of any fee grant awarded to you is made directly to your college by SUSI on your behalf on the basis of your confirmed registration and attendance.
Before you can receive maintenance grant payments, SUSI requires your bank account details. These details can be provided securely through your online SUSI account once you have been awarded a grant by SUSI.
9. Recovery of Overpayments
If, for any reason, you receive payment of some or all of a grant for which you are not eligible, you will be liable to repay to SUSI any maintenance grant paid to you and any fee grant paid to a college on your behalf.
10. Key Eligibility Criteria and Conditions
If you are aged 23 years or over, you should pay particular attention to the applicant class that you select when you make your online grant application.
Please refer closely to the help notes provided in the application form and refer also to the further information provided at www.susi.ie
Each year many students who select an incorrect applicant class experience delays in the processing of their applications and are required to cancel their applications and to make a new application under the correct class.
Your Chosen Course
Grants can only be awarded in respect of approved courses as set out in the legislation.
You do not need to have accepted a place on a course in order to apply for a grant. However you will need to inform SUSI that you have been offered and accepted a place on a course before your application can be finalised. You can do this in the following ways:
- Online SUSI Grant Application: you can confirm that you have accepted a place on a course when you submit your online grant application;
- CAO Applicants: if you have allowed the CAO (Central Applications Office) to share your information with SUSI by selecting the appropriate option in your CAO application form, the CAO will inform SUSI of this and will confirm details of your course to SUSI when you have accepted a CAO place offer;
- Online SUSI Course Change Notification Form: you can inform SUSI that you have accepted a place on a course at any time after you have submitted your grant application by submitting an online Course Change Notification Form through the homepage of your online SUSI account (previously known as Final Course Acceptance – FCA).
- If you subsequently accept a place on a different course or on a course not offered to you through the CAO, you can submit a Course Change Notification Form at any time through the homepage of your online SUSI account.
Your application will be decided on the basis of the most recent course details provided to SUSI by any of the above methods.
Progression in Education and Repeating
In order to be eligible to receive a grant, you must progressing from year to year within your course or proceeding from one course to another leading to an award at a higher level.
With limited exceptions, you are not eligible for a grant if you are repeating a year of a course or if you are attending a course, or a year of a course, that is not deemed to be offering you progression in education.
Maximum Periods of Grant Funding
Maximum periods of grant funding apply to studies at each level. For further information on maximum periods of grant funding see www.susi.ie
Back to Education Allowance (BTEA), Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) and other Education Funding
You are not eligible to receive a maintenance grant if you are in receipt of BTEA or VTOS payments. You must inform SUSI if you are in receipt of these payments since, otherwise, you will be liable to repay any grant overpayment made to you.
You must also inform SUSI of any other financial assistance that you receive towards the cost of your maintenance as a student or towards your college fees.
This includes assistance by way of grants, bursaries, scholarships, etc. received from public funds provided by any Government department or other state-funded body and also includes assistance received from private sources.
Applications from within the Same Household
Each grant application is processed confidentially and separately, including where more than one application is received from within the same household.
This means that, where supporting documents are required, they must be requested and submitted separately in respect of each applicant within a household, even where the documentation in respect of two or more grant applicants within that household (e.g. siblings) relates to the same persons (e.g. parents).
Where applicants within the same household have consented in the making of their application to be cross-referenced with each other, SUSI may cross-reference grant applications for consistent and timely processing.
Relevant Persons in Education
Where certain persons relevant to you, the applicant, attend full-time courses of further or higher education in the same academic year, increased income limits apply that may deem you eligible to receive a grant or an improved rate of grant.
You can provide initial details of such relevant person when submitting your online application and any grant you receive may be reviewed on this basis when further details of their attendance on a course is available.
Unless a relevant person is also a grant applicant who receives a grant from SUSI and has consented to having their application cross-referenced with your application for this purpose, you will be asked at the appropriate time to provide documentary evidence to confirm that they are registered and in attendance on their course.
Renewing Your Grant
You must apply online to SUSI annually to have your grant renewed for each year of the normal duration of your chosen course.
You can renew your grant if you are continuing on the same course (including where you progress from a “common entry” first year).
You cannot renew your grant if you change course or college (including where you enter an “add-on year” to a course) – in these cases you must make a new online grant application.
When renewing your grant, you must inform SUSI of any relevant changes in your circumstances that may affect your eligibility to receive a grant.
The renewal of your grant will be subject to reassessment by SUSI of your continued eligibility to receive a grant.
Deferring or Withdrawing
You must inform SUSI if:
- you defer a college place that you have accepted,
- you defer a year of your course, or
- you withdraw from or cease to attend your course.
If you do not inform SUSI promptly of this, you will be liable to repay any grant overpayment made to you and/or you may be ineligible to receive a grant (or may receive a reduced grant) on resuming your studies in the future.
11 Fraud and Error Control
SUSI implements controls to protect the expenditure of public funds, to prevent and detect fraudulent activity and to minimise errors in the processing of grant applications.
SUSI may cross-reference grant applications for audit purposes and for the detection and investigation of fraud.
12 Privacy, Consent and Data Processing
SUSI respects individuals’ right to privacy and processes personal information securely and confidentially in accordance with data protection legislation.
SUSI may exchange personal data concerning you and other parties to your application with other Government bodies and agencies. This data is processed under agreed data sharing protocols for the purposes of verifying information provided in your application and confirming your registration and attendance at an approved institution.
Information on how SUSI processes personal data is provided in the SUSI Data Protection Statement.
When submitting a grant application, you and each other party to your application must individually confirm that you have read and understood the SUSI Data Protection Statement.
When confirming this, you and each other party to your application acknowledges the statutory basis under which SUSI processes personal data and also the legal basis for sharing it with other Government bodies and agencies.
As a grant applicant, your consent and the consent of other parties to your application, are not generally required for SUSI to process your personal data for the purposes of the statutory basis on which grant applications are received and processed. In circumstances where such consent may be required, SUSI will ensure that it is sought and freely given.
SUSI will not discuss personal data of a party to an application with other parties to the application, or with a third party outside the application without their authority.
Applicants and other parties to grant applications may also cross-authorise each other to discuss their personal data with SUSI on their behalf.
Further information about student grant applications and awards is provided at www.susi.ie or you can contact our Student Support Desk at the addresses below.
SUSI – Student Universal Support Ireland, P.O. Box 869, Cork
SUSI – Tacaíocht Uilechoiteann do Mhic Léinn in Éirinn, P.O. Bosca 869, Corcaigh
Ph: 0818 888 777
Reviewed & updated April 2020