If you were 23 or over on 1 January of the year when you first enter/re-enter further or higher education, you will be classed as an Independent Student.
You must have been living independently from your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) from the October in the year prior to your first point of entry/re-entry into further or higher education and will be required to provide evidence of this.
The required documentation accepted as evidence of independent residency must be from both:
- the year prior to entry/re-entry to an approved further/higher education course and must be from no later than October of that year, and
- the year of entry/re-entry to an approved further/higher education course.
Example 1: First point of entry/re-entry into further/higher education in 2023/2024: Documents from 2022 and dated no later than October 2022 and documents dated from current year 2023 prior to start date of course.
Example 2: First point of entry/re-entry into further/higher education in 2022/2023: Documents from 2021 and dated no later than October 2021 and documents dated from the actual year you entered your course prior to the start date of course which in this example, is the year 2022.
As an Independent Student, your income and your spouse, civil partner or co-habitant’s income is included in the income calculation for grant assessment purpose.
The following documentation is accepted as evidence of living independently:
- A letter confirming that the address is registered with Residential Tenancies Board (RTB);
- A local authority lease agreement or a letter confirming your rental under the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) or any Government housing scheme/arrangement. Private housing lease agreements will not be accepted;
- A letter on headed paper from a rental agency confirming your tenancy;
- A letter confirming the receipt and period of Rent Allowance, Mortgage Interest Supplement or Housing Assistance Payment (HAP);
- A utility bill in your own name. For example, landline telephone bill, fixed broadband bill, gas bill, electricity bill, cable/satellite television bill, home heating bills, waste bills, mortgage statements and/or property tax letters.
- SUSI does not accept mobile telephone bills.
- If the utility bills in the household are in your spouse’s name, please provide your marriage certificate with the utility bill.
- If you are co-habiting, SUSI will accept utility bills in your partner’s name covering the relevant period together with correspondence for example, a bank statement or Statement of Liability issued to the applicant at the same address and covering the relevant period; and/or
- Official documentation posted to you at this address and relating to your residence there. For example, a letter from the Department of Social Protection confirming Rent Allowance at this address. Please Note: SUSI does not accept bank statements alone for this purpose.
Documentation relating to an address that is merely a correspondence address is not sufficient. Documentation must be connected with your residence at that address.
If you cannot supply any of the above documents to confirm independent residency, you can, if you wish, cancel your application and apply as a dependent student. You can cancel your application online via the ‘My Requests’ tab in your SUSI account. Please note, you must cancel and reapply within 30 days of receipt of your original checklist letter.
If you cannot supply any of the above documents to confirm independent residency and you proceed with your application as an independent student, your application will be refused. You can appeal the decision and your case will be reviewed by SUSI’s Appeals Officer. They may seek further information, for example, proof of your parents’ address and proof of your address to satisfy that both parties are living separately. However there is no guarantee that an appeal will lead to the decision being overturned.