How does income affect my eligibility for a grant?

To be eligible for funding, your total reckonable household income must fall below specific income thresholds.

Your applicant class determines whose income is included in the income calculation for grant assessment purposes.  There are three types of applicant class:

  •         Dependent Student
  •         Mature Dependent Student
  •         Independent Student

Applicant Class


Income for Assessment

Dependent Student

Under 23 on 1 January of the year of your first point of entry into further or higher education

  • Your own
  • Your parent(s)/ legal guardians(s)

Mature Dependent Student

Over 23 on 1 January of the year of your point of entry/re-entry into further or higher education and residing with your parent/legal guardians.

  • Your own
  • Your parent(s)/ legal guardians(s)

Independent Student

Over 23 on 1 January of the year of your first point of entry into further or higher education and residing independently from October of the year prior to your first point of entry/re-entry into further/higher education.

  •  Your own
  •  Your spouse/civil partner/co-habitant (as applicable)


The income calculation is based on gross income from all sources for the previous calendar year, also known as the reference period.

For example, for academic year 2022/23, applications are assessed on gross income from all sources for the period 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021. For academic year 2023/24, applications are assessed on gross income from all sources for the period 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2022.

Gross income includes income before any tax deductions and income that is described as tax-free, tax-paid, not liable to tax or exempt from tax.

When calculating your eligibility for funding, SUSI looks at your reckonable income. Reckonable income is a proportion of your gross income and will determine if you are eligible for funding from SUSI and if you are, what type of funding you could receive.

When making your application, you will need to complete all questions in Section F of the online application form. All questions in this section relate to income.

If you are unsure whether any income should be included in your application, you should provide details of this income in the application form.

SUSI may also receive data from Revenue and the Department of Social Protection to assist in the evaluation and processing of your grant application. After the provisional assessment of your application, you may be asked to send SUSI documentary evidence of your declared income.

All income arising from both inside and outside the State including, but not exclusive to, income under the following headings is included in the income calculation:

  • Income from employment including benefit-in-kind and directorships
  • Social welfare payments including the social welfare state pension
  • Payments from other government departments or state agencies
  • Self-employment or farming 
  • Rental and other income from land and property
  • Income from pensions
  • Income from savings, deposit accounts and investments
  • Income from maintenance arrangements
  • Lump sum payments from retirement and redundancy
  • Income from the disposal of assets or rights
  • Gifts and inheritances
  • Income from other sources not mentioned above
  • Accommodation Recognition Payment,
  • Aftercare Allowance,
  • Adelaide Health Foundation Bursary – Mature,
  • Adoption Maintenance Allowance,
  • All Ireland Scholarship Scheme,
  • Back to Work Family Dividend,
  • Blind Pension (where paid to the applicant),
  • Caranua services support,
  • Carer’s Allowance,
  • Carer’s Support Grant (where paid to recipients of the Carer’s Allowance and Domiciliary Care Allowance),
  • Child Benefit,
  • Community Benefit Education Bursary for the New Children’s Hospital,
  • Compensation for a personal injury,
  • Cost of Education Allowance,
  • COVID-19 Once-off Emergency Grant,
  • Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Third Level Bursary Schemes,
  • Department of Social Protection Temporary Provisions Payment (commonly referred to as the Christmas Bonus payment),
  • Department of Social Protection Cost of Living payments,
  • Disability Allowance (where paid to the applicant),
  • Domestic Water Services Refund,
  • Domiciliary Care Allowance,
  • Dormant Account Funding for Traveller Participation in Higher Education,
  • Exceptional Needs Payments,
  • Foster Care Allowance,
  • Fuel Allowance,
  • Gaeltacht Learning Period Grant,
  • Guardian’s Payment,
  • Household Benefits Package,
  • Housing Assistance Payment,
  • Independent Living Allowance for Young People in Residential Care,
  • Jobseekers Allowance Transition (where paid to the applicant),
  • Kickstart Scholarship Fund,
  • Living Alone Allowance,
  • Mobility Allowance (where paid to the applicant),
  • Mortgage Interest Supplement,
  • One Parent Family Payments (Means Tested) (where paid to the applicant),
  • Pandemic Placement Grant for Student Nurses/Midwives,
  • Pandemic Special Recognition Payment,
  • Rental Accommodation Scheme,
  • Rent Supplement,
  • Student Assistance Fund,
  • Student Grant,
  • TUSLA - NTRIS Employment Support Scheme,
  • TUSLA - Educational Support for Children in Care and Aftercare Bursary,
  • UCD Cothrom na Féinne Scholarship,
  • Uversity - Higher Education Bursary for Adult Learners,
  • Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant,
  • Working Family Payment /Family Income Supplement.
Dependent Children
  • Dependent children refers to the number of other children in the household dependent on the applicant and/or their parent(s)/legal guardian, spouse, civil partner or cohabitant. The reckonable income thresholds increase based on the number of dependent children. 
Relevant Persons in Further or Higher Education
  • Relevant person in further and higher education refers to another person, within the household who is attending a full-time course in further or higher education at the same time as the applicant. The reckonable income thresholds can be adjusted to take account of relevant persons.


Holiday Earnings
  • A deduction of up to a maximum of €6,552 may be made for Holiday Earnings. Holiday Earnings are defined as income earned from employment outside term time, but within the previous calendar year or reference period by an applicant who was in education.
Further deductions can be made, as follows:
  • in respect of income from employment, employment-related expenses as approved by Revenue that appear on your Statement of Liability, (formerly P21);
  • maintenance payments made under a legally enforceable arrangement to a separated spouse, as approved by Revenue that appear on your Statement of Liability, (formerly P21);
  • contributions to pension schemes and pension or retirement products, paid in the reference period only, within the limits allowed by Revenue that appear on your Statement of Liability, (formerly P21)
  • overtime payments earned in the reference period that are not recurring payments.
  • expenses claimed under the Travel and Accommodation Scheme for student nurses and midwives on mandatory, supernumerary clinical practice placements, as well as the meal allowance of €500 payable to supernumerary nursing and midwifery students in years 1 to 3 of their course.
  • income up to a maximum of €14,000 in respect of Rent a Room Relief, earned in the reference period only and declared to the Revenue Commissioner.

SUSI may be able to confirm the amounts of these payments directly with Revenue on your behalf, however we will request documentary evidence from you where necessary, such as payslips or a letter from your employer.