Minister should extend SUSI deadline further and provide clarity on income eligibility rules
1 July 2020
Spokesperson on Higher Education, Innovation and Research
The priority deadline for new applicants to SUSI should be extended beyond the July 9th and students need clarity on their grant eligibility if their income has been affected by Covid-19 according to Labour Senator Annie Hoey.
Senator Hoey said:
“The new Minister needs to extend the deadline for at least another week beyond July 9th and he needs to immediately give students clarity if their incomes have been affected by the pandemic.
“The Programme for Government commits to reviewing SUSI eligibility and adjacency rates, something the Labour Party has called for over a number of years. While we welcome this review, the Minister needs to tell us what it will involve and when he will carry that out.
“Many families will struggle even more with the financial burden of sending their children to third level and the Minister needs to clarify what arrangements will be put in place to support families who have had a significant reduction in their income this year.
“The current SUSI eligibility criteria is too rigid and requires more flexibility, particularly for individual cases which the current system does not allow. An allowance needs to be made for students who are forced to work throughout the term to make ends meet and for students required to undertake unpaid work placements.
Senator Hoey continued:
“This is a year like no other for Irish students and the Minister needs to allow for that by extending the deadline beyond July 9th to give young people more time to submit an application. He also needs to outline how his Department will address the loss to income suffered by many families and students through no fault of their own.