The current levels of funding given to students from the Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) Grant is not enough and unfairly distributed, claims Cllr Frank Mc Brearty.
The Raphoe councillor said SUSI, which processes grant applications, only approves funding for students under certain criteria including household income, receipt of social welfare benefits, living arrangements etc.
Cllr Mc Brearty commented “There are essentially two things wrong with the current SUSI payment, one; thousands of students are denied grants every year due to, in my opinion, an unfair income bracket and two; the amount given to students is not enough”
A survey was carried out by the Irish League of Credit Unions which found that parents spend an average of at least €421 every month on their college-going children and that the vast majority find it difficult to meet the cost.
Households on an income of an average of €39,000 plus are eligible for the grant.
“This should be higher, these families need the grant but so do families who earn more than this. The criteria for the grant is completely wrong, when you take in the expenses of family life; a mortgage, car costs, taxes, the water tax to name but a few, this is leaving a lot of Irish families struggling to pay for their kids to go to college” commented Cllr Mc Brearty
For those students who cannot depend on their parents for money, this can seriously affect their education. SpunOut.ie Ireland’s youth information website says “The grant isn’t enough money to live on. You’re going to have to use savings from a summer job, a part-time job, and support from parents or bank loans to get through college with more than beans to eat!”
“I have young children who go to college and I know the struggles of families and the expense of third level education. In most cases the SUSI grant wouldn’t even cover the cost of rent”
“I want to stand up for those families, I want our young people to be educated, so they have the option to follow in the careers they want and contribute to our economy” commented Cllr Mc BreartyTags: