first_imgIndependent Councillor for the Stranorlar Electoral Area, Cllr Frank McBrearty, has urged all Third-level students wishing to apply for a higher and further education grant to do so early. Councillor McBrearty’s comments come as SUSI’s online applications service opened late last week.Ahead of the expected opening of the awards body’s online service, Cllr McBrearty advises students to get their applications in on time, and has asked that they read all information pertaining to eligibility criteria thoroughly prior to making their grant applications. McBrearty told Donegal Daily,”It’s critical that all those who wish to make an application to SUSI’s online application service, do so as early as possible.“If it’s the case that you think you might qualify for assistance through the grant scheme, student’s shouldn’t wait until they have received their college offer, as this could result in a long delay in them receiving their grants, andmay cause difficulties when applicants start their courses.“It’s therefore my advice to students to take the necessary steps in order to satisfy the SUSI requirements, to do so as soon as possible, and to read all instructions carefully; this should increase their chances of receiving grants without delay and without any unnecessary complication.While this year significant improvements to the site have been made in order to make it much more user friendly, Cllr McBrearty has called on those charged with the site’s administration, to do more to make the various details concerning eligibility criteria as well as income assessment much more clear for applicants. McBrearty added, “As a Councillor, numerous students have contacted me with a number of queries which they have had in relation to their applications, but also as to how they will be assessed – this information must be communicated much more effectively with applicants when they make their submission online.”“Firstly, I’d like to highlight to applicants that there are a number of items which are disregarded from their incomes when they seek a grant, and it’s important that students are made aware of this so that they can correctly submit their income details.“Income which is not included in the assessment of an application is any income which applicants earn outside of term time; these are considered to be holiday earnings and applicants can earn up to €3,809 during this period.“I want to also make it clear to applicants that when they are applying to SUSI for a grant, they must also make sure that they have all the necessary supporting documentation, including a P21 statement – this will ensure that their application can be quickly processed with as little delay as possible.Furthermore, Cllr McBrearty has called on the government to make a number of changes to the grant system, particularly in relation to the awarding of Special Rate Grants for disadvantaged students, something which the Councillor states is necessary in order to ensure that those most in need of financial assistance can avail of it. McBrearty concluded, “More and more students are now in need of Special Rate Grants, but unfortunately, this government as well as successive governments, have failed in their duty to ensure that those who are most in need of financial assistance in order to achieve their educational needs, are being let down.”“I believe that those in power need to completely rethink how the grant system in this country operates, including how applicants are currently means tested and assessed – this needs to be done in order to make sure that education is made available to as many people as possible.”“Education is the powerful weapon we can use to change the world.Student Universal Support Ireland or ‘Susi’ offers funding to students who are in approved full-time, tertiary education in Ireland, as well as offering support to various student groups, ranging from early school leavers and mature students, to those wishing to return to education. The Online Grant Application System is open from May 8th and closes on August 1st.MCBREARTY URGES STUDENTS TO APPLY EARLY FOR GRANTS AS ‘SUSI’ GOES LIVE was last modified: May 14th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Election 2014:Frank McBreartynewsPoliticsSUSI Grantslast_img read more