Thursday, June 30, 2011

Doherty Urges Students to apply as soon as possible for Student Grant Schemes

TD for Meath East Deputy Regina Doherty has today urged students of Meath to apply for Student Grant Schemes as soon as possible.
This statement comes as a result of an announcement made by the Department of Education and Skills of the Student Grant Scheme for 2011/2012.
It was announced in May that there would be an over-haul of the student grant scheme. In the first major step towards this the existing four grant schemes have been replaced by one unified grant scheme this year.
“This is the announcement that students have been waiting for. Almost 38,000 students, well over half of the expected number of applicants will be able to apply on line this year.”
The grants online facility has been rolled out to an extra 24 grant awarding bodies giving a total of 35 in all now using the system. The system is available through www.studentfinance.ie
Deputy Doherty wishes to inform those students attending college next year that “Meath VEC and Meath County Council are two such bodies that are included in the grantsonline facility”
For those students who have to wait a little longer, next year is when a single grant awarding authority will become operational in all of Ireland. CDVEC was recently announced as the authority that will after a competitive process.
Deputy Regina Doherty urges all those finished their Leaving Cert who think they may be eligible for a grant next year to apply online now.
“Early applications can prevent delays in receiving maintenance grants. Previously those who have waited until very late in the process, frequently until after the CAO offers were out, have experienced major delays. I would also urge those individuals to ensure that the forms are correctly completed and that they send in all the corresponding paperwork”
The Department have stated that in some cases 60% of applications have to be returned for incompleteness or there are errors.
“With Meath VEC being one of the grant awarding bodies involved in the grantonline scheme this will go a long way to preventing those problems for students of Meath as the programme used checks the data for errors as you enter it.”
There has been little change elsewhere in the grant scheme only in reference to the change introduced by the previous Government under Budget 2011. This reduces the qualifying distance criterion for non-adjacent rate from 24km to 45km.
“I would urge all Leaving Cert Students and potential college goers to log on to www.studentfinanace.ie an complete their applications asap.” 

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