Almost two-thirds of this year’s 60,000 third-level grants have been paid to students, according to Ireland’s student grant body, Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). As of November 1, 43,000 grants have been awarded and 39,000 students paid.
23,000 first-time applicants and 20,000 renewal students have been informed that they have been awarded grants, compared to only 6,000 this time last year. Improvements to its system following an independent review have allowed SUSI to process grants more efficiently. Students who met priority processing deadlines and provided correct documentation have already received their grants.
SUSI has implemented additional payment runs in order to award grants to the remaining 17,000 applicants as quickly as possible. These will run weekly throughout November until all grants have been processed. Students who have yet to be awarded grants will receive any back money in their first grant payment.
SUSI stated that 4,000 students who have been awarded grants but are awaiting payment will receive their grant as soon as their college confirms their registration and they provide the requisite bank details.
This is a significant improvement from November 2012, when only 10% of grants had been awarded. Some students experienced major delays last year, with 565 grant applicants for the 2012/2013 academic year still awaiting processing as of July 2013.