Students from the North County, who are less well-off and those taking a second chance at college, should benefit from changes to the education grants scheme, according to local Independent Alliance councillor, Tony Murphy.
Murphy told the County Leader, “Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, has informed me that the changes are aimed at making college more accessible to all. A total of E380m is being made available in grants nationwide,” he said, Welcoming the announcement, Minister Zappone said: “It is only right that everyone should have an equal chance to avail of third level education – no matter what their financial circumstances are. The announcement of grant changes is an opportunity to break down barriers which prevent many people from entering college.
All students, no matter what their income or age, should examine the grants available and begin planning their applications for the 2017/18 college year.” The key changes include: Maintenance grants to support 1,100 of the most disadvantaged postgraduate students, and changes which allow second chance mature students to complete a post Leaving Cert Programme within a five year break period. The Grant Application Process is also opening up earlier than usual to allow students across the country extra time to consider options and submit their forms. Murphy has welcomed the additional funding and has encouraged all students to take time to consider the supports which are available and come forward and use them.