Applicant Class

Knowing what class of applicant you are is very important in deciding if you may be eligible for a grant, if or how you should apply, and whose income is taken into account when assessing your application for funding.

Students’ Applicant Class falls into two categories;

  • Independent
  • Dependent

As an Independent Student you must be:

23 years of age or over on Jan 1st of the year when you first enter/re-enter further or higher education.

You must have been living independently from your parents/legal guardians from the October in the year prior to your first point of entry/re-entry into further or higher education and will be required to provide evidence of this.

The required documentation accepted as evidence of independent residency must be from both;

  • the year prior to entry/re-entry to an approved further/higher education course and must be from no later than October of that year, and
  • the year of entry/re-entry to an approved further/higher education course.

Example 1: First point of entry/re-entry into further/higher education in 2017/2018: Documents from 2016 and dated no later than October 2016 and documents dated from current year 2017 prior to start date of course.

Example 2: First point of entry/re-entry into further/higher education in 2013/2014: Documents from 2012 and  dated no later than October 2012 and documents dated from the actual year you entered your course prior to the start date of course (i.e. in this example, the year 2013)

The documentation accepted as evidence of living independently is any of the following;

  • A letter confirming that this address is registered with RTB (Residential Tenancies Board);
  • A Local Authority lease agreement or a letter confirming your rental under the Rental;
  • Accommodation Scheme (RAS) or any Government Housing Scheme/Arrangement. Private Housing Lease Agreements will not be accepted;
  • A letter on headed paper from a Rental Agency confirming your tenancy;
  • A letter confirming the receipt and period of Rent Allowance, Mortgage Interest Supplement or Housing Assistance Payment (HAP);
  • A Utility bill in your own name, for example; landline telephone (we do not accept mobile telephone bills), fixed broadband, gas, electricity or cable/satellite television bill/home heating bills/Waste bills/Mortgage Statements/Property Tax Letters. If the utility bills in the household are in your spouse’s name, please provide your marriage certificate with the utility bill (if co-habiting we will accept utility bills in your partner’s name covering the relevant period together with correspondence e.g. bank statement/P21 issued to the applicant at the same address and covering the relevant period); and/or
  • Official documentation posted to you at this address and relating to your residence there. For example, a letter from the Department of Social Protection confirming Rent Allowance at this address or a letter from any Government Department confirming you are living independently from your parents. Please Note, we do not accept bank statements alone for this purpose.

As an Independent Student you will be assessed under your own and your spouse, civil partner or co-habitant’s income in determining your eligibility for funding

If you cannot supply any of the above documents to confirm independent residency for both the year prior to your first point of entry/re-entry into further or higher education and the actual year of entry/re-entry into further or higher education then you cannot apply as an Independent Student and must, therefore, apply as a Dependent Student.

 

As a Dependent Student you may fall into either one of two categories;

  • Mature Dependent
    • Over 23 on January first of the year of your first point of entry into further or higher education
  • Dependent
    • Under 23 on January first of the year of your first point of entry into further or higher education

If you were over 23 on the 1st of January 2017, and still residing with your parents (or cannot supply any of the documentary evidence listed above to support independent residency) you will be classed as a Mature Dependent Student. You must supply your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) information as well as your own when filling out your application and  your own income (if applicable) and the income of your parents/legal guardian(s) will be used when assessing you for grant funding.

If you were under 23 on the 1st of January 2017, you are automatically classed as a Dependent Student. This means you must supply your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) information as well as your own when filling out your application and  your own income(if applicable) and the income of your parents/legal guardian(s) will be used when assessing you for grant funding.

Note; In certain circumstances the income of your parents/legal guardian(s) may not be taken into account. For more information on these circumstances please click here.

Reclassification

Your applicant class may be reclassified from dependent to independent under the following circumstances;

  • On movement from Further Education (PLC course) to Higher Education(undergraduate course)
  • On re-entry after a three year break in studies. (meaning you have not attended a course leading to a major award at levels 1-10 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)for 3 full years)

However, in both of the above circumstances you must still meet the criteria to be over 23 years of age on the 1st of January of the year of your first point of entry/re-entry to an approved course of further or higher education in order to be classed as an independent student.