Information for Care Leavers

Applying for a SUSI grant – Information for Care Leavers

When applying for a SUSI grant a person can apply as a ‘Dependent’ or ‘Independent’ student. Care Leavers can apply in either category, depending on their age.

Dependent (Under 23):

If you are under 23 you will only have the option to apply as a ‘Dependent’ student, but your own income is all we will take into account. If you live with foster parents, you should apply with their details, but SUSI will not look for any information regarding their income. If you are in Residential Care, or live independently, there is an option on the online grant application to tick ‘In Care of the State’ or ‘Aftercare’. When your grant application has been checked by SUSI you will receive a letter asking you to send any documents which are needed to confirm the information you have given, and you may be asked to submit a SUSI-Tusla form. This form is also available on to download, and there are guidance notes included to help you fill out the form. If you or your foster parents receive Foster Care Allowance, Aftercare Allowance or Independent Living Allowance for Young People in Residential Care you may be eligible for a ‘special rate’ of grant.

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

Mature students can apply as an ‘Independent’ if they were 23 or over on 1st January of the year they started or are starting their course. SUSI will ask for evidence of ‘Independent Residency’, and the types of documents we accept are utility bills in the student’s name, a letter from RTB or a letter from a Local Authority confirming a Government Housing Scheme. Care Leavers may not have these types of documents, so they can submit a SUSI-Tusla form if they are still in the care of the state, or they can send a letter from their social worker, from Tusla or from the HSE stating they were previously in the care of the state.

Care Leavers who were adopted after previously being in the care of the State:

Adopted persons are assessed in the same way as students who apply with their biological parents or their legal guardians, regardless of when they were adopted or whose care they were previously under.

If you were adopted and are under 23 you must apply to SUSI with your adoptive parents’ details. Their income, and your own, if any, will be assessed.

If you were over 23 on 1st January of the year when you started or are starting your course, and you were adopted after being in the care of the state, you can apply as a dependent or independent student. If you apply as dependent your income and your adoptive parent(s)’ income will be assessed. If you apply as independent you will be asked to provide the same evidence that other Independent students are asked for. If you don’t have any of the accepted documents (as listed on you can apply as a dependent student with your adoptive parents.