Important Notes for Grant Applicants

Grant Application Terms and Conditions

A Guide to Terms & Conditions

IMPORTANT NOTES FOR GRANT APPLICANTS

This document contains important information for grant applicants and other parties to grant applications. You should refer to them carefully at each stage of your grant application.

When you apply for a student grant, each party is required to submit an online declaration form which confirms that each has read and understood these terms.

This document will be updated to reflect any changes in legislation and it is your responsibility to ensure that you have the most up-to-date version.

1.  Legislative basis

Full details on the conditions of the Student Grant are contained in the primary and secondary legislation that regulates the Student Grant Scheme:

 Student Support Act 2011

 Annual Student Grant Scheme

 Annual Student Support Regulations

2.  Criteria

The Scheme contains the criteria which determine whether the Applicant is entitled to a Grant. The criteria includes, but is not limited to, matters such as the income of the Applicants’ parent(s), whether the Applicant has attended a qualifying education course previously and the Applicant’s proximity to the approved institution.

To be eligible for a grant, the applicant/student must satisfy the below general Key Eligibility Criteria relating to:

(a) Residency

(b) Nationality

(c) Progression

(d) Institution and Course

(e) Applicant Class

(f) Reckonable Income

(g) Income limits

(h) Maximum periods of funding

3.  Application, Documentation & Decision Procedures

All applications must be submitted via the official Student Grant application process.

SUSI has the power under the Act to make a number of Decisions. SUSI will determine whether an applicant is eligible to receive a grant, having regard to –

(a) information furnished by the Applicant pursuant to this section,

(b) any other information in relation to the application, as appropriate, and

(c) such criteria as are specified in the relevant scheme of grants.

It is a legal requirement that all information submitted by or on behalf of you and other parties to the application is full, complete and accurate in every respect. Before submitting a grant application each party to the application must complete a declaration that they acknowledge this requirement, and confirming that they have read and understand the grant application terms and conditions.

If you fail to provide information or if you provide information that is incomplete or inaccurate (for example the PPSN or date of birth of a person) SUSI will be unable to validate your application directly with other Government agencies and will have to request this information from you. This may result in delays in processing your application.

SUSI will notify you in writing of its decision on your application for a grant.

3.1. Final Course Acceptance

Grants can only be awarded in respect of approved courses.

As a new grant applicant, you do not need to have accepted a place on a course in order to apply for a grant. However you will need to inform SUSI that you have been offered and accepted a place on a course before your application can be finalised. You can do this in the following ways:

  • Online SUSI Grant Application: you can confirm that you have accepted a place on a course when you first submit your online grant application when you are providing details of your chosen course in section C3 of the online grant application form;
  • CAO Applicants: if you have allowed the CAO (Central Applications Office) to share your information with SUSI by selecting the appropriate option in your CAO application form, the CAO will inform SUSI of this and will confirm details of your chosen course to SUSI when you have accepted a CAO place offer;
  • Online SUSI Final Course Acceptance (FCA) Form: you can inform SUSI that you have accepted a place on a course at any time after you have submitted your grant application by submitting an online FCA form through the homepage of your SUSI account.

If you subsequently accept a place on a different course or on a course not offered to you through the CAO, you can submit a new FCA form at any time through the homepage of your SUSI account. Your application will be decided on the basis of the most recent course details provided to SUSI by any of the above methods.

3.2.  Applications from within the Same Household

Each grant application is processed confidentially and separately, including where more than one application is received from within the same household. This means that, where supporting documents are required, they must be requested and submitted separately in respect of each applicant within a household, even where the documentation in respect of two or more grant applicants within that household (e.g. siblings) relates to the same persons (e.g. parents).

Where applicants within the same household have consented in the making of their application to be cross-referenced with each other, SUSI may cross-reference grant applications for consistent and timely processing.

3.3. Relevant Persons in Full-time Further or Higher Education

Where certain persons relevant to an applicant in a household attend full-time courses of further or higher education in the same academic year as a grant applicant, increased income limits apply that may deem an applicant eligible to receive a grant or an improved rate of grant. You can provide details of such persons in section E2 of the online grant application form when submitting your application. Unless the relevant person has given consent to have their application cross-referenced and have been awarded a grant by SUSI, you will need to provide documentary evidence to SUSI confirming that they are registered and in attendance on their course.

3.4. Repeat years

With limited exceptions, you are not eligible for a grant if you are repeating a year of a course or if you are attending a course, or a year of a course, that is not deemed to be offering you progression under the terms of the Student Grant Scheme.

3.5. Education Funding from Other Sources

In addition to providing SUSI with details of the income from all sources that is received by you, the applicant, and other parties to your application, you must also inform SUSI of any other financial assistance that you receive from other sources towards the cost of your maintenance as a student or towards your college fees as this may affect your eligibility to receive a student grant. This includes assistance by way of grants, bursaries, scholarships, etc. whether received from public funds provided by any government department or other state-funded body and also includes assistance received from private sources.

3.5.1 BTEA/VTOS

With limited exceptions, you are not eligible to receive a maintenance grant if you are in receipt of BTEA or VTOS payments. You must inform SUSI if you are in receipt of these payments as failure to do so may lead to the reduction or withdrawal of your grant where this information is received subsequently from the relevant authorities and you will be liable to repay any overpayment made to you.

4. Right of Appeal

Appeals are different from complaints. You may be happy with the way your application has been handled but you may feel that a decision about your application is not correct and you want to appeal.

You have a right to appeal a decision by SUSI to award or refuse you a grant In accordance with section 20 of the Student Support Act 2011, an appeal must be made to the SUSI Appeals Officer within 30 days of receipt of the letter notifying you of the decision. An appeal form is provided at www.susi.ie

5. Payments

Payment of grants awarded commences once your college has confirmed to SUSI that you are registered and in full time attendance on the course in respect of which you have been awarded a student grant. This information is provided directly from your college following the award of your grant.

To receive maintenance payments, where awarded, SUSI requires your bank account details. These can be provided securely through your online SUSI account when making an application or at any time after you have submitted your grant application.

5.1. Deferring or Withdrawing

You must inform SUSI if you defer a college place that you have accepted, if you defer a year of your course or if you withdraw from or otherwise cease to attend your course. If you do not inform SUSI of this, you will be liable to repay any grant overpayment made to you and/or you may be ineligible to receive a grant (or may receive a reduced grant) on resuming your studies in the future

6. Review of Eligibility

You may apply to SUSI (otherwise than on appeal) for a review of your eligibility in the event of any of the following changes of circumstances occurring between 1 January of the year in which you apply for a grant and the end of the academic year to which your application relates:

  •  income;
  •  number of dependent children;
  •  number of relevant persons in full-time further or higher education;
  •  normal residence;
  •  nationality or immigration status;
  •  course or institution.

7. Renewing Your Grant

You must apply online to SUSI annually to have your grant renewed for each year of the normal duration of your chosen course. When making your application you must inform SUSI of any relevant changes in your circumstances that may affect your eligibility to receive a grant.

You may renew your grant if you are continuing on the same course but you cannot renew your grant if you change course or college (including where you enter an “add-on year” to a course) – in these cases you must make a new online grant application. The renewal of your grant (or your new grant application) will be subject to reassessment by SUSI of your continued eligibility to receive a grant.

8.  Control following award of a Student Grant

SUSI implement controls to protect the expenditure of public funds, prevent fraudulent activity/claims and minimise errors in the processing and approval of applications for a student grant.

SUSI may cross-reference grant applications for audit purposes and for the detection and investigation of fraud.

8.1. Re-examination of Awards

In accordance with Section 19(3) of the Act, SUSI may at any time give notice in writing to a student who has been awarded a Grant requiring them to furnish information to determine whether they remain eligible for the Grant. The circumstances under which a review may occur include:

(a) Where the Applicant notifies SUSI of a change in circumstances;

(b) Where the Applicant has furnished information to SUSI or has failed to furnish information to SUSI;

(c) Where SUSI receives a report from a Statutory Inquiry under section 22 of the Act;

(d) Where SUSI received “relevant information relating to the student”.

 

8.2. Your responsibilities:

In accordance with section 19(2) of the Act, the applicant and parties to the application are obliged to inform SUSI where they become aware that by way of a material change in circumstances or, for any other reason, the Applicant or of their parent, spouse, civil partner or cohabitant that:

  • Any information they had supplied for the Grant Eligibility Decision “which could reasonably be considered to have a bearing on the award of the grant” is no longer correct;
  • The applicant can no longer comply with conditions to remain eligible for the Grant Eligibility Decision
  • The applicant becomes aware that information provided to SUSI in awarding the Grant was incorrect.

Failure to or a delay in the supply of this information within a reasonable period may result in termination of a student grant payment and assessment of an overpayment.

SUSI will inform the Applicant of its determinations further to re-examination of awards that:

(a) The Applicant remains eligible for the Grant or

(b) The Applicant is eligible for a different Grant or

(c) The Applicant is not eligible for a Grant

8.3. Data Sharing & Matching

SUSI may request and receive the data pertaining to you and other parties to this application with other Government bodies and agencies set out in Schedule 2 of the Student Support Act 2011. This data is processed under agreed data sharing protocols for the purposes of verifying information provided in the application and confirming registration and attendance to an approved institution. Further information on how we use personal data is available in our Data Protection Statement.

9.  Offences & Penalties

Failure to comply with the conditions of the Act, Scheme and Regulations may result in an overpayment and possible prosecution.

Where any information or document provided to SUSI by a person contains a deliberate material omission or inaccuracy or where a student fails to notify SUSI of a material change of circumstances having a bearing on their application for a grant or on the award of a grant to them, they may be liable to prosecution for an offence which may lead to penalties including a fine, imprisonment or both in accordance with Section 23 of the Student Support Act 2011 or to loss of grant and repayment, of any moneys received in accordance with Section 24 of that Act.

 10.  Recovery of Overpayments

In accordance with Section 24 of the Student Support Act 2011, if you receive payment of some or all of a grant for which you are not eligible or entitled, you will be liable to repay to SUSI any maintenance grant paid to you and to repay any fee grant paid on your behalf to a college. Debt recovery arrangements are in place and SUSI implements flexible arrangements that allow students to repay grant overpayments over time.

11.  Data Protection

SUSI respects individuals’ right to privacy and processes personal information in accordance with data protection legislation. Personal information submitted will be treated with the highest standards of security and confidentiality, strictly in accordance with Data Protection legislation.

Before submitting a grant application, you and parties to the application must confirm that you have read and understood the SUSI Data Protection Statement available at www.susi.ie. When confirming this, you and parties to the application acknowledge the statutory basis under which SUSI is processing and the legal basis for sharing your personal data with other government departments and third parties as detailed in the Data Protection Statement.

Further information on all of the above in relation to grant applications is provided at www.susi.ie.

Contact Details

SUSI – Student Universal Support Ireland, P.O. Box 869, Cork

SUSI – Tacaíocht Uilechoiteann do Mhic Léinn in Éirinn, P.O. Bosca 869, Corcaigh

Ph: 0761 08 7874

Email: support@susi.ie

Website: www.susi.ie

Reviewed & updated February 2018

 

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