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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 3 September, 2014

Students can complain to the Ombudsman over grant problems

Some 400 application appeals are still outstanding, but the body handling grant applications says that it is ‘confident’ that mistakes won’t be repeated.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

THE OMBUDSMAN EMILY O’Reilly has said that students affected by delays to grant appeals can submit complaints to her office.

With the 1 August deadline for grant applications for the upcoming academic year approaching, some 400 students are still waiting on their grant application appeals to be processed.

The body which handles student grants, Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI), says that while all of the initial applications have been cleared, students who appealed a grant application refusal were still waiting on a decision.

Some students who have already received their first year results are still waiting on their student contribution charge of €2,250 to be paid. If it is not, they face not being accepted for second year.

In a statement to RTÉ, the ombudsman’s office said that complainants could make contact over a number of issues, including entitlement to a grant, delays in processing appeals or problems with SUSI’s handling of documentation.

O’Reilly added that those making a complaint must have tried to solve the problem with SUSI first and that they will try to solve problems as quickly and informally as possible.

SUSI has admitted that human error played a part in the delays, but that they are ‘extremely confident’ of being able to cope with applications for the new school year.

Previously: 118 students still awaiting decision for last year’s college grant

Read: Social welfare payments delayed by one day, affecting 32,700 people

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