STUDENT GRANTS BODY SUSI says some 3,000 people have had their grants either refused or cancelled for the coming academic year.
In the latest update in how it is handling grant applications, Student Universal Support Ireland said it is more than two months ahead of last year’s chaotic handling of applications, which led to long delays for many students.
SUSI received a total of 82,000 applications before the deadline this year, 59,000 of which were new applicants. Of these new applicants, SUSI said it expects to award grants to around 40,000 first-time applicants.
So far, more than 10,000 grants have been awarded – a significant increase on this time last year when no grants had been paid yet – while another 5,000 have been provisionally awarded pending confirmation that they have accepted their course. Some 2,000 students have been asked to provide additional information.
SUSI said some 41,000 students are in the process of having their applications move towards final processing after they returned all requested documents to SUSI. The agency is now moving to process the remaining 21,000 applications from students who have submitted supporting documents, which is expected to be completed by the end of October when students will find out whether they have been awarded the grant or not.
Students who have not yet returned documents – such as course acceptance forms or notices of assesment of income for self-employed people or farmers – have been urged to do so as soon as possible.
SUSI was set up to process grant applications last year, but the new system was beset with delays and problems with processing applications. The office of the Ombudsman has said it is taking on more than 50 complaints relating to problems with SUSI.