OVER 2,200 STUDENTS remain without their college grants as the academic year for 2012/2013 draws to a close.
Figures released to Fianna Fáil Deputy Seán Fleming through a Parliamentary Question have revealed that 328 grants have still not been processed by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI).
An additional 1,938 students remain in limbo as the result of ongoing disputes over documentation.
Fleming called the situation a “complete shambles”, adding that he knew of students who had “not been able to sit their exams this year and others who have dropped out of college altogether because they haven’t got their maintenance grants.”
The fact that over 300 applications haven’t been processed in May is a disgrace. This is a real crisis for students and it is not being addressed by Minister Quinn.
There have also been many cases of students not being able to contact SUSI, of documents submitted being lost and SUSI claiming that it is the students who have failed to provide the relevant documents.
The launch of the SUSI system, centralising all grant applications into one organisation, was hailed as a key model of government reform and an example to showcase. But the reality has been a litany of mistakes and mismanagement that does not bode well for the government’s reform agenda.