“SUBSTANTIAL PROGRESS” IS being made in progressing student grants, the Department of Education has said.
Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) is making substantial progress on the processing of grant applications and they are focused on delivery to make sure all eligible students receive their grant, said the department.
It added that SUSI has indicated it is “on target to progress all applications received to date with the necessary supporting documentation between now and the end of the year”. So far, 31,973 applications have been completed. Of these, 19,157 have been awarded or provisionally awarded a grant and 12,816 have been refused or cancelled.
SUSI has received 66,827 applications to date. Each application was pre-assessed and 12,816 were refused or cancelled. It is currently processing a further 7,754 applications, and of these, 4,494, are being checked to ensure all documentation has been submitted. The remainder are going through the final assessment procedure and SUSI expects to process these applications by the end of December.
In total, 7,231 applicants have returned incomplete documents and SUSI is in contact with them to request missing documents.
So far, 19,859 applicants have not yet returned any documents. “We estimate, based on the experience of previous years, that a large portion of these applications will not be pursued further by the applicants,” said a SUSI spokesperson.
“While there have been problems with the first year of the new system, the policy decision to establish of a single grant awarding body will serve our students better in the long run,” said a department spokesperson.
A number of measures have been put in place to address the current processing backlogs and SUSI have staffed to the level they have requested.