Tuesday, 11 March 1997
Dáil Éireann Debate
168. Miss M. Wallace asked the Minister for Education if a third level student living 190 miles from home can qualify for a grant in her own right in view of the fact that her parents who put her through first year of college cannot afford to put her through second year and in view of the fact that they have a second family member starting college in September 1997; the family income of £30,000 excludes them from a maintenance grant and the accommodation and travel costs of two students of £150 each per week would be prohibitive; and the way in which this student can be helped to continue in college. [6761/97]
Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): Under the terms of the third level student support schemes, a candidate's reckonable income for the purposes of the award of a grant is the candidate's gross income from all sources and that of her-his parents or guardians, where applicable. Where the candidate's reckonable income exceeds the income limits set down in the relevant third level student support scheme no grant aid is awarded.
In 1994 I provided a discretionary budget so as to set up a hardship fund with the third level institutions to assist students who are experiencing short-term financial difficulties. Students who experience such difficulties should contact the student counsellor in her-his college to apply for assistance from the fund.
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