Payment of SUSI grants must be brought forward
Labour Further and Higher Education Spokesperson, Senator Annie Hoey has called for the payment of SUSI grants to be brought forward from October to the beginning of September.
Senator Hoey said:
“The administration of SUSI grants must happen in real time. It is not realistic for students to begin college and start to accrue costs from late August/early September, with no sign of their essential grant until the second week of October. Many students depend on their SUSI grant in order to put a roof over their head and to purchase essential items.
“Just a few weeks ago the Minister for Higher & Further Education, Research, Innovation and Science announced a package of supports for higher education, yet there is still a need for realistic immediate delivery of financial assistance to students on the ground.
“I have been contacted by many students who have told me they are taking out loans in order to bridge the gap between starting college and when their first SUSI grant package comes in. I am concerned that more and more students will be forced to take these expensive bridging loans in order to afford basic essential items.
“There are many essential items which must be paid upfront, such as accommodation and books, and in a year when the start of college is already terse and many students and their parents have taken a severe financial hit and loss of income due to the Covid-19 crisis, it is vital that no further stress is put upon students and that the payment of grants is brought forward to early September.