The Government is considering options to help students and families by further reducing the cost of going to college, according to Fine Gael Senator Aisling Dolan.
Senator Dolan, Fine Gael’s Seanad Education spokesperson, said: “In recent years, Fine Gael has helped students and families with the cost of going to college by both cutting fees and raising the student grant.
“These measures by my party colleague Minister Simon Harris have made a real and tangible impact to students and their families.
“These steps are an attempt to drive down the cost of college for families and students. But we do need to do more and Minister Harris has been clear that is his ambition.
“A cost of education options paper will set out options for a further enhancement of student as part of this year’s budget, and I think it is really important students and their families have their say in this.
“If you have ideas or initiatives in this area, get in touch with me and I will pursue them with Minister Harris,” Senator Dolan said.
“Already all students eligible for the fees initiative benefitted from a once-off €1,000 reduction in the Student Contribution rate for the 2022/2023. For students on the 50% Student Contribution rate, as paid by SUSI, the reduction was €500.
“An extra grant payment for all students, including PLC students, undergrads and postgrads on the special rate, was paid last December . Post Grad students receiving the SUSI Fee Contribution Grant are benefitting from a once-off increase in their grant of €1,000 from €3,500 to €4,500,” Senator Dolan said.
Further measures will take place this September with all grant levels increased by between 10% and 14% on a permanent basis.
“Families earning less than €62,000 will now be able to avail of a 50% reduction in the contribution fee. The Department is also introducing a new Student Contribution grant of €500 for families on incomes earning between €62,000 and €100,000.
“These are all decisions taken by Fine Gael in Government to tackle the cost of living and the work continues,” Senator Dolan added.