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Apply for SUSI grants to help with the cost of college

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The financial cost of going to college is a cause of worry for lots of students and parents. However, Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI), which is Ireland’s national awarding authority for further and higher education grants, provides financial assistance to thousands of students each year.

In 2020/2021 approximately 80,000 students received some level of financial support. Grants are allocated to students who meet certain eligibility criteria and may cover the partial or full cost of college fees and living expenses which is referred to as the maintenance part of the grant. The amount awarded to each individual depends on the financial circumstances of the household as well as the number of dependent family members. Applications are open to anyone applying to Post Leaving Cert (PLC), undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and in some cases students who are applying for college outside of Ireland.

Are you eligible?

Residency and Nationality: You must have been resident in Ireland or the EU (European Union), EEA (European Economic Area), UK or Swiss Federation for three out of the last five years. You must be a national of one of these countries. You may also be eligible for funding under Student Grant Legislation depending on your immigration status or leave to remain, under the Department of Justice and Equality.

Income: For the 2021/2022 academic year, your application will be assessed on gross income from all sources from January 1 to December 31, 2020. The persons whose income is taken into account depends on your applicant class which can be either ‘Dependent/Mature Dependent Student’ or ‘Independent Student’. There's a list of allowances and financial supports that are not counted as reckonable income for the purposes of grant assessment and they can be checked on www.susi.ie/income.

Course type, duration and progression: You must be attending an approved course in a college of Further Education, an Institute of Technology or university. There are some private colleges on the CAO for example that offer courses which are not eligible for the SUSI grant. There is a maximum period of grant assistance available as follows; PLC (3 years), undergraduate (4 years) and postgraduate (4 years). You must be progressing to a higher level of qualification or from one year to the next and not repeating a year, except in exceptional circumstances. It has been announced recently by Minister Harris that 2020 Leaving Cert students who received a new CAO offer as a result of improved results in written exams taken in November and intend taking up that new place in 2021-2022 will not lose their grant eligibility.

You will find excellent video guides to help you through the application process on www.susi.ie where you can also input your details to the eligibility reckoner to check whether you are eligible or not. Students who are already in receipt of the SUSI grant in 2020/2021 can apply to renew their application for the next academic year now with the priority closing date on June 10. For new applicants the priority closing date is on July 8. Applications will remain open up to autumn but by getting your application in by the priority deadline you will receive payments early in the college term when all financial support is needed to get set up and settled for the new academic year. So the advice is apply early!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant. For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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Family to run in memory of the late Linda Eviston

By Sean Moriarty The family of a much-loved Killarney woman who passed away from cancer almost a year ago plan to run a marathon past her favourite local landmarks in her memory. Linda Eviston died on October 10 last after a long battle with cancer. Her husband Patrick and son Erik, with the support of […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The family of a much-loved Killarney woman who passed away from cancer almost a year ago plan to run a marathon past her favourite local landmarks in her memory.

Linda Eviston died on October 10 last after a long battle with cancer.

Her husband Patrick and son Erik, with the support of her daughter Alannah, will run a 42.2km course, on the day before her anniversary to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society.

The route will be based on landmarks that were an important part of Linda’s life. Starting from the family home in Dromkerry, before heading for the town centre and passing the Eviston House Hotel, Linda’s grandmother’s home at Park Road, Linda’s childhood home and national school in Glenflesk, Loreto where Linda attended secondary school, back to Killarney and finishing at Linda’s pride and joy – Brook Lodge Hotel.

“It is tough but we wanted to do something in Linda’s memory and help other people who might find themselves in similar circumstances,” Pat told the Killarney Advertiser. “We originally hoped to do the Dublin City Marathon but that got cancelled. This route is much better, but much tougher as it’s more hilly.”

All proceeds will be donated to the Irish Cancer Society and donations can be made via: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/inhonouroflinda.

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Women bravely bare all for Kerry’s first ‘Dip in the Nip’

By Michelle Crean  It really was girl power at its finest – as 170 women of all ages braved the elements on Sunday to bare all for charity at the weekend. Shore Acre in Camp was the location which was only revealed to the participants for Kerry’s first ever ‘Dip in the Nip’. And amongst […]

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By Michelle Crean
 

It really was girl power at its finest – as 170 women of all ages braved the elements on Sunday to bare all for charity at the weekend.

Shore Acre in Camp was the location which was only revealed to the participants for Kerry’s first ever ‘Dip in the Nip’. And amongst the all female grouping were some Killarney ladies who joined in the empowering adventure for what was described as “a special and unforgettable morning” all in aid of Recovery Haven Kerry.

According to Marisa Reidy from Recovery Haven, the women were of all ages and all walks of life who came together for so many personal reasons.

“Some were still on their own cancer journey, some were celebrating coming out the other side and of course, many were there to honour friends and loved ones who they had lost to cancer, but we were all equal on the day – flaws and all,” Marisa, who also took part in the event, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It was a truly uplifting and exhilarating experience and we are so, so grateful to each and every lady who joined us for a morning we will never forget. One woman described it as ‘companionship among strangers’ and that really sums it up perfectly. It was emotional, there were some tears, but lots of laughter and we couldn’t have asked for anything more. When the ladies hit the water, they all formed a circle and held hands in a gesture that was totally unplanned – it just happened organically and it was quite overwhelming.”

She added that a very special mention has to be made to Michaela and John Edwards and their team from Wild Water Adventures for their support and expertise in ensuring no stone was left unturned in making it a fabulous, safe event.

“It was an all-female team from beginning to end, from our own volunteers, stewards, registration, Gardai, teas and coffees, lifeguards, sea rescue – girl power at its finest! Now all that’s left to do is start planning for 2022!”

Donations are still being taken via the link on the Recovery Haven Kerry Facebook page.

“So far we are close on €9,000 which is just fabulous.”

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