By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors
The financial burden on students and adults who are planning to or are already attending college is a huge source of stress in many households.
While the investment in education provides long term benefits, in the short and medium term the financial pressure can be felt by parents, guardians, partners and families. The cost of fees, accommodation, living expenses, and travel are substantial, so it is important to check out the various financial supports that are available to those embarking on college courses at any age and stage.
SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland) is Ireland’s single national awarding authority for all higher and further education grants. SUSI offers funding to eligible students in approved full-time third-level education in Ireland and also, in some cases, funding for students studying outside of Ireland. Support is available to all types of students, from school leavers to mature students returning to education. The priority date for new applicants to SUSI is tomorrow (July 8) and while you can still apply for funding after these dates, students who submit their application by this date will receive priority processing in autumn. All details and guides to filling out the application can be found on www.susi.ie.
Back to Education Allowance
The BTEA is a scheme for unemployed people, lone parents and people with disabilities who are getting certain payments from the Department of Social Protection. The allowance can be paid to people who wish to pursue approved second or third level courses of education. BTEA is not an unemployment payment and is paid instead of the Social Welfare Payment. For details see www.gov.ie/en/service/418e3f-back-to-education-allowance/.
Scholarships and Bursaries
There are numerous scholarships and bursaries available to support students. The Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) will have details of those that are offered through the college themselves, some of which are based on academic performance but many others across areas such as sport, the arts, entrepreneurship, volunteerism etc. There are also bursaries offered by industry partners, companies and organisations that are specific to an area of study, for example engineering, pharmacy, and STEM. Deadlines for applications and eligibility criteria vary so consult the relevant college websites for details.
The 1916 Bursary Fund is provided to students coming from an economically disadvantaged background. Further information on the application process is available from the website or Access office of the institution in which you intend to study.
Fund for Students with Disabilities
The Fund for Students with Disabilities (FSD) is available through Access offices in the colleges to ensure students with disabilities have the necessary assistance and equipment to enable them to access, fully participate in and successfully complete their chosen course of study.
Student Assistance Fund
The Student Assistance Fund provides financial support to full or part-time students who are experiencing financial difficulties while attending college. Students can apply to help with either temporary or ongoing financial difficulties by contacting the Student Services Office in the college. A range of other bursaries and scholarships are also available from the Department of Education and Skills including the All-Ireland Scholarships and the Third Level Bursary Scheme as well as other organisations. All details can be found on www.hea.ie/funding-governance-performance/funding/student-finance/other-finance-bursaries-scholarships/.
Many credit unions offer education loans to members, either for the support of members themselves or for a son or daughter. Banks often provide personal loans or overdrafts to students at preferential rates.
At Killarney Credit Union, education loan packages are available to members all year around to cater for the needs of members applying for further or higher education and postgraduate studies. Student bursaries to the value of €4,000 are offered to members annually.
Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors and Careers Advisor at www.mycareerplan.ie She can be contacted on email@example.com or via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook on @mycareerplan1.
NPWS survey to find out impact of fires
By Michelle Crean The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April. The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find […]
By Michelle Crean
The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April.
The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find out the biological impacts of the fires in the 26,000 acre park.
The fires in April burned from Friday night on April 23 until around 12pm the following Monday when they were finally brought under control.
Parts of the Park were scorched resulting in flora and fauna being wiped out. Some fires came as close as 10 metres to a church and school in the Black Valley area.
Fires raged near Tomies Wood and fire crews from five different districts quenched fires near the properties under threat. A real threat was for The Oak Woods but fire fighters managed to avert danger.
The fire is believed to have begun on the Kenmare Road area escalated by the strong winds.
“The purpose of this tender is to commission a comprehensive survey of the impacts, and the chrono-sequence of fire recovery or otherwise, on lands burned over the past four decades, as well as surveys in unburned areas, in order to assess the biological impacts of the fires, in particular the fire of April 2021, on the biodiversity of Killarney National Park,” an NPWS spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.
Killarney spin will bring comfort to patients
By Michelle Crean Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town. Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22. This year due to COVID […]
By Michelle Crean
Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town.
Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22.
This year due to COVID restrictions the 54321 team will run with two teams of five people, all female – who are raising funds for one single charity – Comfort for Chemo Kerry.
Their four day challenge will include a cycle the Ring of Kerry on day one (Thursday 19), a climb up Carrantuohil on day two (Friday 20), a cycle from Killarney to the foot of Cnoc Na Tobair and then climb Cnoc Na Tobair on day three (Saturday 21) finishing off with a cycle of the Skellig Ring on day four (Sunday 22).
In advance of the ninth annual challenge they will first participate in the spinathons at various locations to help raise much needed funds for this year’s chosen charity.
The first of the spinathons will take place on Saturday, July 31 in Listowel, Killorglin, Dingle, Cahersiveen. On the day volunteers will take to the spinning bikes from 10am to 5pm in different locations around these towns.
This will be followed by Killarney on Sunday, August 15, and Tralee on Saturday, August 28.
When choosing this year’s charity, organisers contacted a past participant and a dear friend, Mairead Dunphy from Glencar who is currently on her own journey with cancer.
“We wanted to show our support to Mairead and knowing that she would like to support those who have supported her on her journey so far, she had already being looking at ideas to raise much needed funds for Comfort for Chemo Kerry,” TJ O’Connor said.
“Please support Comfort for Chemo Kerry by giving what you can.”
For more information about the spinathons go to www.54321challenge.org or the Comfort for Chemo Kerry Facebook page for online donation information.
There’s also a GoFundMe page: ‘Comfort for Chemo Kerry – 54321 Challenge 2021’ which has a €20,000 target set up.
NPWS survey to find out impact of fires
By Michelle Crean The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires...
Killarney spin will bring comfort to patients
By Michelle Crean Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in...
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