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Explore all financial supports available for college

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The combined costs of college fees, accommodation, travel, food, books etc., are a major source of stress for students and parents.

 

That has been intensified this year with so few summer jobs available to students. Take some time at this stage to explore various financial supports available to you and apply for any of those that you may be eligible for.

SUSI grants, which cover fees and maintenance, are means tested and assessed based on your parent’s income. Your eligibility also depends on the course you are doing and your nationality or residency. You can check the criteria to see if you qualify by using the Eligibility Reckoner on www.susi.ie/eligibility-reckoner. The priority closing date for new applicants is July 9, and the advice is to apply by this deadline to ensure that your funding comes through early in the college year when costs are high. As you may not be sure about your exact course of study at this stage you can simply put down the course you hope to study and then update that information online if you decide to accept a different course. Remember that SUSI covers courses in Colleges of Further Education, Institutes of Education and Universities.

For the 2020/2021 academic year, your application will be assessed on gross income from all sources for the period January 1 to December 31, 2019. However, if you or a family member have experienced a change in circumstances from January 1, 2020, you can apply for your application to be assessed/reassessed under a change in circumstances by emailing support@susi.ie and including Change in Circumstances in the subject line.

HEAR (Higher Education Access Route): The deadline for applying for this scheme to support students come from socio-economic disadvantaged backgrounds was March 1 and students will be notified in mid-June of their eligibility. If unsuccessful it is possible to appeal. All details are available on www.accesscollege.ie and www.cao.ie.

Student Assistance Fund: This is available through the student service office of Higher Education Institutions and provides financial assistance for students who are experiencing financial difficulties while attending college to help with the cost of books, materials, bills, travel, childcare etc.

Support for Unemployed: If you have been in receipt of a social welfare payment for a period of time before starting college you may be able to receive a payment during your course of study. You can check this on www.welfare.ie or with your local Intreo/Welfare office.

Scholarships and Bursaries: They range in terms of criteria and are available in a number of colleges and from a number of outside agencies. In some cases scholarships are available in specific areas such as sport, arts and culture, entrepreneurship, community volunteerism etc. Details for these can be found on the college websites. If you come from a socio-economic disadvantaged background you may also be eligible to apply for bursaries such as the 1916 Bursary, St Vincent de Paul Education and Training Bursary and NUI Scholarships. Other scholarships are supported by industry and details can usually be found on the college websites. Most of these scholarships are not based on household income. While many of those deadlines have passed, locally the Liebherr Engineering Scholarship Programme is still accepting applications up to July 3 at 12pm. Details are available from gradrecruit.lcc@leibherr.com.

Funding for students with disabilities can be accessed from the Disability Support Service in your college. This funding is provided to the institutions to enable them to provide supports for students such as assistive technology, academic or learning support, transport etc. Even if you have not applied for the DARE scheme you can avail of these supports by registering with the disability service in the college once you become a student there.

Student Loans are also an option. Local credit unions have a long tradition of supporting young people and parents with loans for education and some credit unions offer bursaries to members who have been offered their place in college. Contact your local branch for details. Loans are also available from the various banks.

Niamh Dwyer, Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore & PRO of Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors.

Parents or students with queries on the Change of Mind or other career options can email Niamh on careerfocusnow@gmail.com or text/phone 087 9801105.

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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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