Rough Guide to the Student Grant 2017

There’s a lot to think about when going to college. Financial support is one of the big ones. Each year Crosscare Youth Information service produces a ‘Rough Guide to the Student Grant’. Below is the 2017 version, available for you to download and share freely.


You can download the ‘Rough Guide to Student Grant 2017’ here

There have been a few small changes to the grant for 2017, but for most people the criteria and figures will stay the same.  If you are eligible for the ‘Special top-up rate’ the threshold has risen to €23,000. The grant for some Post Graduate students has been reintroduced. Mature students that had previously dropped out of college can now apply for a grant for a plc course and there are changes around counting bursaries and for children of naturalized citizens. More detail about this can be found from the Dept of Education or you can click on this link to view their recent announcement of the scheme.
Our guide will give you a basic introduction to the grant, mainly around the types of questions we get mostly get asked about, including the thresholds, figures and eligibility criteria.
Some of the other costs of going to college:

  • PLC Programme Participant Contribution of €200 per year for Level 5/6 (Colleges for Further Ed).  You are exempt from this if you qualify for The Student Grant.
  • Student Contribution of up to €3,000 per year for Level 7/8 (ITs/ Universities). You are exempt from this if you are eligible for The Student Grant.
  • Fee for student facilities e.g. internet, services
  • Exam fees
  • Costs for specific courses e.g. Art material for design courses, – some course material can cost over €2,000
  • Travel Costs


If you are having any difficulty with any of the student grant process, whether that s uncertainty about one part of the application, or you would like us to sit with you and help complete the full  application form, then we are happy to help with that difficulty.

You can give us a call, contact us via social media or email. We also have offices in Bray and Arklow where you can meet an information worker, but we can also make arrangements to visit other parts of the county to meet with groups or individuals.

A PDF version of the Rough Guide can be downloaded here below

Student Grant Rough Guide2017



Leaving Cert Results – What Next?

Ok, so you’ve got  your results, and the initial shock, happiness, despair or whole range of emotions have settled. What happens next? What are your options? Our free resource is available for you to download and share outlining important dates and some of your options for your next steps.

Download our Leaving Cert Results – Whats Next? publication



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If you haven’t already applied for a student grant, it’s not too late. The deadline for priority applications was in July, but applications can still be accepted, although they will not be processed until those received in July are sorted.

You can apply through SUSI, and you can get more information through our publication, The Rough Guide to Student Grant 2016.


Our tips for better studying

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Studying!! It’s such a pain in the bottom area

All that time going over the same stuff till your eyes fall out and hardly anything sticks in your brain. Of course now that Christmas has gone, Mocks are upon us, and  your Junior Cert/Leaving Cert or end of year exams are inching closer, the pressure to study more and more is probably being piled on in school and at home.

 So now is the time to develop some good study habits so that you can still have a life, and reduce the amount of stress you are going through as exam time gets closer.


Get organised! Think about where and when you are studying. Have a clutter free space. Tidy your room, maybe have folders to put your notes in – one for each subject.

Plan a timetable – Have a look at your full week, include school, meals and weekends. Each day add time to do your homework, allow time for breaks, pick which subjects you will spend time studying each daystudy tips how to study-page-001

Make a study plan each week – different to a timetable because you will look at what you are hoping to get done by the time you finish that week’s work. Set yourself goals or targets.  Don’t spend forever making plan after plan, just note down what you need to do for that week and break it down into smaller chunks that will get your to your target.

Regular breaks – While its important to put in the time, your time is used better doing 20-25 minute chunks and then having a short break.

Limit the distractions. Switch off the TV If you have if you get worked up and anxious without your phone and can’t switch it off, try leaving it in a different room, or you can download an app that blocks notifications for a set time while you study. Some people study better with music, some need total silence. If you have music, make it background music, not something intense that distracts you from work

distractionDiet and exercise – try to avoid sugary snacks and fizzy drinks. You’ll get a quick burst and then crash. Use your breaks to have a quick walk or to do some stretches.

Study with friends can be a great way to help each other. Not to compete or compare yourself to others, but it can useful to have others around whom you can ask questions



Studying can be difficult and boring, but it is an important part of getting the best grades you can from your exams. The tips above are quite general but should help most people to find a study routine and environment that will help. For more detailed support have a look at our attachments


You can download our Study Tips Posters using the links below

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How to Study Poster

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Last Minute Exam Tips!

So, it’s not that long since you were one of the little ones starting ‘big school’. A short 6 or 7 years later, the excitement of graduation has passed and the reality of the Leaving Cert has taken grip. If you’re panicking – stop it! We have a few last minute tips that might make the next couple of weeks a little less stressful.  They won’t replace hard work, but they are a few reminders that might help with the non-studying side of things.

Leaving Cert Timetable

Photo by YouthSpin

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Photo by Gabi Mae

Relax – Yeah, I know, it’s easier said than done at this stage. Its too late to sign up for a course in yoga, but a few simple breathing exercises can help calm the nerves. If you feel nerves or stress are really getting on top of you then tell someone like your parents who might help relax you and calm you down.

Remember a certain amount of stress and nerves are normal and natural. It is a big exam after all.

Eat properly. Going into an exam hungry will not help your concentration levels. Drink water. Try to avoid energy drinks and caffeine.

Get a good night’s sleep before each exam.  If you can part with your phone, leave it in another room or at least out of reach on silent. Go to bed a little earlier than usual.

If you insist on cramming each night before your exam, take plenty of breaks, get some fresh air and a little exercise.

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Photo by Cui-Lyn Huang

Be prepared – Do you have spare pens and pencils? What else do you need? Calculator? Ruler?

Know your timetable – You don’t want any nasty surprises like finding an exam starts a half hour earlier than you thought.

Set an alarm to wake you up in plenty of time, and ask someone else to make sure you are up in time.

During the exam. Try to relax. Read the questions properly and carefully. All too often people answer a question they are not being asked.

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Photo by Robin Hutton

Start with the question you feel most confident about. Don’t mind what others are doing. It often feels like everyone else is writing more than you. Its a distraction.

When you have finished, and if you have time, go back over the paper again. Make sure you have your number in all the places it needs to be for example.

Back where we started, DON’T PANIC! The Leaving cert is an important exam, and important couple of weeks in your life, but it is not the be all and end all. There are plenty of different pathways to success. The Leaving cert is just one.