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.
Rough Guide Page 1
Rough Guide Page 2
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
HEAR (Higher Education Access Route) and DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) are schemes that seek to offer University places on reduced points or extra college support for applicants that are coming from social or economically disadvantaged backgrounds, or who are disadvantaged for reasons of a disability or learning difficulty.
We did a blog post last year outlining the different ways that you could apply and what the criteria was etc. There have been some changes this year to the DARE scheme, so we thought we would flag up the changes and remind people what the basic criteria was for each scheme. The blog post from last year can be found here (part 1) and here (part 2)
DARE is available for school leavers under 23 who have a disability, and that can demonstrate that the disability has a negative impact on their education. the DARE Team have a list of the types of disabilities or specific learning difficulties, along with what documentation or evidence that is needed to go with the application.
HEAR is available to school leavers under 23 who may come from social and economic backgrounds that has a negative impact on their education. Other than income, some backgrounds are under represented in university intake, so HEAR attempts to provide support to students in families that haven’t traditionally continued into higher education.
Changes to the DARE scheme for 2017
- This is the second year of changes to the scheme. Some were introduced last year including a change to define the scheme as one aimed at students whose disabilities have had a negative impact on their education. With this came an evidence based Education Impact Statement. Verification of disabilities could be done by GPs from last year, and a prioritisation of students eligible for both DARE and HEAR.
- After a review of the 2016 changes, some more adjustments have been made
- If applying on the basis of a specific learning difficulty, psychological assessment reports can not be of any age, however, attainment scores (whether from school or psychologist) must be from after 1 Feb 2015.
- Development Coordination Disorders are no longer required to submit a full pyscho-educational report from the previous 3 years – they can by of any ange.
- GPs can now complete the confirmation of diagnosis.
- Instead of a statement there is now an ‘Educational Impact Statement checklist’ that is done by the person applying alongside their teacher
- The school section of the Education Impact Statement has been reduced, which the Scheme says will make it easier for schools to complete and for parents and applicants to understand.
- Applicants don’t need to include previous schools if they have changed secondary school (unless their current school is unable to capture the impact of the disability).
- There is a more comprehensive teachers manual.
To get precise and exact information and explanation of the changes you can download or read a document called ‘Important Changes to DARE 2017 by clicking HERE
The DARE Handbook 2017
The DARE Information leaflet 2017
The HEAR information Leaflet 2017
The HEAR Handbook 2017
Its a familiar cry – “There’s nothing for young people to do in this town”. Sometimes you have to look hard to find things to do, sometimes less so. In the case of Newtownmountkennedy, local young people set out to find out what was available and to tell everyone about it. YouthSpin helped out.
Newtown has a Local Education Committee which works closely with parents, the wider parish, the school and the community generally. After discussion with parents and some young people about the difficulties in finding fun things to do, they set about producing a directory listing local and nearby service.
Some young people did the research, finding out what was there, when it was on, and how people found out about it. Once the information was gathered YouthSpin helped put it together as a directory. The local primary school held an art competition to generate some colour to divide the section, and a photo of the mural in the youth centre was used as a cover.
The directory was eventually divided into 3 sections Services for Children and Young People in Newtownmountkennedy, Services for Children and Young people near Newtownmountkennedy, and Other Services (to provide for older residents of the town).
We launched to directory last week, with local councillor Daire Nolan, himself a young person in his early 20’s, doing the honours.
We like the finished product and hope you and others will find it useful. Please feel free to spread the word about the directory. Hard copies are available through different outlets in Newtown, and will be available to download from the school website.
YouthSpin has also made it available for download below.
Click here to download the Newtown Directoryl