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



HEAR & DARE schemes 2017


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

Further reading
The DARE Handbook 2017

The DARE Information leaflet 2017

The HEAR information Leaflet 2017

The HEAR Handbook 2017

Our tips for better studying

study tips-page-001

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

Study Tips Poster 1

How to Study Poster

Study Tips poster 2