Ind. Councillor for the Stranorlar Electoral Area, Cllr. Frank McBrearty, has urged all Third-level students wishing to apply for a higher and further education grant to do so early.

“It’s critical that all those wishing to make an application to SUSI’s online application, do so as early as possible. If it’s the case that you think you might qualify for assistance through the grant scheme, students shouldn’t wait until they have received their college offer, as this could result in a long delay in them receiving their grants and may cause difficulties when applicants start their courses.”

Cllr. McBrearty’s comments come as SUSI’s online application service is set to go live from today, Thursday.

While significant improvements to the site have been made this year to make it much more user friendly, Cllr. McBrearty has also called on the site administrator’s to do more to make the various details concerning eligibility criteria, as well as income assessment, more clear for applicants.

“As a Councillor, numerous students have contacted me with a number of queries which they have had in relation to their applications, but also as to how they will be assessed – this information must be communicated much more effectively with applicants when they make their submission online.”

The Independent Cllr. also believes that the Government need to do more in relation to the awarding of Special Rate Grants for disadvantaged students as they are consistently being ‘let down’ while trying to achieve their educational needs.

He concluded: “Education is the powerful weapon we can use to change the world.”

The Online Grant Application System is open from May 8th until August 1st.

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