Student Support Act 2011

16.

Schemes of grants.

16.— (1) The Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, may make a scheme or schemes of grants.

(2) A scheme may:

( a) specify grants or classes of grants that may be awarded under it;

( b) specify a class or classes of applicants who may include dependent students, independent students, mature students, and tuition students;

( c) specify an awarding authority or classes of awarding authorities who shall perform functions conferred by or under this Act in relation to specified grants or classes of grants;

( d) specify criteria to be considered by an awarding authority in determining whether an applicant is a student of a particular class;

( e) specify criteria to be considered by an awarding authority in determining whether an applicant is eligible for a grant including the following:

(i) conditions to be complied with by an applicant, his or her parents, spouse, civil partner or cohabitant, as the case may be, in order that the applicant may be so eligible;

(ii) the manner in which the income of an applicant, his or her parents, spouse, civil partner or cohabitant, as the case may be, shall be determined;

( f) specify the amount of moneys to be provided to or on behalf of an applicant in respect of a grant for which he or she is eligible;

( g) specify conditions the continued compliance with which is required in order that an applicant shall remain eligible to receive a grant awarded to him or her;

( h) specify the period of time during which an applicant may receive a grant for which he or she is eligible;

( i) specify the period of time during which moneys shall be made available to fund a class of grants;

( j) provide for the manner in which an application for a grant is to be made and the information to be furnished by an applicant in relation thereto.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2)(a) or (b), in specifying a class or classes of applicants, or criteria to be considered in determining whether an applicant is a student of a particular class, the Minister shall have regard to the following matters or any of them, namely:

( a) the age of the applicant;

( b) his or her family or personal circumstances;

( c) whether he or she has family members who might reasonably be expected to support the applicant;

( d) whether he or she has been or is self supporting;

( e) whether or to what extent he or she has previously been in full-time education or employment;

( f) previous educational attainment of the applicant;

( g) any other matters which in the opinion of the Minister are proper matters to be taken into account having regard to the resources available and the objective of enabling persons to attend courses of higher or further education.

(4) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), criteria that may be specified by the Minister in a scheme as criteria to be considered by an awarding authority in order that it may determine whether an applicant is eligible for a grant, may include, but shall not be limited to—

( a) as respects income:

(i) income limits which, if an applicant is in receipt of income that exceeds the limit specified, then, he or she is not eligible for a grant;

(ii) requiring, where the applicant is a dependent student, that the income of the applicant and his or her parents, as appropriate, shall be taken into account in calculating whether the limit specified is exceeded;

(iii) requiring, where the applicant is an independent student, that the income of the applicant and his or her spouse, civil partner or cohabitant, as appropriate, shall be taken into account in calculating whether the limit specified is exceeded;

(iv) the proportion or type of income of an applicant, his or her parents, spouse, civil partner or cohabitant, as appropriate, to be considered by the awarding authority in calculating whether the limit specified is exceeded (and that proportion or type of income shall be called, in a scheme, “reckonable income”);

(v) requiring, when specifying income limits, that reckonable income may be taken to include means or a proportion of means of an applicant, his or her parents or spouse, civil partner or cohabitant, as appropriate;

(vi) where the parents of a dependent student or other dependent children reside in separate households, the manner in which and purposes for which account shall be taken of arrangements in place relating to the dependent student or other dependent children;

(vii) requiring, as a condition of receiving a grant that an applicant is in receipt of a benefit or services provided by a Minister of the Government, a local authority, the Health Service Executive or the holder of any office or a body established—

(I) by or under any enactment (other than the Companies Acts), or

(II) under the Companies Acts in pursuance of powers conferred by or under any other enactment,

and financed wholly or partly by means of moneys provided, or loans made or guaranteed, by a Minister of the Government or the issue of shares held by or on behalf of a Minister of the Government or a subsidiary of any such body;

( b) whether the applicant is a student in progression;

( c) whether the applicant is already in receipt of or likely to receive funding, an award or stipend, for the purposes of assisting him or her in pursuing his or her education;

( d) whether the applicant is already in receipt of or likely to receive funding from a state other than the State under the law of that state which provides for payments to students that correspond to grants;

( e) previous academic attainment of the applicant;

( f) previous attendance by the applicant on higher or further education courses including, (but not limited to) approved courses;

( g) whether the applicant is an economically or socially disadvantaged person, a person who has a disability or a person from a section of society that is significantly under represented in the student body;

( h) whether the applicant wishes to attend a course that has been identified as necessary for the development of skills and knowledge in sectors of the economy or employment identified as requiring such development by such person who has an interest or expertise in educational matters or the development of skills and knowledge as the Minister considers appropriate to consult in that behalf;

( i) any other criteria recommended to be specified by the Minister pursuant to advice received by the Minister from such person who has an interest or expertise in educational matters as the Minister considers appropriate to consult for that advice; and

( j) any other criteria which in the opinion of the Minister are proper matters to be taken into account having regard to the resources available and the objective of enabling persons to attend courses of higher or further education.

(5) The Minister may specify, in the scheme concerned, criteria additional to criteria referred to in subsection (3) or (4) to be considered by an awarding authority in order that it may determine whether an applicant is eligible for a grant to attend an approved course prescribed under section 8(3) , and the criteria may include all or any of the following:

( a) the employment status of the applicant, including the level of his or her remuneration or that he or she—

(i) has involuntarily been made redundant,

(ii) is involuntarily unemployed, or

(iii) has involuntarily had his or her working hours reduced;

( b) the inability of the applicant to attend higher education on a full-time basis by virtue of being wholly or mainly responsible for the care of a person requiring full-time care and attention;

( c) that the applicant suffers from a disability (within the meaning of the Disability Act 2005) and by reason of the disability is unable to attend higher education on a full-time basis;

( d) that the applicant has suffered educational disadvantage;

( e) the previous academic attainment of the applicant including previous pursuit of third level education;

( f) any other matters which in the opinion of the Minister are proper matters to be taken into account having regard to the resources available and the objective of enabling persons to attend courses of higher education.

(6) For the purposes of specifying criteria or providing for matters to be specified or provided for under subsection (2) , (3) , (4) or (5) different criteria may be specified or matters provided for by the Minister as respects different classes of grants or applicants.

(7) ( a) In this section “dependent child” means a child, including a foster child, of a person referred to in paragraph (b) which child, on a day to be prescribed—

(i) has not attained the age of 16 years, or

(ii) has attained the age of 16 years or more, resides with a person referred to in paragraph (b), and

(I) is pursuing a full-time course of education, or

(II) is certified by a registered medical practitioner (within the meaning of section 2 of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007) as being permanently unfit to work by reason of a medical condition.

( b) A dependent child shall be the child of and, shall reside with one or, as the case may be, more than one of the following:

(i) an independent student;

(ii) the spouse of an independent student;

(iii) a dependent student;

(iv) one parent or both parents of the dependent student.

( c) A day prescribed for the purposes of paragraph (a) shall be a day that is not earlier than 12 months before the day on which a student, in relation to whose application for a grant a dependent child is relevant, commences a year of study in any year at an approved course.

Annotations:

Editorial Notes:

E47

Power pursuant to section exercised (11.04.2019) by Student Grant Scheme 2019 (S.I. No. 152 of 2019), in effect as per art. 2(1).

E48

Power pursuant to section exercised (28.03.2018) by Student Grant Scheme 2018 (S.I. No. 100 of 2018), in effect as per art. 2(1).

E49

Power pursuant to section exercised (31.03.2017) by Student Grant Scheme 2017 (S.I. No. 125 of 2017), in effect as per art. 2(1).

E50

Power pursuant to section exercised (7.04.2016) by Student Grant Scheme 2016 (S.I. No. 153 of 2016), in effect as per art. 2(1).

E51

Power pursuant to section exercised (21.07.2015) by Student Grant (Amendment) Scheme 2015 (S.I. No. 323 of 2015).

E52

Power pursuant to section exercised (22.04.2015) by Student Grant Scheme 2015 (S.I. No. 155 of 2015), in effect as per art. 2(1).

E53

Power pursuant to section exercised (7.05.2014) by Student Grant Scheme 2014 (S.I. No. 201 of 2014), in effect as per art. 2(1).

E54

Power pursuant to section exercised (14.05.2013) by Student Grant Scheme 2013 (S.I. No. 159 of 2013), in effect as per art. art. 2(1).

E55

Power pursuant to section exercised (5.06.2012) by Student Grant Scheme 2012 (S.I. No. 189 of 2012), in effect as per art. art. 2(1).

E56

Power pursuant to section exercised (1.01.2012) by Student Grant (Amendment) Scheme 2011 (S.I. No. 740 of 2011), in effect as per art. art. 2.

E57

Power pursuant to section exercised (27.06.2011) by Student Grant Scheme 2011 (S.I. No. 305 of 2011), in effect as per art. art. 2(1).