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Local Senator writes to Minister Harris calling for review into SUSI grant eligibility criteria

Senator Fiona O’Loughlin has written to the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science calling for an urgent review of SUSI eligibility criteria.

The Kildare Senator has written to Minister Harris after she was contacted by a number of constituents.

They are struggling to access funding under the current eligibility criteria.

Senator O’Loughlin said: “I have been contacted by a number of students who are struggling to access any funding under the current SUSI eligibility criteria.

“Ensuring universal access to education is something I am passionate about.

“I want to see everyone being afforded the same opportunities and receiving the highest quality of education possible.”

Senator O’Loughlin says that the current SUSI system does not support students adequately.

She said: “If we want our young people, and our mature students to flourish within our education system, then we need to support them. I do not believe the current SUSI income criteria does that sufficiently.

“We need to raise the income thresholds to reflect the significant increase in the cost of living over the last number of years. Providing sufficient financial supports is vitally important, and we need to make sure that those who need financial support, get it.”

“The Programme for Government commits to a review of SUSI eligibility criteria, adjacency rates and postgraduate grant supports. I understand that this is currently in progress, but we need to see this being expedited.”

She concluded “The financial circumstances of your household should not be a factor in the quality of education that you receive.

“The current income thresholds need to reflect reality, and the reality is that many families who do not currently qualify need extra financial support.”

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.