By John McAuliffe and Max Ryan
Grant money issued to third-level students by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) has nearly quadrupled in the last four years, according to recently released figures.
The student grants body has paid over €280 million in grant money so far this year, compared to the €72.1 million it paid in its debut year in 2012.
The communications manager for SUSI, Graham Doyle, explained why there has been an increase each year since 2012.
He said: “When we first came in in 2012, we only took new applications beginning year one. In year two, we had new applications as well as the original applications from the first year who were renewing and going into year two.
According to Doyle, this increase, in large part, is down to these renewal applications.
“Every year since then it’s progressed. Most courses are four-year courses now so that’s why we had the highest amount. We had one year of new applications and years of renewals.
“Our new applications year on year have stayed relatively the same (around 65,000) and obviously our renewals have grown each year, that’s why there has been an increase in expenditure.”
SUSI approved 83,970 applications in the last academic year with students from Dublin accounting for just under 20% of that number.