Education Grants Scheme Must be Faster - Smith

Local Fianna Fáil Cllr. Michael Smith has welcomed confirmation that the new online system for student grants is now live. Michael has said the new system, known as SUSI, must have the back-up resources to speed up the processing and issuing of grant payments.

Local Fianna Fáil Cllr. Michael Smith has welcomed confirmation that the new online system for student grants is now live. Michael has said the new system, known as SUSI, must have the back-up resources to speed up the processing and issuing of grant payments.

According to Cllr. Smith, “The introduction of this system builds on the work done by the last government in consolidating the student grant schemes. The Student Support Bill 2011 was one of the last pieces of legislation passed by the previous government, paving the way for major improvements in the student grant system.”

“I strongly welcome today’s announcement. The new centralised online system has the potential to dramatically improve the service provided to students. The fact that a lot of the application information will be collected online should increase efficiency and decrease the potential for incomplete applications. However, it is crucial that the students themselves see the benefit of this.

“We have seen problems in the past with protracted delays in the issuing of grants, causing real hardship for students as they prepare for term time. Last year thousands of students experienced long delays with payments and it left many of them in serious difficulty.

“This new system must cut out all delays and provide certainty to students in relation to the receipt of payments. The online system will do much of this administrative work by collecting most of the data from students. However, supporting papers will still have to be submitted by applicants and checked manually by staff. It is vital that this aspect of the system is as efficient as possible in order to avoid delays in payments.

“I would encourage students to check out www.studentfinance.ie<http://www.studentfinance.ie/> and apply as early as they can,” said Cllr. Smith