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STUDENTS of all ages who may struggle financially to access or stay in third level education and training programmes will be supported through a new bursary launched by the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) in Clare.

Last year, Clare SVP spent almost €60,000 helping individuals and families. Through the bursary, SVP assisted students needing to pay for accommodation, food, books and IT where the student grant did not cover their full costs and where their families did not have any savings or spare resources to help them.

Assistance was also provided to persons paying for equipment and exam fees to participate on training courses.

Others to benefit from the bursary included a lone parent who was undertaking a part time degree course that allowed them to balance their family commitments and seek out new employment opportunities and also a student in Direct Provision with transport costs, the person had to undertake three separate bus journeys to do an access course and they have since gone on to a third level course full time.

Denis Carty, SVP Clare Area Council President stated, “SVP recognises the importance of education at all levels. However, for many people accessibility and affordability are real barriers to obtaining a third level education and training. In the last few years, Clare SVP has dealt will many students from different backgrounds whose grant payments are simply not enough to cover accommodation costs, let alone the addition costs of food, travel and books. This had been made worse by the current rental and cost of living crises”.

Recent research by TU Dublin has shown that Clare Students looking to study in Dublin could face costs of at least €13,305 while the maximum SUSI grant available is €6,115. Costs in nearer locations such as Limerick and Galway vary from €800 to €1,100 per month.

All recognised third level education and training programmes will be considered for funding, except postgraduate studies and private colleges. Students must demonstrate that they have applied for all available state funding or other grants. Information on other sources of funding is available on the Student Finance website. Bursary awards are dependent on funding availability.

For more information on how you can apply to the Clare SVP Education and Training Bursary Programme, contact SVP shop at 065 682 4188 or by email at StJosephs.Ennis@Svp.ie. An application form will be supplied, and applicants can expect to be interviewed by in person or by phone.

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