Sunday, August 25, 2013

O' Connell: Student grant hold up is very worrying

Many New Ross students are living in fear and on the financial breaking point because there third level grants have not been processed on time according to a local Sinn Féin representative.  Oisin O' Connell, a former president of the International Students Association, said that he had been approached by students who were already considering dropping out due to the huge financial worry which has been placed on them and their families by these processing delays.

"Recently the Irish League of Credit Unions released research which showed that on average it is costing parents nearly €1,000 a month to put their children through college," Mr O' Connell said.  "It is increasingly difficult for students to find part time employment that suits there hours out of study and this leaves them with no choice but to get help from their families."

"The slow processing of student grants again this year is very worrying for students and parents alike.  We all remember the SUSI grant fiasco last year and the horror stories of students dropping out because they couldn't afford food and rent.  It is imperative that we do not witness a repeat of that this year.  These grants need to be processed faster and students should not be waiting until their second term to receive this funding."

"I would also support the call from the Union of Students in Ireland on the government to prevent any cuts to the student maintenance grant in budget 2014.  We need to protect our students welfare and ensure that they can complete their selected courses without being forced to drop out due to financial considerations if we are to build a smart economy that can once again compete on the global stage." 

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