Jerry Buttimer, Fine Gael TD for Cork South Central, has welcomed the announcement that there will be a single unified student grant scheme for the 2011/12 academic year. Deputy Buttimer said that “the system had been complicated with students having to differentiate between four different grant schemes; this will make it easier for students to apply for grants. There will be even further changes next year when it is planned to have a single grant awarding body operational.
Nationally almost 38,000 students, more than half of the expected number of applications, will be able to apply online for their grant. Cork students should be able to apply online using grantsonline.ie. Both Cork City and Cork County Councils are participating in the online application facility and so two are both Cork VECs.
Deputy Buttimer has also urged students to apply as soon as possible for their grants. He said “students who may qualify for a grant should apply as soon as possible to ensure that forms are correctly completed. This will prevent log jams in the system or delays to decisions. Previously, those who wait until very late in the process, frequently only after a CAO offer, faced delayed decisions.
“I also encourage students to make sure that they fully complete the application form. In some areas up to 60% of applications are returned because they are not fully completed, they are inaccurately completed or don’t have the necessary supporting documentation.
“The online system will simplify the process of completing forms and reduce the possibility of errors. This will help speed up the entire system and ensure that students get decisions about their applications as quickly as possible.”