There is some relief this afternoon for thousands of students around the country facing delays in third level grant payments in the Autumn, according to Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Education, Senator Averil Power.
 
Following pressure from Fianna Fáil last week, the Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has finally published the details of the third level grant scheme for 2011/2012.
 
Welcoming the news, Senator Power said: “I am relieved to see that Minister Quinn has finally confirmed the third level grant scheme for next year. Thousands of students around the country were getting increasingly nervous by the long delays in opening the application process, facing the possibility that they may not be able to meet their rent, travel and education expenses in September.
 
“Last year, the grant scheme was announced and applications made available by 24th May, so we are already well behind this year. Local authorities and VECs have lost more than four weeks of processing time due to the Minister’s long-fingering of this issue.
 
“I am urging students to apply for their grants as soon as possible and not to wait until the closing date. The earlier a student applies the better the chance they should have of getting paid on time. I also want the Minister to ensure that local authorities and VECs have adequate staff numbers to process the applications in time.”