An extra 2,600 prospective students for the upcoming academic year have applied for financial aid via the SUSI grant.
Over 89,000 applications have been received for the grant, with Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris confirming that the increase in numbers is down to COVID-19.
“The main driver behind the increase is Covid.
“Many people have found themselves on hard times in recent weeks and months as a result of this pandemic.
“I really would encourage people to engage with SUSI to get their documents in, to ensure their application is processed as soon as possible.
“SUSI has also confirmed to my department that despite the change in dates for CAO offers, there will still be four maintenance payments of the grant before Christmas.
“I hope this will go a long way to helping students in the new academic year, despite the challenges Covid brings.”
SUSI has also informed the Department of Further and Higher Education that it expects to see more applications in the coming weeks, he added. Over 72,000 applications have already been processed by the authority.
SUSI offers funding to eligible students, from school leavers to mature students returning to education, in approved full time third level courses.
Last year, almost 96,000 applications were received with over 76,000 students awarded funding.
You can discover if you're eligible to be in receipt of the SUSI grant here.