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Many students in Carrigtwohill, Cobh, Fermoy, Mallow & Midleton affected

Students from Carrigtwohill, Cobh, Fermoy, Mallow and Midleton who are receiving grants to attend third level courses in Cork could lose out due to the budget says Cork East Fine Gael TD David Stanton.

“I am surprised that the changes introduced by the Government to the third level maintenance grant scheme have not attracted more media attention. In changing the qualifying criteria for the non-adjacent grant, many qualifying students will see their grant rate dramatically reduced. Students will now only qualify for the non-adjacent rate if they live more than 45 kms from their college whereas before it was 24 kms.

“I am very concerned that a large number of local students living in East and North Cork, and attending third level institutions in Cork city, will see their grant payments dramatically reduced. For example, this year the non-adjacent rate for a full maintenance grant was €3,250. The adjacent rate however was just €1,300, almost €2,000 per annum less”, noted Deputy Stanton

“It gets worse for students however. Despite cutting the maintenance grant rate by 5% in 2010, a further cut of 4% will be imposed on students in 2011. On top of this cut, the Government are increasing third level registration fees from €1,500 to €2,000 per year.

“These cuts will have a very damaging effect on many local students, perhaps forcing them to travel to third level education outside of the Cork area. For a student to qualify for a maintenance grant their family income must be low to begin with. These cuts may mean third level education is no longer a viable option many young people.