Sunday, 20 August, 2017

What Next : What financial supports are available?

Third level funding


The Free Fees Initiative

This is a state sponsored scheme. The state pays for the tuition fees of eligible students who are attending full-time third level education for the first time. Learners must be taking a full-time course that is more than two years in duration and they must be an EU national. You will have to pay a Student Contribution Fee (formerly the Registration Fee) to the institution you plan to attend before commencing, if you don't qualify for a maintenance grant. Prospective learners should contact the institution to see how much this costs. Prospective adult learners from outside of Ireland should visit  to find out if they meet the eligibility criteria.

The Free Fees Initiative only applies to full time courses, if you intend taking a degree part time, then you are currently required to pay full fees.

The Student Contribution Fee (formerly the Student Registration Fee)

If you are paying full fees, you will also have to pay the Student Contribution fee, the cost of which varies depending on the institution. If you are deemed eligible for the Back to Education Allowance, then the government may meet the costs of the student contribution fee on your behalf. In order for this to happen, you must submit an application through the relevant students grant scheme. For more information visit:

The student contribution for the academic year 2013-2014 is approximately €2,500 but varies depending on the insitution so you should check with them directly. It is expected to rise to €2,750 in 2014-2015 and €3,000 in 2015-2016. 

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Last Updated: 05/03/2014 ^ back to top