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    Grants: (053) 9180033
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Financial Support for Full time education

County Wexford VEC » Adult Education Guidance » Support »Financial Support for Full time education

There are support schemes for Adults intending to go on to full time
further education and third-level education. These schemes include the:

1     Higher Education Grants Scheme

2     Vocational Education Committees' Scholarship Scheme
       Third Level Maintenance Grants Scheme for Trainees
       Maintenance Grants Scheme for Students Attending Post-Leaving Certificate Courses.

    Back to Education Allowance

***Changes in Budget 2010
Budget 2010, which was announced on 9 December 2009, introduces several changes to student support schemes.

• Student grants and scholarships will be reduced by 5%.This reduction will be implemented to all existing and new
  grant-holders from January 2010.
• Support under the Millennium Partnership Scheme is being withdrawn.
• Certain categories of people who are getting Back to Education Allowance will not be eligible for student support grants.
  However, they will still not have to pay college fees or student support charges. For 3rd level they will apply for a registration  grant from either Wexford County Council or Co. Wexford VEC.
• People on Post-Leaving Certificate courses who are getting VTOS allowances will also be ineligible for student support
  grants. Again, they will still not have to pay college fees or student support charges.” 

This information has been downloaded  from Citizens Information website.

1. HIGHER EDUCATION GRANTS 20010/2011 - General Information

The Higher Education Grants Scheme  is published by the Department of Education and Science.    The Scheme sets out the criteria for entitlement to a grant, including income thresholds and award levels.
It is available for download from this site. Wexford County Council deal only with applications for:-

     Full Time Degree (Undergraduate) Courses
     Level 8 Full Time Postgraduate Courses

Please note that Certificate and Diploma courses are dealt with by the County Wexford V.E.C.,
Ardcavan Business Park, Ardcavan, Wexford. 053 9180033. email .

Part-Time and Correspondence Courses are not covered under the Higher Education Grants Scheme.

How to Contact Us:

If you require further information about the Higher Education Grants Scheme for 2010/2011
you can contact the Higher Education Grants Section on (053)9176393 (053)9176587 or (053)9176296.

Alternatively if you wish to speak to someone in person, you may call to Higher Education Grants office,
Wexford County Council, Chelsea House, Distillery Road, Wexford, during the hours
9.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. - 5.00 p.m., Monday - Friday (excluding bank holidays).

Application forms are available from this website or by phoning or calling to the office
during opening hours.   Forms are also available from the District Offices in Enniscorthy,
Gorey and New Ross and main Reception in County Hall, Wexford.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 31st August 2010.

For interactive Application form visit

Social Welfare Statement

This can be requested on line by visiting , go to Online services and then request statement.  


2     Vocational Education Committees' Scholarship Scheme
       Third Level Maintenance Grants Scheme for Trainees
       Maintenance Grants Scheme for Students Attending Post-Leaving Certificate Courses.

This grant applies if a student’s choice is within the VEC PLC/College of Further Education sector or is a Higher Certificate/Ordinary Degree course in the IT sector

The maintenance grant is a means tested payment, available for each year of the course, to people attending approved post leaving certificate and third level education courses.  It is designed to cover any additional costs e.g. accommodation, books, travel, childcare etc.

A variety of eligibility requirements include family income in the tax year previous to starting the course, residency status and first time entry to the particular education level.

EU Nationals/Refugees/Persons granted family reunification can apply.  
For further information and application forms please contact:
• Co Wexford VEC 053 9180033 /grants/• Email grants:-
• – Department of Education or

Social Welfare Statement

This can be requested on line by visiting , go to Online services and then request statement

Special Rates of Maintenance Grants for Disadvantaged Students

This fund is aimed at tackling under-representation by disadvantaged students in third level education.  Eligibility is determined by reference to an income threshold and receipt of a long-term social welfare payment.
For further information and application forms please contact:
• Co Wexford VEC 053 9180033
• Wexford County Council 053 9176296 / 053 9176393

 3.   Back To Education Allowance
The Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) is a scheme whereby the Department of Social and Family Affairs allows those in receipt of certain payments to retain them (sometimes at the maximum rate of that payment) while returning full time to an approved second or third level course of education.

BTEA information booklets and application forms are available from:
•  or
• Department of Social & Family Affairs Lo-call Leaflet request line at 1890 20 23 25
• Local Department of Social & Family Affairs Office – Wexford               (053 9165400)

Jobs Facilitator
If you are receiving a payment from the Department of Social and Family Affairs and would like to do a course which would increase your employability but which is not or is insufficiently covered by public education funds, you can apply to the Jobs Facilitator at your local Department of Social and Family Affairs Office for assistance with the costs.  You probably will need to make an appointment and each request is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

 -    Department of Social & Family Affairs Lo-call Leaflet request line at 1890 20 23 25
-     Local Department of Social & Family Affairs Office – Wexford               (053 9165400)


Financial supports for all

Low Fees or no fees.

 A considerable range of educational opportunities, mostly full time, are subsidised by the government leading to no fee or low fees for the participant.  Examples of such education opportunities are:

  • VEC Adult Education Service – Adult Basic Education Programmes, BTEI, Community Education and VTOS. 
  • Post Leaving Certificate/Institutes of Further Education Courses, (A registration fee is charged by some centres).
  • Courses provided by the State Training Agencies e.g., Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Coillte, Crafts Council of Ireland, FAS,
         Failte Ireland,Teagasc.
  • Courses run by community groups
    Check with your local VEC Adult Educational Guidance Service for information on low fees or no fee courses.

Higher Education Institution Access Initiative
– Student Assistance Fund -

The Student Assistance Fund exists to support students experiencing severe financial difficulty.  The fund is available in certain Higher Education Institutions to all registered students.  You should contact the Access Officer or Mature Student Officer (if you are over 23 years of age) in the college, which you are attending, if you are having difficulty in covering your costs.

Fund for students with disabilities
This fund aims to assist students with disabilities in third level institutions and Post Leaving Certificate Colleges to participate in further and higher education.  Grants are provided for students who have sensory, physical and/or communicative disabilities.

Applications for funding should be made by the individual student through their third level Institution/Post Leaving Certificate College.  Students are advised to contact the Access/Disability officer in their institution, or the Principal in their PLC College.

Student Assistance Fund for Third Level Institutions
The objective of this Fund is to assist students in a sensitive and compassionate manner who might otherwise, because of financial reasons, suffer severe hardship or be unable to continue their third level studies.

Applications for funding should be made by the individual student to the Access/Disability officer in their institution.  The Fund is administered on a confidential and discretionary basis.

Wexford Local Development
Wexford Local Development promote social inclusion through the development of disadvantaged areas and communities.  One of the aims of partnership companies is to assist adults on low incomes to participate in education and training.  It is advisable to check if your local partnership company provides supports for adults returning to education. Contact details for Wexford Local Development can be found at or Wexford Local Development, Mill Park Road, Enniscorthy (Tel. 053 9237033)  or Mallin Street, Cornmarket, Wexford  Tel: 053 9155800, .

Bank of Ireland Millennium Trust Fund
The Bank of Ireland Millennium Scholars Trust has been established to give opportunities to people who face economic or other barriers which prevent them from reaching their full potential through further study.  Scholarships are available across a wide range of disciplines.  There is no upper age limit.
For further information contact Bank of Ireland Millennium fund on (01) 4060500. Email :   

Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)
VTOS is operated through the VEC for those over 21 and on Social Welfare payments for at least 6 months (e.g. Unemployment Assistance, One Parent Family Payment/disability allowance). You can study for qualifications such as Junior/ Leaving Cert., Post-Leaving Cert (PLC), FETAC & ECDL and other courses at venues all over Wexford county.  Your usual Social Welfare Payment continues, plus you get a small lunch allowance and free books & materials. You may be entitled to travel allowance and/or extra weekly payment, and limited childcare support is also available.

EU Nationals/Refugees/Persons granted family reunification/Stamp 4/Leave to remain/Parentage of Irish citizen children can apply. For further information please cther visit or contact:

VTOS Bunclody (053 9377326)                        

 VTOS Enniscorthy (053 9237224)  

VTOS Gorey (053 9421791)              

VTOS New Ross (051 425034)       

 VTOS Wexford (053 9146188)          


FAS may fund towards return to work courses for people who have been out of the work place for a long time. These courses mostly concentrate on skills training.

Enniscorthy FAS Service, Bridgepoint, Enniscorthy, 053 9239300,

New Ross FAS Service, Park House, Victoria Place, New Ross, 051 420862. Every Tuesday 10-1

Wexford FAS Service, St Peters Square, 053 9123126.

Free Fees Initiative
Under this initiative tuition fees for eligible students attending approved third level courses are paid for.
Eligible Students:
(a) are first time undergraduates;  and
(b) hold EU nationality or official refugee status and have been ordinarily resident in an EU Member State for at least three of the five years preceding their entry to an approved third level course.

The Education(Former Residents of Certain Institutions for Children) Finance Board

These grants are open to all former residents of the institutions listed in the Residential Institutions Redress Act, 2002 and to their spouse, their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, stepsons and stepdaughters (relatives). For further information contact the Education Finance Board Floor 3 Frederick Court 24/27 North Frederick Street, Dublin 1. Within Ireland Tel. 1890 742 742, Outside Ireland 00353 1 8745708.

Support Services

Money Advice and Budgeting Service.
If you are finding it difficult to manage financially, whether due to course costs or for other reasons, it is a good idea to seek the advice of your local Money Advice and Budgeting Service. For general information on Wexford MABS, 41 North Main Street, Wexford. 053 9121504

Credit Unions
Local branches have a lottery for Scholarship places in third level. Contact your local Credit Union in September for application form

Childcare Supports

The Adult Educational Guidance Service also have a ‘Childcare Supports’ fact sheet – please ask for a copy to find out more about financial assistance towards childcare costs for adults returning to education.

The area of financial supports for adults returning to education is complex. New financial supports may arise under temporarily funded projects.  Eligibility requirements and payment rates for existing grants can change.  It is a good after you have done your research, using our pointers above, to double check with the funding agency that is relevant to your situation.

Contact details/Websites for Relevant Education Information            Wexford VEC, Education and Grant                               Irish National Organisation for the   
                                                      unemployed                               State Training and Employment authority                Failte Ireland National Agencies                    Department of Education & Science                             National Centre for Guidance in Education                              National Qualifications Authority of Ireland                               Central Applications Office                              NALA National Adult Literacy Agency    Citizen Information Centres     Immigrant Council of Ireland                       National Education database. Information                                                      
                                                     and contact addresses for all grant agencies.         Source of information in relation to
                                                           financial support



 Although every effort is made to ensure that the information contained on this information sheet is accurate it is essential.
 readers should check with the appropriate organisations for the latest information.  Co. Wexford AEGS accepts no
 responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained in this document or for any actions arising from its use