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Stop and ask the questions

In this area you will find the most topical and reoccurring question, I am responding to and you get the benefit of my advice for free! Send in your questions to and I will do my best to answer them. Please be assured any questions published will be kept anonymous.

Question of the week

Dear Delia,

Regarding University fees

My eldest is going to university this year. I am worried we might not get the SUSI grant due to my income! How much are University fees so I can prepare for the worst, while hoping for the best?!


This weeks Answer

Dear A.Parent,

The good news is most undergraduate students attending publicly funded third-level courses do not have to pay tuition fees. Under the terms of the Free Fees Initiative, the Department of Education and Skills pays the fees to the colleges instead. There is no separate application for the Free Fees Initiative. Your eligibility will be assessed on the basis of the information you give when applying for a college place.

To qualify for free fees, students must meet some basic criteria with regard to: ​

Residence and Nationality and Course requirements

The not so good news is this - If your income exceeds the SUSI grant threshold and you are deemed ineligible for a grant you will be liable for the ‘Student contribution’ fee. This is a separate annual charge payable to colleges for the costs of student services and examinations

The amount of the contribution varies from one institution to another. The maximum rate of the student contribution for the academic year 2018-2019 was €3,000.

More Detailed information is available on

For case specific information you can attend one my grant advice clinics on Thursdays at the Triskel Centre. Contact me to register your interest in attending

Kind regards,


Start tomorrow today

Delia Clarke

CareerS Guidance Counsellor,

Triskel Centre, 22 Lenaboy gardens,


Galway H91EHTS Tel: 0863046268 Facebook: Careers Guidance Counsellor,

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