Funding for Disabled Students

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The best things in life may be free but this optimism does not, unfortunately, extend to third level education. The burden of financing a college career is a heavy one and thankfully there are a number of options available to lighten the load…Have a look to see if any can be of assistance to you. . .

European Social Fund (ESF) for Students with a Disability

This fund is administered by the National Access Office on behalf of the Department of Education and Science. It’s available to both undergraduate and postgraduate disable students. The fund intends to cover educational support expenses such as note-takers or personal assistants, etc; it is not available for spending on medical or book costs. Any equipment provided under the fund remains the property of the 3rd Level Institution. To apply you should contact your Disability/Access Officer in your college.

Back to Education Allowance (BTEA)

The BTEA is provided by the Department of Social and Family Affairs and is only available to those over the age of 21 who are in receipt of disability benefitIt includes payment of full-time education; as well as higher diploma and a postgraduate diploma in primary education. The current rate given is €94. 20 per week; this amount is subject to budget increases so it can fluctuate; there is also a one-off payment of €254 for books.

Disability Allowance

This is allocated on a weekly basis; and is given on the basis of income being below a certain level. Potential applicants must be between 16 and 66; and be subject to a medical and means test. The maximum rate (also affected by budget increases) is €108. 56.

Student Assistance Fund

This is delegated by the Department of Education and Science under the HEA; you should contact your Disability/Access Officer to make an application. Bank of Ireland Millennium Scholarship FundThis scholarship is supplied by the NCI on behalf of Bank of Ireland; and will continue to be given on a yearly basis until 2010. It awards up to 60 scholarships a year to 3rd level students. It’s not solely intended for those with a disability; it’s also administered to those suffering from economic or financial hardship. Awards can be up to €5, 000 and can be used to contribute to education and living expenses.

Higher Education Grants for 3rd Level

Again, these are not specifically for those with disabilities. They are allocated by the local authorities and financed by the Department of Education and Science. They are disposed of through the use of means testing; i. e. it depends on the distance you live from the college in question; the amount given varies if you live within/outside a 15 mile radius. The grant provides for full fees payment and a maintenance allowance in addition to a one-off awards for those who receive under €13, 760 in income support annually. is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses at certificate, diploma and degree level as well as providing information about career paths and directions.
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