Increase in student grant welcomed

Roscommon students will be among the 56,000 third level students throughout the country who will receive a 10 percent increase in their higher and further education grants from September next, according to Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/ South Leitrim, Michael Finneran. ‘This increase announced by Education Minister, Mary Hanafin, will mean an increase in the maximum rate of ordinary grant to €3,420 for 2007/08,’ said Deputy Finneran. ‘Students who qualify will also have the student service charge paid on   their behalf. In addition, more than 12,500 students in receipt of the Special Rate of maintenance grant will benefit from an even more substantial increase of over 14 percent, with the maximum rate for 2007/08 increasing to €6,690. ‘I am delighted that this increase has been introduced. Young people trying to put themselves through third level education need every assistance possible. ‘As it stands many young people have to work their way through college. This can be a very worthwhile experience for most students, but some find that the pressure to finance their college costs overshadows their third level learning experience. This increase will go some way towards lessening that burden for those who are most in need of assistance,’ he said.