Financial Support for Students
VTOS – Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme
The college has three CORE VTOS Courses which are provided free of charge to eligible learners;
- IT Support Technician
- Network Support & Administration
- Beauty Therapy Specialist with Start your own Business.
VTOS gives unemployed adults the opportunity to return to full-time education without losing their Social Protection benefits. To qualify for VTOS you must be over 21, in receipt of a Social Protection payment / Dependent Spouse / Signing for credits for at least six months or newly made redundant. In certain circumstances remaining VTOS places are made available to learners on other full time courses.
For further information please enquire at the college or ask at the Open Day or this link to the relevant DSP website page.
BTEA – Back to Education Allowance
The Dept. of Social Protection run a range of second chance education programmes to help unemployed people, lone parents and people with disabilities improve their skills and qualifications. People qualify for BTEA in various ways, depending on the Social Protection payment, age and circumstances. If you wish to take up a full time course and retain your Social Protection entitlements you may qualify for the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA). Applications for BTEA are made through your local Social Protection Office.
SUSI PLC Grants
Full time students on low income/certain Social Protection payments may be eligible for a PLC Grant. These grants are means tested. The Grant application process commences from July; early application is advised. There will be a PLC Grant information meeting in the college following interviews in May (information on date and time will be issued at interviews).
BTEI – Back to Education Initiative
All of our part-time courses are run under the Back to Education Initiative (BTEI). Courses may be provided free of charge to eligible unemployed students in receipt of Social Protection payments/Medical Card holders or early school leavers. Other students are required to pay fees.
Subsidised Childcare (CETS)
The CETS Scheme is designed to support low income parents on VTOS, BTEI and BTEA courses. Parents pay a reduced fee for childcare. Full-time, part-time and after-school places are available. Parents need to provide the childcare service with a letter of eligibility from the course co-ordinator.
Information provided is intended as a general guide, students should carefully assess all supports available to ascertain which is most suited to their particular needs.
Social Protection recipients should always seek permission from the Department of Social Protection prior to participating in any course of education to ensure their payment and any secondary benefits e.g. Rent Allowance won’t be affected.