The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has reminded farm families that the deadline to apply for higher education supports is approaching.

IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Committee chair Alice Doyle said that farm families should be aware of changes of changes that have been made to the Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) education grants.

The priority closing dates for the SUSI grant are Thursday, June 9, 2022 for grant renewal applications and Thursday, July 7, 2022 for new grant applications.

“Many students from farm families and in rural areas qualify,” Doyle noted.

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As part of the measures outlined in Budget 2022, student maintenance grants increased by €200, while the income threshold for students to qualify for grants also increased by €1,000.

“The increase in the income threshold and the reduction in the distance for the higher non-adjacent student grant from 45km to 30km means more families can access support and more students will qualify this year,” the IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Committee chair explained.

For the 2022/23 academic year, a student’s application will be assessed on gross income from all sources for the period of January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021.

According to the SUSI website, when it comes to farm family applications any income tax adjustment for farm stock relief is disregarded.

It also notes that farming accounts are sometimes averaged over a three-year period.

However, it is important for farming families to note that SUSI will only look at the income in the relevant year – in this case 2021.