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Minister Harris announces details of €113 million cost of education package for university students

Minister Harris announces details of €113 million cost of education package for university students

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today announced further detail on the cost of education measures under Budget 2024.

A reduction of up to €1,000 in undergraduate fees is now being applied to all free fees eligible students’ accounts, reducing the cost of college for 96,000 students by up to 33%.

Students - or their families - who have paid the full student contribution of €3,000 are being refunded. They have been asked to give their bank details to their higher education institution before the end of November to facilitate reimbursement of their €1,000 in December.

If bank details are not provided by the student, a credit will be applied to their account.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said:

"Budget 2024 introduced a series of measures to reduce the cost of education and put more money back in people's pockets.

"The most significant measure was the reduction of college fees of €1,000 for the second year in a row.

"Today, we set out how it will work. For the majority of students, there will be no action required. Fees will automatically reduce to €2,000 for all undergraduate students eligible for free fees.

"If you are paying in instalments - as many families do- your second instalment will be reduced by up to €1,000 at the start of the second term in 2024.

"If you paid in full, your college will refund you by the end of the year."

Minister Harris also confirmed families earning under €100,000 may also be eligible for a €500 student contribution grant. While applications have closed, students may be eligible to make a late application details are available on

In addition, Minister Harris announced details of the €17 million allocation for the Student Assistance Fund, which is a package aimed at assisting students with the cost of college. Earlier this year €440,000 was also provided to assist with emergency applications.

The funding can assist students with books and class materials, rent, childcare, and transport, among other things.

Speaking on the announcement of the funding, Mr Harris said:

“The Student Assistance Fund is an invaluable resource for third level students who are finding it difficult to make ends meet.

“The fund is there to assist with additional costs they may face over the coming months. It is completely confidential and accessible through the Access Offices in higher education colleges.

“It can help with the cost of college on a variety of fronts.”

Next year, maintenance grants will increase and post-graduate supports will be brought back for the first time since the economic crash.

As announced last month, PhD researchers funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Irish Research Council will also receive a €3,000 increase in their stipend from January 2024.


Student Assistance Fund Allocation

InstitutionTotal Allocation September 2023 comprising general and part time allocationAdditional Cost of Living Allocation paid Nov 2023
Dublin City University577,517528,695
Maynooth University542,978506,593
University of Galway624,081558,054
Trinity College Dublin497,546461,278
University College Cork691,494602,451
University College Dublin768,377684,565
University of Limerick567,073516,042
Mary Immaculate College194,549173,741
National College of Art and Design44,92140,737
St. Angela's College58,47348,708
Technological University of the Shannon575,988527,979
Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology80,67272,418
Dundalk Institute of Technology226,426203,874
ATU Sligo331,772266,210
ATU Donegal294,945278,671
ATU Galway/ Mayo305,386284,811
Munster Technological University526,245468,588
TU Dublin1,083,862952,157
Marino Institute of Education46,11344,160
National College of Ireland97,70161,247
Pontifical College9,4497,217
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland10,71810,718