Edge Hill University and SUSI – An Irish guide to applying for finance at Edge Hill

Satellite picture of Ireland and England.

Satellite picture of Ireland and England.

Before we begin I want to point out that this blog is intended for those applying for finance from Ireland (Republic of.). This is my first blog, and for good reason. Applying for finance is daunting at the best of time but try setting your heart on studying at a university only to be told ‘Oh, you will struggle with money because the student loan company wont give you maintenance”. That’s exactly what happened to me. But don’t worry, I am living proof that it is possible.

Student Loans CompanyLogo
Student Loans Company UK

So the first thing to do is not panic. If you have just been told that you wont get money from the SLC (Student Loans Company UK) ignore everything they have said. For a start you will get a fees loan from them, assuming you qualify, just like any other student. The money you wont receive is the maintenance, but we will cover that in the next section. For now the first thing to do is get on the right track and get the EU student application pack (Here!). Fill them out and if you need help have a parent or guidance councilor sit down and look through them with you. Get on that early! If accepted that will be your fees sorted.

SUSI logo
Student Universal Support Ireland

Next it’s onto money to live. This is where I freaked out. No one knew what was going on, and I couldn’t find anyone that had gone through this process before. After calling and calling to different organizations the solution turned out to be easier than I thought. SUSI, or Student Universal Support Ireland, will still pay for students attending school abroad. If you currently attend an Irish secondary school your guidance councilor can help you apply or you can take it on yourself (Here!). And to top it all off SUSI is a grant. That’s right, a grant. Not a loan, you don’t have to pay it back. So just go ahead and apply like a regular student and if eligible SUSI will deliver your grant money once a month.

So its as simple as that, you get your fees from SLC and your maintenance from SUSI. Knowing is always half the battle.

Here are a few extra tips from me:

  • Apply early. Get it done and out of the road. SUSI may also require your parents to do taxes early so be prepared for that.
  • Dont lie. Be honest, they will catch you out.
  • If SUSI ask for a letter describing the loan you will receive from SLC you need to wait for your SLC loan to be approved before they can issue it.
  • SUSI will only pay into an Irish Euro account so make sure you keep one open.
  • Remember the exchange rate plays a part in how much money you have when you spend it here.
  • If in doubt call! SUSI: +353 (76) 1087874. SLC: +44 (141) 243 3570
  • You can check if you are eligible for a SUSI grant and how much you will get by using the reckoner – (Here!).
  • If you do find yourself here for an open or applicant day, check out the student finance stand. It’s usually in the hub.

That’s all from me and I hope this blog can help some of my Irish fellow students. If you have any other questions about Edge Hill then feel free to email think@edgehill.ac.uk for free advice and answers to your questions, or leave a comment below this blog and I will get back to your personally.

Slán go fóill,
Sean M. – Edge Hill Student

Why I’m not worried about student debt…

One question I get asked all the time, from friends and family and even at a teaching conference I attended a few weeks ago is, are you worried about your student debt? Maybe I’m very naive about the whole thing but my answer is always no, I literally haven’t lost a wink of sleep thinking about the huge mountain of debt I’m going to come out with at the end of my degree, and to be honest I don’t think I ever will.
Now when you think about it, 9 grand a year is a lot of money, then add your maintenance loan and any other money you might have borrowed from your parents and you’ve racked up a pretty healthy sum. But because you never even see half the money enter or leave your account, in my mind, I kind of forget it even exists. I do realise how naive I sound there, but I do kind of think about it as monopoly money that I’ll have to slowly pay off like a phone contract some day in the future. When you look at the facts, you only start paying it off after you earn £21,000 a year, and even then you just have to pay it off in small steps each month like a phone contract. See not quite so scary after all.

I also like to think of it in the way that everyone is in the same boat, all of my friends went to uni, and they’re all totting up debt too, so I feel like I’m not the only one. And it could be worse, I could be borrowing money from loan shark to settle my topshop addiction and then paying crazy amounts of interest. Additionally, it’s nice to think about it as a long-term investment, I’m in the mind set like ‘hey its ok I’ve borrowed loads of money from the government, because I’m learning loads of really awesome stuff and hopefully it will land me a good job some day in the future!’ I really think that’s what you need to keep telling yourself. There’s absolutely zero point stressing about it, because the price is the price, and you’ve just got to think positively!

Here is a little article I found about myths and the facts of student loans, check it out because it really teaches you a lot about what the real facts are: Loans