Dáil Éireann - Volume 638 - 26 September, 2007

Written Answers. - Higher Education Grants.

[503] Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason a higher education grant has not been made available to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20526/07]

  Deputy Mary Hanafin:The decision on eligibility for third level grants is a matter for the relevant assessing authority — i.e. the local authority or VEC. These bodies do not refer individual applications to my Department except, in exceptional cases, where, for example, advice or instruction regarding a particular clause in the relevant scheme is required.

If an individual applicant considers that she/he has been unjustly refused a maintenance grant, or that the rate of grant awarded is not the correct one, she/he may appeal, in the first instance, to the relevant local authority or VEC. Where an individual applicant has had an appeal turned down, in writing, by the relevant local authority or VEC, and remains of the view that the body has not interpreted the schemes correctly in his/her case, an appeal form outlining the position may be submitted by the applicant to my Department. Alternatively, as already indicated, the local authority or VEC may, itself, in exceptional circumstances, seek clarification on issues from my Department.