There are a number of different types of funding available to help you while you are studying.
It is worth while taking the time to research what is available to you, especially if you have a diagnosis of autism, as you may be able to access funding to support your studies.
Here is a summary of what is available to Irish students.
Fund for students with disabilities (FSD)
The purpose of the Fund for Students with Disabilities (FSD) is to assist students with disabilities to have the necessary assistance and equipment to enable them access, fully participate in and successfully complete their chosen course of study.
The FSD is one of the main funding sources supporting participation by students with disabilities in approved further and higher education courses in Ireland.
Eligible students on an approved course can receive assistance from post-leaving certificate to doctoral level during any year of study. Full-time undergraduate courses must be not less than two years in duration. Part-time undergraduate courses (Republic of Ireland only) must be not less than one year in duration. Postgraduate courses (Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland only) must be not less than one year in duration.
Some of the supports that this fund covers are:
The Student Grant
The student grant, which was also formerly called the maintenance grant, is the main source of financial help available from the Irish State for students in full-time PLCs and full-time higher education undergraduate courses. Support is available to eligible students in most colleges in Ireland as well as eligible Irish students in many colleges in Northern Ireland, the UK and other EU States.
For eligible students, the grant is there to help with the various costs of participating in further or higher education for example the college registration fees.
Family and/or personal income is a key factor that will be assessed when you apply for a student grant but there are also some other conditions. Students on part-time courses, access or foundation courses (in higher education institutions) and short courses are not eligible to apply for a student grant.
Back to Education Allowance
The Back to Education Allowance is authorised by the Department of Social and Family Affairs. The Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) is an educational opportunities scheme for students over 21 years of age, unemployed people or lone parents currently on qualifying benefits.
If a student with a disability applies for this allowance, they must be in receipt of a disability allowance or another qualifying payment. The allowance can apply to those returning to education in second or third level.
Back to Education Allowance is paid at a standard rate, so if you are currently receiving a reduced rate of payment, you will be entitled to a higher rate of the allowance.
For more information about the Back to Education Allowance please look at:
The Student Assistance Fund
The Student Assistance Fund provides financial support to full or part-time students who find themselves with financial difficulties while attending college. Students can apply for the Student Assistance Fund to help with either temporary or ongoing financial difficulties. The Student Assistant Fund is designed to provide a source of financial support in addition to a SUSI grant. For further information, please look at
For more information and assistance on all available grants and funding, please look at