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PLC Maintenance Grant Scheme – SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland)

The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science provides a means-tested maintenance grant scheme for those attending full-time further education. All applications for grants are made online through Student Universal Support Ireland, known as SUSI, at

  • BCFE is an approved college for maintenance grants only. This means that all fees must be paid by students on SUSI grants.
  • Currently, all our QQI Level 5 & 6 courses as well as our HNDs are approved courses.
  • Please note, maintenance grants are not paid for top-up degree courses in BCFE i.e. Visual Media BA Hons (Animation and Games) Degree Level 8 and Media Production Management BA (Hons) Degree Level 8.
  • The maintenance grant is paid directly into the students’ bank account each month (over a 9-month period) and is available to fully registered PLC students who are progressing from one level to the next.
  • The SUSI grant is only available to PLC students for three years.
  • There is a list of payment dates on the SUSI website.
  • BCFE is required to return students attendance monthly to SUSI for grant payments, those not attending will have their grant suspended.
  • The SUSI grant is paid a month in arrears. This means, for example, that your will be paid in November for Octobers grant and that payment will be based on your attendance in October.

Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)

This scheme applies to all courses within BCFE and is designed to assist unemployed people over 21 with an opportunity to return to full  time education without losing benefits.

Email for further information.

Social Welfare

Back to Education Allowance (BTEA)

This scheme is run by the Department of Employment and Social Protection (DEASP) and allows people in receipt of certain social welfare payments to retain those payments whilst participating in full-time further education courses. Refer to or email for further information.


BCFE Student Support Fund

Students who are experiencing extreme financial difficulty can apply for supports through the BCFE Student Support Fund.

Criteria for Student Support Fund

  1. The student applies in writing using Student Support Fund application form which is available from the Administration Office. 
  2. The student has furnished a brief account which clearly explains their need for this support so that the committee can determine (in a fair and equal manner to all applicants) the granting of the fund. 
  3. The coordinator of the course in question has signed the application form. 
  4. The student has completed, signed, and submitted all BCFE registration forms, is fully registered and all applicable fees have been paid. 
  5. The student has satisfactory attendance on their course. 
  6. The student is not in receipt of SUSI grant, VTOS, BTEI, or BTEA. 
  7. Student is not in receipt of other financial assistance e.g., from the Vincent de Paul or their local Partnership organisation. 
  8. The student does not have a part-time or a full-time job. 
  9. The student is not partaking in Erasmus+ work placements. 
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