All funds paid out in grants are provided by the Department of Education and Skills. The means test takes account of all financial information and is used to identify necessitous applicants below a certain threshold. The criteria for the test are reviewed annually by the board of directors of the SEC.
(After Tax Income + Social Welfare Payments + all other income)
– (Dependent Child Allowance)
= Net Reckonable Income (NRI)
Other income: Liquid assets (e.g. cash, savings, investment bonds) of up to €80,000 are disregarded from the means test. Any assets over this amount are added to the NRI.
Rent or mortgage payments: a maximum of €30,000 per annum is deducted.
The value of the family home/farm/business is not included in the means test.
Second homes/rental properties with a net value (i.e. market value – mortgage) of less than €375,000 is disregarded. Any amount over €375,000 is added to the NRI.
Special circumstances allowances can be made for further reductions to the NRI. Full details of the special circumstances allowances are available on the website.
Only capital allowances for trading losses are factored into the means test.
Calculating dependent children
Below is a table showing the allowances given for dependent children (child born after 31st August 2000 under the age of 24).
Grant Values 2023/24
Net Reckonable Incomes are divided into bands and grant amounts are awarded based on these bands. The highest Net Reckonable Income that qualifies for a grant currently is €60,000. The table below outlines the levels of grants payable in 2023/24. Grant amounts are reviewed annually around each Spring.