Means Test 2019/20
All funds paid out in grants are 100% provided by the Department of Education and Skills from the tax payer. 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.
The Means test is assessed on total family income. Currently the test takes after tax income and deducts cost of family accommodation either rent or mortgage payments (Max €30,000 p.a), allowance for dependent children, special circumstances (documented exceptional extra expenses) and the result is the Net Reckonable Income “NRI” for grant assessment.
Only capital allowance for trading losses are factored into the means test.
Below is a table showing the allowances given for dependent children.
|Dependent Children Allowance||1 at 3rd level||2 at 3rd level||3 at 3rd level|
When there are more than 2 children attending fee charging secondary school at the same time an additional allowance of €5,000 per child 3 and 4 is allowed.
Where a parent is living alone and raising a child(ren) without support from the other parent, a €3,500 allowance will be applied. N.B. Not applicable if re-married, co-habiting or parents are geographically separated. Verification of status will be required.
Non family home/business property assets are also assessed with an allowance of €300,000 for Net Asset Value (value less related debt). An application with a Net Asset Value exceeding this allowance will fail the means test.
Liquid assets are treated differently to property as they are divisible and can be converted to cash with relative ease e.g. bank savings/current accounts, investment bonds, cash deposits, shares in publicly quoted companies. The surplus value over the current allowance of €60,000 is considered quasi additional income and is factored into the calculation of the NRI.
Net Reckonable Incomes are divided into bands of €5,000 and grant amounts are awarded based on these bands.
The highest Net Reckonable Income that qualifies for a grant currently is €50,000.
|Band||Net Reckionable Income||Day||Boarder|