Means Test and Dependent Child Allowances

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.

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 allowances 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
1 €4,980   
2 €9,960 €12,049  
3 €14,940 €17,029 €19,118 
4 €19,920 €22,009 €24,098 €26,187
5 €24,900 €26,989 €29,078 €31,167
6 €29,880 €31,969 €34,058 €36,147
7 €34,860 €36,949 €39,038 €41,127

Non family home/business property assets are also assessed with an allowance of €375,000 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 €80,000 is considered quasi additional income and is factored into the calculation of the NRI.

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.

Grant Values 2021/22

The table below outlines the levels of grant payable in 2021/22. Grant amounts are reviewed annually.

BandNet Reckonable IncomeDayBoarder
Band 1€0 – €20,000€3,702€8,466
Royal School Cavan  €8,199
Band 2€20,000 – €25,000€3,102€7,122
Band 3€25,000 – €30,000€2,520€6,000
Band 4€30,000 – €35,000€1,902€4,302
Band 5€35,000 – €40,000€1,200€2,502
Band 6€40,000 – €45,000€669€1,380
Band 7€45,000 – €50,000€321€696
Band 8€50,000 -€60,000€162€336