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No Urban/Rural Divide On Third Level Grants Despite Media Spin

By September 3, 2015No Comments

I have to say that I am astonished that a number of national media outlets have insinuated that there is a rural bias in the awarding of grants for third level education by the SUSI system. It has been reported that 72% of all college applicants in Longford received college grants compared to 45.6% in Co. Dublin.

These reports are really an abuse of statistics and we must compare like with like he says. It is very clear from the numbers that SUSI have now published for 2014/15 that there is really very little inconsistency from east to west. The success rate for grant awards among new applicants in Co. Dublin was 60.3% while the corresponding rate for Co. Roscommon was 67.7%. The slight difference that does exist clearly reflects the fact that farmers and other rural dwellers have a lesser income.
There appears to be a sort of urban myth out there that all farmers receive college grants and this is perpetuated by some media elements but I would like to point out that a study by the HEA in 2012 clearly showed that only 40% of farmers secured third level grants for their families.