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Statement by Union of Students in Ireland President, Lorna Fitzpatrick

“Students planning to apply for the SUSI grant need reassurance that income changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will be considered in their applications.

“Many students and their families have lost jobs or had hours reduced as a result of the economic downturn caused by the measures taken to stop the spread of the virus.

“Just yesterday, the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe outlined that the country is headed for a severe recession and the Irish economy is expected to shrink by over 10 per cent.

“Students have already been severely impacted by the pandemic, including those hoping to start college in the autumn and they do not need another uncertainty hanging over them.

“At the moment, SUSI applicants are being told they can apply for a ‘change of circumstances’ as is the normal process every year.

“However, this is not a normal year and that has to be provided for in the application process. There will be many people affected by this and so it should not be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

“As the SUSI application process opened today, we are calling for this clarity to be provided for immediately, so students are not left worrying about having to go through an onerous process to prove how their circumstances have changed.”

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