Fine Gael TD for Dublin North, Alan Farrell, has today (Monday) called on the Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, to introduce a direct debit system to allow parents to pay the student contribution fee for third level education in manageable instalments.
“I am calling on Minister Quinn to introduce a direct debit system to allow parents or students to pay the annual student contribution fee of €2,250 on a monthly basis. This will ease pressure on parents by enabling them to pay the registration fee over a period of time.
“The student contribution fee took a significant jump in the past few years due to the enormous cost of providing quality third level education to all students at a time when Exchequer funds are stretched in every respect.
“Up to 40% of students in Ireland receive a maintenance grant which covers the cost of this registration fee. However, it is the middle income earners that do not qualify for this grant, who may struggle to come up with the money each year, particularly if there is more than one student in the household. Paying this fee on a monthly basis, as opposed to en bloc, will ease pressure on these families.
“There has been a lot of speculation in the media regarding the increase of the student contribution fee and this is causing concern to parents who are planning for the future and may be unsure as to how much they will need when the time comes. I am therefore calling on the Minister to introduce a realistic and manageable payment process to ensure that the Government is doing all it can to allow young people the opportunity of a third level education.”