Financial Support & Scholarships

Student Grants and Financial Assistance

This page provides information on the various financial supports available to students studying at ATU Donegal.

Student Grant –Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI)

The student grant is the main source of financial help available from the Irish State for students in full-time higher education courses. Decisions on grants are made wholly by SUSI, ATU Donegal has no input into grant decisions. Note, it is important that you familiarise yourself with the cutoff dates for grant applications.  For further information and how to apply click here.

You are required to apply for a renewal of your Grant each year.  When you are applying to get your grant renewed you will be requested by grant authorities to provide evidence that you are eligible to re-register on your programme. 

International Protection Student Scheme

The International Protection Student Scheme (for Further and Higher Education Students) 2022-2023 provides financial grants for students who are in the protection system or at the leave to remain (but not deportation order) stage. Applications for funding support are assessed by SUSI, under specific eligibility criteria in accordance with the International Protection Student Scheme (for FE/HE Students) 2022 for students who are in the Protection System or at the leave to remain (but not deportation order) stage. These criteria include that applicants must:

  • be pursuing an approved course type at undergraduate or postgraduate level.
  • have a combined period of 3 years or more in the protection process or leave to remain (but not at deportation order) stage as at the day before the start of your approved course of study. (The 3 years must be met on this date and cannot be met during the academic year for eligibility in that particular year).
  • meet the definition of protection applicant or person at leave to remain (but not deportation order) stage.

Application guidance notes can be obtained by clicking here, while the application form is available here.

Back to Education Allowance (BTEA)

If you are unemployed, parenting alone or have a disability and are getting certain payments from the Department of Social Protection, you may take part in a second or third level education course and get a Back to Education Allowance (BTEA).  Further information on BTEA can be found here.

It is important to note that you cannot get the BTEA and the maintenance component of a student grant together.

Student Assistance Fund

ScholarshipsThe Curve helps students from low income families and those who traditionally have not progressed to third level study or those from areas of high unemployment to access higher education.

This help includes financial aid such as the Student Assistance Fund. This limited fund provides financial support to students experiencing short or long-term financial difficulties while attending higher education.

The Student Assistance Fund is managed by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.  The Student Assistance Fund in ATU Donegal is overseen by the SAF committee  comprising the Access Officer, the Chaplain, the SU Welfare Officer and the SAF Administrator .  ;

For further information click here

Laptop Loan Scheme 2022/23

ATU Donegal is delighted to be in a position to help our students by lending laptops in the coming academic year.

As part of the package of COVID supports for higher and further education institutions, the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science has allocated funding to support disadvantaged students in the higher education sector in accessing ICT devices.

However, due to the limited number of laptops, we will be operating on a first come, first served basis. The Online Application Form is available here

Note that students in receipt of the SUSI Grant/Social Welfare payments or students in need of support who can provide the Statement of Liability/P21 form will be prioritised.


ATU Donegal offers a range of scholarships for both Undergraduate and Postgraduate students.  Brief details on each of our scholarships is detailed below.  Please click on each scholarship for further information including eligibility criteria, the scholarship value and the application procedure.

  1. REACH Scholarship
  2. New Entrant Sports Scholarship
  3. Optum Healthcare Scholarship
  4. The 1916 Bursary Fund 
  5. Sanctuary Scholarship 
  6. Uversity Mature Learner Scholarship
  7. Pushing Boundaries Scholarship (Postgraduate)
  8. The DCIL Independent Living Scholarship
  9. ATU Donegal/GPA Postgraduate Sports Scholarship

REACH Scholarships

ATU Donegal has established a Bursary Scheme (REACH) to support and facilitate students wishing to complete an undergraduate programme. REACH is targeting students who might not progress onto third level due to having a disability or lacking the financial wherewithal to participate. Click here for eligibility criteria and application procedures. 

The DCIL Independent Living Scholarship

Donegal Centre for Independant Living has introduced this scholarship as part of a project to support students with a disability by means of a financial bursary. The budget for this project is currently € 750.00 per annum per Student, awarded each year over the span of their chosen course. The Scholarship is to enable the student to achieve greater independence and empowerment through participation in college life and to enhance their confidence to live independently.

Click here for the Independent Living Scholarship Terms & Conditions
Click here for the Independent Living Scholarship Application form

New Entrant Sports Scholarships

The New Entrant Sports Scholarship targets students who are competing at a high level in one of our priority sports of Gaelic Football (men/ladies), Hurling, Soccer (men/ladies) and Basketball (men/ladies). We also consider applications on a case-by-case basis in other sports from athletes who demonstrate an ability to compete at Junior or Senior International level. Click here for eligibility criteria and application procedures..

Optum North-West Healthcare Scholarships

The Optum Ireland scholarship aims to support the enhancement of the healthcare system in the region and invest in a 21st century health workforce that meets the needs of tomorrow. This scholarship aims to promote diversity in higher education by supporting young people from less advantaged and non-traditional backgrounds. The scholarship aims to support young people in County Donegal, particularly those who are less advantaged, to access third-level education. In line with the Company’s mission, the scheme will support and enhance the healthcare infrastructure in the North-West. The scholarship targets students who have applied for specific programmes in Science, Technology and Nursing & Health. The scholarship scheme is now accepting applications. The application deadline is 5pm Friday 26 May.

To find out more about the scholarship click  HERE and to apply click on the application form click HERE. A reference from the Principal must accompany the application form, you can download the reference document  HERE . Please note, this year Optum Ireland will accept digital application forms. The Principal of your school must review your completed application form before completing the template reference attached. Please be advised that the reference is confidential and a scanned copy should be sent from the Principal directly to

The 1916 Bursary Fund 

The 1916 Bursary Fund is a targeted funding scheme established by the Department of Education and Skills to support the implementation of the National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education 2015-2019. The National Access Plan is working to increase the numbers of students who are currently underrepresented in higher education. The Bursaries are targeted at students who are socio-economically disadvantaged and who are from one of the target groups that have low participation rates in higher education including mature students, students with a disability, Irish Travellers, Ethnic minorities, Lone Parents and Further Education Award holders.Applications will open in August/September.

Sanctuary Scholarship Scheme

ATU Donegal's Sanctuary Scholarship initiative aims to welcome refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants into our college community, and to fostering a culture of welcome and inclusion for all those seeking sanctuary.   Applications from those in Direct Provision will be given priority.

Click here for eligibility criteria and application procedures.

Uversity - Mature Learner Scholarship

Uversity is a Registered Charity that has been awarding Higher Education Scholarships to Adult Learners since 2018. Uversity’s Scholarships aim to make a degree possible by offering successful candidates financial support and programming to achieve their educational, personal and professional goals.  Uversity’s Scholarships are for adult learners to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree for the first time that will help transform their lives and the lives of those around them. Scholarships enable successful candidates to pursue a degree in any discipline in ATU Donegal. Preference is given to candidates enrolling on full-time programmes, however other programmes will be considered on a case by case basis.  For further information on the Uversity Scholarship scheme visit the Uversity website at .  Closing date for applications is 25 March 2023.

Pushing Boundaries Scholarships

This scholarship initiative is specifically aimed at applicants interested in applying for Full-time Taught Postgraduate Masters.   The Pushing Boundaries Scholarship is a fees scholarship and is designed for those students who are in receipt of no other form of financial assistance to study from a grant awarding body. The Pushing Boundaries scholarship is only available to EU Students. Click here for eligibility criteria and application procedureshere.