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 2023/24

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. Ireland Healthcare Scholarships
  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. Education and Training Bursary Scheme for Care Experienced Young People 2023-2024
  10. Dearcán Foundation Scholarship
  11. 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

ATU Sports Scholarship

The ATU Sports Scholarship programme provides supports to talented student athletes to recognise their need to balance both sporting and academic commitments. Through both financial and non-financial benefits, the ATU Sport Scholarship programme aims to reward students for their dedication and skill and provide them further opportunity to develop as students and sportspeople. For further information on the Sports Scholarship please click here.

Ireland Health Care Scholarship Program Funded by the United Health Foundation, Supported by Optum Ireland

Optum® Ireland is a part of UnitedHealth Group. The North West Health Care Scholarship Program is funded by the not-for-profit United Health Foundation established by UnitedHealth Group to enhance the performance of the health system and improve the overall health and well-being of the people we are privileged to serve and their communities. The North West Health Care Scholarship Program aims to invest in a 21st century health workforce that meets the needs of tomorrow and promote diversity in higher education by supporting young people from less advantaged and non-traditional backgrounds. The program will be delivered by Optum Ireland in partnership with Atlantic Technological University (ATU). The North West Health Care Scholarship Program provides three scholarships to ATU Donegal, two scholarships to ATU Sligo / ATU Galway-Mayo. The value of each award is €10,000. Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria and have applied for an undergraduate program on the designated course list set out below. The fund is administered by the academic institution to the Scholar each year subject to the scholar being in good academic standing.

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 before: 5 p.m. on Friday, 26 May 2023.

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 31 March 2024.

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.

Education and Training Bursary Scheme for Care Experienced Young People 2023-2024

Tusla and DCEDIY have secured Dormant Accounts funding to provide a Bursary Scheme to young adults who have had a care experience of at least 6 months and are aged 18 or over. The funding is intended to support and assist young adults to achieve their full potential in education or training. This scheme will provide funding for young adults to access further education and to support their career development. It has been developed to support young people who are not receiving specific State funding for their education and/or training.

Click here for more information.

Dearcán Foundation Scholarship

The Dearcán Foundation was founded in 2021 in memory of a John Sisk & Son employee, Dave Tracey, the long serving manager of the John G. Sisk Training Centre. Dave endeavoured to ensure that young people were supported in pursuing whatever their chosen career was whether in construction or otherwise.

This scholarship offers €10,000 to one student at ATU to support them in their studies. The funds can be used for living expenses, fees, or other costs.


Applicants must:

  • Be a registered student at ATU
  • Be a new entrant to higher education
  • Be a resident of Ireland
  • Be a citizen of Ireland and/or Northern Ireland
  • Be enrolled in qualifying courses (Qualifying courses: those in quantity surveying, civil engineering, construction management, BIM)
  • Have been approved for third-level maintenance grant, SUSI Special Rate or SUSI Band 1
  • Have come from a DEIS school
  • Have come from a DEIS school
  • Confirm willingness to engage with Dearcán Foundation/John Sisk & Son
  • Not be a relation of an employee of John Sisk & Son (son, daughter, parent, sibling, niece, nephew, or grandchild)

If you do not meet the eligibility requirements, please do not apply for the scholarship as your application will not be considered.


Applications Open for Submission 14 September 2023 – 6 October 2023
Finalists Selected and Notified By 1 November 2023
Finalist Interviews with Dearcán Foundation Week of 6 November 2023 (dates to be confirmed)
Awards Announced 15 November 2023
How to Apply

To apply, please fill out the online application form, by clicking on this link -

Applications are due by midnight on 6 October 2023. Any applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Please note that the application requires confirmation that students agree for ATU to share their personal information with Community Foundation Ireland in order to undergo the assessment process.

All applications are assessed by Community Foundation Ireland. If you have questions, please contact Melanie Steinhardt