Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Back to college bargains

Back to college bargains

The CAO results are out, and the majority of students (and their parents) have flooded out around the country in search of accommodation at their chosen third level institute. For the most part these new digs should come with the basic furnishings including couches and chairs, dining table and a microwave. You will likely (unless you’re renting a room in the house with the use of the kitchen) have to fill in the gaps yourself.

Thankfully, Aldi is running a very useful specialbuy sale – starting today – offering everything you’ll need to kit out your new home. Double hotplates are available for €29.99, sandwich makers for €9.99, a kettle and toaster pack for €19.99, pillow and duvet sets for €18.99, knive sets for €5.99 and plenty more besides.

Argos is also offering discounts on a range of student items, including ironing board covers for €4.99, fitted sheets for €6.49 and adjustable office chairs for €25.99.

Back to college itch?

If all of this talk of going back to college has got you thinking about returning to your studies, despite concerns over funding, there are several options. If you are unemployed, a single parent or have a disability and are in receipt of certain payments from the Department of Social Protection, you could qualify for the Back to Education Allowance Scheme.

If you’re over the age of 21, are unemployed and have been receiving certain social welfare payments for at least six months, you can apply for the Vocational Training and Opportunities Scheme (VTOS), which offers education and training on a wide range of topics and levels.

Alongside the main student grant, students experiencing financial hardship can also apply for the Student Assistance Fund, though you must already be registered with a full-time participating college. Eligible expenses for this grant include books and class materials, rent, food, medical expenses and childcare costs.

Citizens Information provides a handy outline of the grants available to mature students who wish to return to education.

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When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.
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