Course fees mostly range from €300 to €500. These fees cover the cost of items and services provided to you by the college – eg. Books, uniforms, field trips, examinations. The Further Education courses at ICFE provide real opportunities at a fraction of the cost of Higher Education or private colleges.
The Government also charges a Levy of €200 but you may be exempt from paying the Government Levy if you hold a current medical card or receive a means-tested social welfare payment.
The Department of Education and Skills has a grant scheme for qualifying Further Education students. This is known as SUSI and there is specific information about grants for PLC or Further Education students here: https://susi.ie/eligibility/plc-student/
The Back to Education Allowance (BTEA)
(BTEA) is a scheme for unemployed people, lone parents and people with disabilities who are getting certain payments from the Department of Social Protection.
BTEA is not an unemployment payment. If you are signing for unemployment credits or submitting medical certificates for illness credits, you may apply to take part in the scheme.
Courses must be full-time and lead to a certificate approved by QQI. Please contact the college or your local Intreo office for more information.
Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)
You can apply to join VTOS if you are:
- aged 21 or over
- receiving unemployment payments, signing for credits
or receiving certain other Social Welfare payments such as one parent family payment or disability allowances
You must qualify for six months before starting your course.
You will keep your Social Welfare entitlements. Courses are provided free of charge including books and materials.
Back to Education Initiative (Part-time) Courses
These courses are similar to the above but are run on a part-time basis. The part-time option is often a very effective way for adult learners to re-engage with education.
For more information on any of these schemes, please contact the college or your local Intreo office.