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KickStart Scholarship
2022 - 2023

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About the KickStart scholarship

The KickStart Scholarship Fund is a newly established scholarship, established by the Probation Service, and supported by the Irish Prison Service, to support persons with a criminal justice history who are experiencing socio-economic disadvantage to access Higher Education (HE). These scholarships meet a strategic objective of the Working to Change social enterprise and employment strategy 2021-2023 (www.workingtochange.ie).  

Maynooth University is the lead institution developing the KickStart Scholarship Fund scheme on a pilot basis in 2022/2023 in partnership with Dublin City University, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Technological University of the Shannon Midlands Midwest, Athlone Campus (MEND Cluster). For 2022/23, the scheme will be open to new undergraduates who have either commenced third level education in September 2022 for the first time OR are currently third level students in one of these four MEND Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). It is intended that the scholarship will fund the entire duration of a student's programme of study or the remaining years of their programme of study, whichever one applies.

 

Applications Open!

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The two types of scholarships available

There are two scholarships available in each MEND HEI in 2022/23: 

  • One scholarship of €5000 per year of undergraduate study to a maximum of €20,000 over 4 years of a full-time course or 6 years of a part-time course.  

  • One scholarship of €1250 for each year of undergraduate study to a maximum of €5000 over 4 years of a full-time course or 6 years of a part-time course. 


Recipients must comply with fund guidelines and progress to the next academic year of their course to retain the scholarship. Each student will receive their scholarship in two instalments – the first in Semester 1 and the second in Semester 2. In addition to the scholarship, successful applicants may avail of personal, academic, financial, and social supports through the Maynooth University Access Programme. Applicants who are deemed ineligible for the KickStart Scholarship will also be referred, where appropriate, for these additional supports.  

Scholarship Application Opening & Closing Dates 

 

The KickStart Scholarship Application at Maynooth University opens from 9.00am on Wednesday 22 June 2022 and closes at 5.00pm on Saturday 1 October 2022. 

 

Further information can be found at www.maynoothuniversity.ie/access-office/kickstart-scholarship, or by contacting the Maynooth University Access Programme at kickstart@mu.ie / access.office@mu

 

DCU, DKiT & TUS opening dates are TBC. For further information, contact the Access Office in your institution (DCU, Dundalk IT or TUS (Athlone campus)). 

Further
Information

For further information, contact the Access Office in your institution (DCU, Dundalk IT, Maynooth University or TUS (Athlone campus)

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Eligibility - who can apply?

Students that have a criminal record and are experiencing socio-economic disadvantage who are seeking to access Higher Education (HE) are the priority group for this KickStart Scholarship Fund. 

  • Applicants must be new undergraduates who have either applied to commence third level education in September 2022 for the first time OR current Maynooth University undergraduate students.  

  • Applicants must enrol/be enrolled on a full-time or part-time undergraduate course that takes not less than two years to complete and on the successful completion of which an Applicant is awarded a major higher education and training award at level 6 or above on the National Framework of Qualifications. There is no restriction on programme of study. 

  • Applicants must be able to show that they have been convicted of a crime which resulted in them currently having a criminal record and have either served time in prison and/or received a community-based Probation sanction which resulted in a criminal record. As the impact of a criminal record is felt for many years after an individual has completed their court-ordered sanction, there is no time limit on how recent their convictions were.  

  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they would qualify for the Student Universal Grant Scheme (SUSI) maintenance grant on or below €46,790 in 2021. 

  • Applicants must also have been resident in the State (Republic of Ireland) for three of the past five years on the date on which their first year of study commences. 

Priority will be given to applicants who are members of one or more of the following priority groups, as this demonstrates the complexity of intersectionality of an applicant's criminal justice history and socioeconomic disadvantage.

  

  • Applicants who qualify for the special rate of maintenance grant or with an equivalent reckonable income under €24,500 in 2021 

  • First time mature applicants 

  • Further education and training award holders 

  • Applicants with disabilities 

  • Irish Travellers and Roma 

  • Lone parents  

  • Applicant is or was in the Care of the State/ TUSLA 

  • Direct Provision residents who have been granted either refugee status, subsidiary protection status or leave to remain, and are currently transitioning out of direct provision per section 14 of the Applicant Support Act 2011 and regulation 5 the Applicant Support Regulations 2021 (Statutory Instrument No. 132 of 2021) 

  • Applicant who is/was previously homeless 

  • Applicant who is/was in supported accommodation.  

Eligibility - who cannot apply?

  • Applicants who do not have a criminal record.  

  • Applicants who already have a qualification at the same level on the National Framework of Qualifications as the course they are currently enrolled on/are intending to enrol on.  

  • Applicants who have received funding through another Scholarship or Bursary scheme at an equivalent value.  

  • Applicants on a course that takes less than two years to complete, or on the successful completion of which a student is awarded a major higher education and training award at level 5 or below on the National Framework of Qualifications.  

  • Applicants whose reckonable income is assessed as over the maximum income limit, currently €46,790 gross for the family in 2021.  

  • Applicants who have not lived for 3 of the past 5 years in Ireland.  

  • Postgraduate applicants.  

  • In accordance with section 14 of the Student Support Act 2011 and regulation 5 the Student Support Regulations 2021 (Statutory Instrument No. 132 of 2021), Note: Applicants who are in the protection system or at the leave to remain or at deportation order stage are not eligible to apply for a KickStart Scholarship. Persons who are in the protection system or at the leave to remain (not at deportation order) stage however can apply to be considered for support under the Student Support Scheme for Asylum Seekers. Applicants currently living in direct provision are not eligible for support under the KickStart Scholarship scheme; the only exception is in respect of those residents who have been granted either refugee status, subsidiary protection status or leave to remain, and are currently transitioning out of direct provision.