A student loan scheme provided by Bank of Ireland for current and incoming undergraduate students at Trinity College Dublin was announced today. Trinity College Student’s Union worked with the college authorities and Bank of Ireland to create a financial package that will help alleviate some of the financial pressures faced by students of the college in the present climate and help ensure equality of access in the coming years. The Students’ Union is conscious of the fact that sustained increases in the Student Contribution Charge have led to a rise in the number of prospective students being excluded from third level education.
The scheme, known as ‘TCD Finance’, will help students cover the costs of the student contribution charge, expected to rise incrementally from its current rate of €2,250 to €3,000 by 2015. The seven-year loan term will be split into two periods with different rates - an interest-only variable rate of 5% while the student attends College for years 1-4 and a variable rate of 9.7% payable for years 5-7 when the student graduates.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative, outgoing Student’s Union President Ryan Bartlett said “This development will help a lot of students who were struggling with the annual increase in the Student Contribution Charge. The Students’ Union is delighted to have worked on an innovative scheme that will maintain access to Trinity College for current and prospective students. The partnership with Bank of Ireland has delivered a creative option to ease the problems of student financing.'
While TCDSU welcomes the new loan scheme, incoming President Rory Dunne has said that the union will continue to demand significant contribution by the government to both undergraduate and postgraduate education. There is currently no financial support mechanisms for those under 23 who are autonomous from their parents and the union will continue its fight to ensure full equality of access in all third level institutions.