1916 Bursary Fund

1916 Bursary Fund

The 1916 Bursary application process for the academic year 2021/22 will be open from the 30th of August until the 15th of October

About the 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 number of students who are currently under-represented in higher education. 

The Bursary is being offered to undergraduate students experiencing socio-economic disadvantage who are commencing third level education in September 2021 for the first time - and will fund the entire duration of a student's programme of study.

All of the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are awarding the Bursaries as regional clusters. The Midlands East & North Dublin (MEND) cluster is made up of four (HEIs) - Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT), Dublin City University (DCU), Dundalk Institute of Technology (IT), and Maynooth University (MU). The MEND cluster has a total of 40 bursaries available to award to students applying to these (HEIs). 

Each student who is awarded the 1916 Bursary will receive a bursary to the amount of €5,000 for each year of their undergraduate course of study.

The bursary will be paid each year of the course up to a maximum of four years for full-time students and six years for part-time students as long as the recipient complies with the bursary guidelines and progresses to the next academic year of their course.

The Bursaries are targeted at students who are experiencing socio-economic disadvantage and who are from one or more of the following socio-economic groups that have low participation rates in higher education: 

  • First time, mature student entrants
  • Students with a disability – particularly students with a physical/mobility impairment, students who are deaf/hard of hearing and students who are blind or have a visual impairment
  • Irish Travellers
  • Further education award holders
  • Lone parents in receipt of a means tested social welfare payment (at least 20% of the bursaries will be targeted at lone parents)
  • Ethnic minorities (including programme refugees)
  • People who are or were in the care of the state

What does “Socio-Economically Disadvantaged” mean for the 1916 Bursary Fund?

This term usually means that you live in an area of urban or rural disadvantage where not many people from that area go on to third level education by tradition or for financial reasons. You may have attended a DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) school.  You may be a lone parent or have previously been in the Care of the State/Tusla. Your family income may mean that you are not able to go to college without financial help. You may be from a socio-economic group that is underrepresented in higher education.  All of these factors, either individually or in combination, mean that you may have significant additional social and financial barriers making it difficult to access and succeed in higher education.

Who can apply for a 1916 Bursary? 

  • Students applying to Year 1 of an (undergraduate) programme in this academic year (2021/22) or repeating Year 1 due to a significant ‘life event’ which prevented successful completion of that year in a participating HEI.
  • Students who are experiencing socio-economic disadvantage and who are from one or more of the socio-economic groups that have low participation in higher education listed above.
  • Students must be experiencing socio-economic disadvantage regardless of the target group.
  • Students must be able to demonstrate that they would qualify for the highest level of SUSI grant, i.e. reckonable income less than €24,500 in 2020. Applicants must be able to provide evidence that shows they are experiencing socio-economic disadvantage.
  • Students must be applying for a full-time or part-time undergraduate course in a publicly funded institution that:

(a) takes not less than two years to complete,


(b) on the successful completion of which a student 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.

Who cannot apply for a 1916 Bursary? 

  • Students who are not first-time entrants to higher education and plan to start study in September/October 2021.
  • Students who have already received a qualification at the same level.
  • Students on a full-time or part-time undergraduate course in a publicly funded institution 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.
  • Students whose reckonable income is assessed as over the maximum income limit, currently €24,500 gross for the family in 2020.
  • Postgraduate students.
  • Students in years other than 1st year.

What do I need to do before I start my application form?

  1. You must agree to the data sharing policy in order to proceed with the application'        
  2. Locate your 9 digit CAO number.
  3. Locate your email address
  4. Provide your phone number. 
  5. Find your Eircode. If you do not know it click here 
  6. Prepare your personal statement.           

What should I discuss in my personal statement? 

1. Educational Hopes and Aspirations.


How the Bursary will help you achieve your goals and ambitions?

  • Why you have chosen your course of study?
  • What barriers have you faced in achieving your goals and ambitions?           

2. Financial Impact.


  • Have you/your family experienced severe financial hardship?
  • How will you support yourself and manage financially while in college?
  • How would you spend the Bursary money if your application is successful?

3. Personal Circumstances.


  • Your personal and/or family circumstances and the barriers that you have faced in continuing your education
  • Your responsibility within your family
  • Do you care for siblings/and or parent(s)?
  • Do you have to work part-time to support your family financially?

Please read the personal statement sections very carefully and take some time with your responses. If there is any information that you feel should be taken into account when your application is considered, you should include it here.                        

Making an appeal

There are two grounds for appeal:

  1. You believe there was an “administrative error in assessment” i.e. that you think a mistake was made when your application was being reviewed that lead to you not being awarded the Bursary. 
  2. You believe “insufficient weight was given to an aspect of your application” i.e. that all your circumstances were not taken into account when your application was being reviewed and something important was not considered about your personal situation.

No new information can be included or considered at appeal stage.

What do I need to complete an appeal form?

Before you complete an appeal, we suggest you speak to a member of staff in your HEI.  They can discuss your outcome and other supports available to you.

  • Your 9 digit CAO number
  • Identify the grounds for your appeal


You will find additional support under Frequently Asked Questions