Financial Supports

Financial Assistance


What is the 1916 Bursary Fund?

The 1916 Bursary Fund was first established by the Department of Education and Skills in 2017.The purpose of the 1916 Bursary Fund is to encourage participation and success by students who are most socio-economically disadvantaged and who are from groups most under-represented in higher education. Bursaries are awarded through regional clusters of higher education institutions.

1916 Bursary Fund: South Cluster SOAR Project

The South Cluster is comprised of the following higher education institutions: Institute of Technology Carlow, Munster Technological University, University College Cork and Waterford Institute of Technology. The 1916 Bursary Fund is administered by the South Cluster’s SOAR Project on behalf of the four institutions. The SOAR Project is an inter-institutional Access initiative funded under the Programme for Access to Higher Education (PATH) 3 Fund.

What Bursaries are available?

There are three different types of bursaries – Tier 1, 2 and 3.

Tier 1 Bursaries: Awardees will receive €5,000 per year for the normal duration of an undergraduate programme and up to a maximum of six years for a part-time programme. The bursary will also be paid as the awardee progresses to postgraduate study.

Tier 2 Bursaries: Awardees will receive €2,000 per year for the normal duration of an undergraduate programme and up to a maximum of six years for a part-time programme. The bursary will also be paid as the awardee progresses to postgraduate study.

Tier 3 Bursaries: Awardees will receive a once-off bursary of €1,500 for the 2021/22 academic year only.

Number of Bursaries available in the South Cluster:

  • Tier 1 Bursaries: 35
  • Tier 2 Bursaries: 29
  • Tier 3 Bursaries: To Be Confirmed
Who can apply for a 1916 Bursary? (Eligibility Criteria)

Applicants must meet financial, college entry and target group criteria in order to be deemed eligible for consideration for a bursary.

A: Financial Criteria

Applicants must demonstrate that they would qualify for the special rate of maintenance grant under the Student Grant Scheme (SUSI)


are in receipt of a Department of Social Protection (DSP) long-term means-tested social welfare payment.


B: College Entry Criteria:

  • Applicants must be first-time new entrants to higher education to undergraduate study.
  • 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.
  • Applicants must be pursuing an approved full-time or approved part-time undergraduate course in one of the approved institutions in the regional clusters of HEIs.


C: Target Group Criteria:

Applicants must be from one or more of the following target groups:

  • students from communities that are socio-economically disadvantaged or that have low levels of participation in higher education;
  • first-time mature students (23 or older on 1 January of their year of entry to higher education);
  • students with a disability (particularly those with a physical or mobility impairment, those who are deaf or hard of hearing and those who are blind or have a visual impairment);
  • members of Irish Traveller community;
  • further education and training award holders progressing to higher education;
  • lone parents (confirmed by the Department of Social Protection (DSP) as holding a long-term means-tested social welfare payment) – at least 20% of Tier 1 bursaries will be targeted at lone parents;
  • students from ethnic minorities who are lawfully present in the State and are:
  • a national of an EU Member State, a state which is a contracting state to the EEA agreement, the UK or the Swiss Confederation,
  • or person whose current immigration status or leave to remain under the Department of Justice, is one of the following – Click here for more detail  
Who cannot apply for a 1916 Bursary?
  • Students who are not first time entrants to higher education in the 2021-2022 academic year.
  • 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.
  • Student who is paying non-EU fees
How do I apply?

There is one central online application process for the South Cluster higher education institutions (Institute of Technology Carlow, Munster Technological University, University College Cork and Waterford Institute of Technology). The application will open at 12 noon 08 September 2021. Applicants must fully and correctly complete the online application and upload relevant supporting documentation as required by 17:00 Friday 15 October 2021.

You can only apply through the online application.

What is the application Deadline?

The closing date for completion of the online application is 17:00 Friday 15 October 2021.

Application Form

The online application can be assessed from early September 2021 on the SOAR Project website at the following link.

All students are advised to first refer to information provided on this website regarding the application process and eligibility criteria.

What type of supporting documentation do I need to supply with my application?

Applicants are required to submit relevant supporting financial and target group documentary evidence. This supporting documentation can only be submitted online in Application (Part II). Please refer to the 1916 Bursary Fund South Cluster SOAR Project Supporting Documentation Guide

How is my application assessed?

Your application will be assessed on the basis of information provided on the online application and the supporting documentation uploaded with the application. Applicants must meet the college entry, financial and target group eligibility criteria set out in the 1916 Bursary Fund Guidelines in order to be considered for the bursary. The following additional indicators of socio-economic disadvantage will also be considered:

  • Attended at a DEIS second level school for a minimum of 5 years.
  • Is or was in the Care of the State / TUSLA.
  • Is or was previously homeless.
  • Is or was previously living in supported accommodation.
  • Was previously living in Direct Provision or currently transitioning out of Direct Provision.

It is expected that the number of applications will exceed the number of bursaries available. The SOAR Project will prioritise those deemed in greatest need; who are socio-economically disadvantaged and can provide evidence of membership of the target group(s); the institutions will give due regard to ensuring that the benefit of the bursaries is maximised.

Applicants must clearly demonstrate the significance and impact of the socio-economic disadvantage and barriers experienced. In accordance with the guidelines 20% of all Tier 1 bursaries must be awarded to lone parents.


Please email all queries regarding the 1916 Bursary Fund: South Cluster SOAR Project to: