Mature Students: Back To Education Allowance
The Back To Education Allowance or BTEA can be paid to those who have been in receipt of social welfare payments and wish to return to full time education. Typically a claimant would have to be in receipt of social welfare payments for 9 consecutive months or more prior to returning to college, but there can be exceptions to this rule, usually in cases involving statutory redundancy.
There have been a number of changes made to the BTEA in recent years.
A full list of Frequently Asked Questions can be found here: http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/BTEA-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx
More comprehensive information on the Third Level Option of the BTEA is available here: http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/thirdleveloption.aspx
The complete and detailed Operational Guidelines for the BTEA is available here: http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/Back-to-Education-Allowance-Scheme.aspx. This page should have the answers to any query you might have.
Part-time Students: The BTEA may be available for part-time students also - more information is available here: http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/Part-Time-Education-Option.aspx