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Tuition Fees in Ireland

Free Fees Initiative

Under the Free Fees Initiative your tuition fees will be paid to your university by Ireland’s Higher Education Authority.

If you satisfy all of the following criteria you may qualify for the Free Fees Initiative:

  • You have resided in an EU member state for at least 3 of the 5 previous years
  • It’s the first time you’ll be attending an undergraduate course
  • You’re applying to a course which will last at least 2 years and is studied on a full-time basis

You must also satisfy at least one of the following nationality requirements:

  • You are an EU or EEA student 9 (includes Switzerland) i.e. a national of any member state of the European Union or European Economic Area
  • You have refugee status in Ireland
  • You are the family member of someone with refugee status in Ireland and have permission to reside in Ireland
  • You are the family member of an EU national and have permission to live in Ireland
  • You have been granted humanitarian ‘leave to remain’ in Ireland
  • You have been granted permission to live in Ireland by the Minister for Justice and Equality

Full criteria for eligibility can be found on the Student Finance Ireland site.

Your Higher Education Institution (HEI) will determine whether you qualify for the Free Fees Scheme.

Student Contribution Fee

Most HEIs will require students pay an annual Student Contribution Fee. The amount varies from one institution to another but is capped at a maximum of €3,000.

The fee covers the provision of student services such as libraries, computing, clubs, bars, and examination entry fees.

Northern Irish residents choosing to study in the Republic of Ireland are eligible to apply for the Student Contribution Loan, which will cover the full fee. Applications are submitted to Student Finance Northern Ireland.

EU Fees Rate

If you are not eligible for the Free Fees Initiative you may yet qualify for EU fee rates. These are set by individual institutions so check with the university you intend to attend for details.

Examples of situations under which you will not qualify for free fees but may do for the EU fees:

  • You are repeating a year you failed
  • You’ve already been to university
  • You’ve been a tax resident in EEA state for a number of years

Non-EU Fees Rate

If you do not qualify for the Free Fees Initiative or EU fees you’ll need to pay Non-EU International fees. International fees are set by individual HEIs so please consult their web pages for more info.

International students will need to pay their fees for the upcoming academic year upfront.