The Back To Education Allowance (BTEA) allows qualifying persons to return to full-time education in approved courses while continuing to receive income support.

People who are in receipt of certain social welfare payments may be eligible to take part in a third-level education course while retaining those payments.

There are eligibility criteria that you need to meet in order to be accepted for BTEA.

Eligibility for a student grant while in receipt of BTEA

Since September 2010, students entering a new course who are in receipt of the BTEA are no longer eligible for a maintenance grant. Such students can, however, apply under the student grant scheme to have the student contribution charge and any tuition fees payable for the course paid on their behalf.

Students currently in receipt of both the BTEA and maintenance will continue to be eligible for both payments for the duration of their current course provided they meet the terms and conditions of the student grant scheme.

For more information on BTEA, please see or the Department of Social Protection website.

If you are having difficulty with your Back To Education Allowance, please don’t hesitate to contact Aly, your Education & Lifelong Learning Officer by emailing