At HSSCU, we are passionate about helping our members with their educational pursuits. We are well aware that education can be one of the most important aspects of someone’s life and we are thrilled to help make it easier for our members. With that in mind, we provide €50,000 in scholarship funds each year. Whether studying for a degree, diploma, masters or any further education course, our members can apply for a HSSCU scholarship. So far we have helped with physiotherapy, art courses, disability studies and more – and what’s more, it doesn’t matter what year of your course you’re in. This year, we decided to extend our application closing date to September 21st due to the later Leaving Certificate results. Please see testimonial from one of last year’s winners below – the lovely Niamh Elliott-Sheridan!
Niamh Elliott-Sheridan Testimonial
My name is Niamh, I’m from Dublin’s City Centre and am now twenty-two as I finish my studies. I work with Merchant’s Quay Ireland and the Irish Prison Service, a role I initially entered through a graduate programme, but have since been granted a contract extension. With the help of HSSCU, I did a master’s degree in Gender and Women’s Studies at Trinity College Dublin. Due to Covid-19, we have received extensions for our thesis’, and I will hopefully have that submitted within the next month.
I heard about the HSSCU’s Higher Education Scholarships at first from my mam who is a long-term member at one of the branches. I really wanted to continue pursuing education, but the prospect of enormous fees weighed down on me and so I sought out opportunities that could assist me financially. I never would have been able to afford it otherwise, and I had made loose secondary plans if college were to fall through. I was chosen for a graduate programme in addiction and homelessness services, which gave me financial independence and belief that I could do postgraduate, even if it required a long-term financial plan. Initially I was delighted to qualify for a loan from the credit union, which I aimed to pay back over a couple of years.
I applied for both the scholarship and the Betty Noone bursary, expecting to get neither. The application process was easy enough, as the staff are super helpful with any queries I had and would never leave it long to contact me back. Writing the essay solidified for me just how much I wanted to do my course.
I had settled on the idea of paying back a €7,500 loan over two years, and though it left little room for leisurely spending. I had budgeted thoroughly and accepted the situation. I was waiting at the bus stop coming home from work when I got the call from a lovely staff member telling me I’ve received the scholarship. I couldn’t believe it, was crying at the bus stop and smiled the whole way home. I rang family, text my friends and they were all so happy as they knew how stressed the money made me.
The scholarship helped me to dive wholeheartedly into my course without the added pressure of money. As a knock-on effect, I enjoyed my job more, gaining skills and knowledge in a field I’m passionate about. I was and am so grateful to the HSSCU that I had that burden lifted and could relax into learning completely for pleasure. Moving forward, I’m excited to see what doors open as a result of my degree, but am content as it stands working for an NGO and writing in my spare time. I 100% recommend for other members to apply – you never know what could happen, the staff are friendly and it is always worth a shot.
Would You Like to Apply?
To apply for a HSSCU’s scholarship this year, simply visit our scholarships webpage and download our application form. We are very excited to be able to afford this opportunity to a host of new members this year.