Simon Harris has said a €1,000 cut in college fees is just one of the options being considered for students ahead of the budget.
The Minister for Higher Education this morning published a paper outlining the different way the cost of education could be reduced in the coming months and years.
Among the options are reducing the €3,000 college contribution charge and expanding the SUSI grant programme.
It’s believed a €1,000 reduction to the contribution would cost the taxpayer around €86m.
Speaking to reporters this afternoon, he said those are the two main options being considered.
“Within my direct remit there are really two things,” he said.
“You can improve the student grant system both in terms of the amount and by making sure more families qualify and you can also look at the registration fee and can that be reduced.
“Those are the two levers if you like, I have at my disposal.
“We have made some changes that kick in now for students who are travelling to college or are more likely to have to rent because their family home is further away.
“So, their grants will have increased by anything between 25% and 30% compared to last September and we definitely will be doing more in the budget to help students ad help families with the cost of living.”