The Education Minister has announced an extra €3 million is being provided to hard-up students through the student assistance fund.
It is provided to 3rd-level students who are experiencing severe financial hardship or who may have to drop out of college for financial reasons.
Minister Ruairi Quinn asked officials to examine the possibility of increasing the fund because of severe financial difficulties facing many families and the delay in processing some student grants.
Concern over points emphasis
Meanwhile the Minister says he is concerned that too much emphasis is put on points for the Leaving Certificate rather then on the curriculum itself.
His comments come after reports in the Irish Independent today show that teachers are contributing to the points race in the way they mark their students in school exams.
Minister Quinn says efforts are underway to change the system so that the exam is not so focused on points.
The Minister announced details of self-evaluation guidelines back in November.