Applications for fees waivers on medical and psychiatric grounds at an Irish third-level college
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Physical and mental illness present substantial challenges to college students and authorities.
(1) To characterize medical and psychiatric reasons underlying requests for fees waivers at an Irish third-level college; (2) to identify information included in applications; and (3) to develop proposals for standardizing applications.
We examined all applications for exemption from fees for medical or psychiatric reasons over two academic years at an Irish third-level college.
Two hundred and twenty-two students applied for exemptions; 91% were successful. Psychiatric problems were more common than physical illness (64.1 vs. 27.9%). There was wide variation in details provided in applications with few providing details on likely ongoing duration of illness (5.0%).
We recommend that (a) a structured medical application form be completed by medical practitioners supporting applications; (b) a medical practitioner review applications; and (c) there should be annual re-audit of this process.
KeywordsColleges Depression Mental health Students Student health services
Conflict of interest statement
There are no competing interests to declare.
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