Applications for the Student Grant Scheme open today.
Some of the most disadvantaged students are set to be benefit from improvements to the system.
The earlier opening date, will allow for the quicker acceptance of applications and lead to faster decisions and greater certainty for students.
SUSI processed 103,300 grant applications in the 2017/18 academic year - it's expected a similar number will apply for support for the coming year.
The Minister for Higher Education says a number of improvements will benefit some of the most disadvantaged students.
An extra €4m was secured in the budget which will support the most vulnerable groups wishing to access higher education.