Over 1,000 third-level students are expected to benefit from a €32m investment in a third-level scholarship fund.
Businessman JP McManus has announced the top-up of the All-Ireland scholarship, which has already seen 125 students a year receive a cash sum since it was established in 2008.
Around 15,000 students from disadvantaged backgrounds are eligible for the scheme each year.
Trustee Gerard Boland says it can make a big difference to their lives: "They qualify for the education grant of it, I think, which is provided by the Government,
"They would also qualify for the All-Ireland scholarship which means they would find it easier while they are at college and may not have to take an extra job."