The Department of Education has said Fine Gael figures on the backlog of student grant applications are out of date.

The Department said 2,752 students have yet to have their applications for maintenance grants processed - not 8,221 as claimed by Fine Gael Education Spokesman Brian Hayes.

The college maintenance grant is awarded by both local authorities and VECs.

41 out of the 66 awarding bodies have by now processed all applications.

However, some bodies have a huge numbers of applications still to process.