Almost £10 million has been announced to help schools offer pupils an increased number of courses, it has been revealed.
From September, schools will be required to provide access to more study options under the Entitlement Framework.
Education Minister John O'Dowd said the change would enhance the ability of schools to plan and manage the offer of courses to the benefit of all pupils.
He said: "I recognise the tough financial challenges that schools face and the difficult choices they have to make to ensure they are able to deliver a broad and balanced range of courses.
"In recognition of this I have decided to provide an additional £3 million in 2013/14 and a further £6.9 million in the 2014/15 financial year.
"This additional funding will go some way to ease budget pressures faced by schools."
From September, each young person will be guaranteed access to at least 18 courses for GCSEs, increasing to 21 by next year and 24 by 2015.