Student Assistance Fund
The Student Assistance Fund is intended to support students whose participation in higher education would otherwise be at risk as a direct result of financial difficulties.
The Student Assistance Fund is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund under the Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020. The Student Assistance Fund records are kept strictly confidential.
The online application will go live on 14th October, at 12 PM
- You may apply for funding if you are a full-time or part time student, registered with ATU Sligo participating on a third level course of at least one year, leading to a higher education award (NFQ level 6-10).
- If you applied for SAF and were awarded funding in the first roll out in October 2021 then you are NOT eligible to apply again in the second roll out.
- Students on courses that lead to a higher education award from level 6-10 of the National Framework of Qualifications are eligible to apply for the SAF. PhD students are eligible to apply for the SAF during the first four years of their studies. PhD students who have completed four years of their studies may also be considered eligible for support on a case-by-case basis.
- Students on courses that do not lead to a higher education award are not eligible to apply for SAF.
- Students with a previous higher education qualification at the same NFQ level, or who, in the past, attended higher education without ultimately obtaining a qualification, may be considered for support on a case-by-case basis and subject to available funding.
- Students on Springboard+/Human Capital Initiative courses, or who are on blended/distance learning courses, are eligible to apply for support through the SAF subject to meeting the criteria outlined above.
- International/non-EU fee paying students are not eligible for funding.
- Students who are non-EU, including UK nationals, but who are eligible for free or reduced fees in line with the criteria for the Free Fees Initiative, may be considered for the SAF subject to meeting other relevant criteria.
- Any student can receive funding from the SAF if their application is successful and they meet the relevant eligibility criteria i.e., a student does not have to be in receipt of a SUSI grant to be eligible to receive funding from SAF.
- Students on courses that do not lead to a higher education award are not eligible for SAF.
- Student Assistance Fund is only available for students who are experiencing financial hardship or unexpected financial hardship.
- Part-time students who are lone parents are encouraged to apply as additional funding has been made available to support this group.
- If you are due to go on Placement as part of your course you are eligible to apply. Evidence in the form of a letter from your program co-ordinator must be attached to your application.
- Books and other class materials
- Rent, heating, and lighting bills and other utility bills
- Essential travel
- In the case of parent students, un-registered childcare
- Medical costs (please provide evidence)
- Other financial emergency or family difficulty eg bereavement
The above list is not exhaustive. However, it is important that the nature of the expenditure for which assistance is being provided is clearly identified.
- Tuition fees
- Registration fees
- Repayment of student debt/loan
- Apply on the Student Assistance Fund Application page with your Student ID and password. Deadlines are outlined at the bottom of this page and are strictly adhered to.
- Please take note of the closing date as no late applications can be accepted. You must provide all supporting documents requested in the application. Failure to do so can cause delay in processing your application.
- Please note an online application is not a complete application and will not be processed without the supporting documents. Supporting documents are queued for assessment based on the date they have been received by the access office.
- Supporting documents can be submitted in the following manner:
Posted to Access Office, ATU Sligo, Ash Lane, Sligo, clearly marked SAF Application with your Student ID Number on the envelope.
Manually placed in the secure box at reception, clearly marked SAF Application with your Student ID Number on the envelope.
(your application will be delayed if you do not provide all evidence required)
- Signed Cover letter, available in the on-line application, please print it and submit it with your supporting documentation
- Evidence of SUSI
- If you are not in receipt of SUSI then you must outline as to why you are not in receipt of SUSI. If this is for threshold purposes, then you must provide your household Income in the format of your parents/guardians Employment Detail Summary (P60) or Statement of Liability (P21)
- Evidence of Rent/mortgage (Rent form is available to download on the on-line application please print it and submit it with your supporting documentation), evidence of mortgage payment is required
- 2 months official bank statements, for September 2022 and 14th October 2022, these must have your name on them so that they can be linked to your account, and they must show all transactions, please do not submit bank statements with no name on them as they will be returned and delay the processing of your application. Please highlight as many transactions as possible eg wages, Social Welfare, Childrens Allowance, SUSI etc.
- Evidence of income, 3 recent payslips and highlight on bank statement your wages
- Evidence of Social Welfare Payment if relevant
- If you are a parent and in receipt of Children’s Allowance, please provide evidence (can be highlighted on your bank statement)
- If you are a parent and use an un-registered childcare provider and are claiming for un-registered childcare, then you must provide evidence
- Your spouse/partner’s income details/social welfare payment
- Supporting documents are opened on a first in first opened basis. Supporting documents are matched to your on-line application and if your application is complete then it is brought to the next Welfare Assessment. If you have not submitted all the required documentation you will receive an automated message outlining what documents are required. The onus is on the student to follow up with this documentation failure to do so means your application is deemed INCOMPLETE and left on file.
- All COMPLETED applications are brought before the Welfare Committee for consideration.
- The Committee may require further clarification in relation to aspects of the application
- Applicants will receive email notifications on the decision of the Committee with further instructions of how payment will be made.
- It is important to note that there are limited funds available so we prioritise those who are most in need and not every request for funding can be met. SAF Fund is a means test fund.
- Payment can take anything up to 30 days to be paid.
Student Assistance Fund Guidelines 2022/2023
- All applications without exception that are missing supporting documentation from the envelope submitted will be put into an ‘Incomplete Applications folder’ for consideration at the end of the assessment process. This could result in no funding remaining to consider your application.
- No late applications will be accepted.
- You will receive an automated email to your student email when your application has been processed and is (a) ready for assessment or (b) further information is required.
- We will not have the time to be responding to individual queries on the status of applications.
- The onus is on each student to check their student email daily for further information regarding their application or other important information.
The link to apply for SAF will be emailed to each student email account on Friday 14th October at 4pm. This link will not be activated before this date so please do not try to apply before this date.
Closing date for on-line applications is Friday 25th November 2022 at 2.00pm.
Closing date for receipt of Supporting documents is Friday 9th December 2022 at 2.00pm. No late applications will be accepted. Please note if you are providing your evidence by post or dropping them to the college please only submit one envelope with supporting documentation, numerous envelopes may cause your application to be delayed for consideration, the envelope must be clearly marked SAF and your student ID Number on it. Any application that is missing supporting documentation is deemed ‘Incomplete’.
Applicants, please note the data protection implications of providing your personal data.
- Personal data collected as part of the application process may be processed for the purposes of coordinating, monitoring, and evaluating the operation of the SAF;
- This personal data may include special category data, including sensitive data such as socio-economic status, where students choose to share their data.
- Data may be shared with third parties such as the HEA for the purposes of allocating funding and for monitoring.202T