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.

  1. Only students who did not apply in semester 1 are eligible to apply in semester 2. 
  2. 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.
  3. Students on courses that do not lead to a higher education award are not eligible to apply for SAF.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. International/non-EU fee paying students are not eligible for funding.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Students on courses that do not lead to a higher education award are not eligible for SAF.
  10. Student Assistance Fund is only available for students who are experiencing financial hardship or unexpected financial hardship.
  11. Part-time students who are lone parents are encouraged to apply as additional funding has been made available to support this group.
  12. 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
  • Food
  • 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

 Application System

Applications for SAF must be submitted via the online application system only.  The SAF financial year runs from 1 October to 30 September (following year).  The online application system on MS Forms will open as follows:

Round 1

  • Opens First week of term 18 September
  • Closes for applications on 13 November
  • Close for documentation on 1 December

Round 2

  • Opens 15 January
  • Closes 12 February
  • Close for documentation on 1 March

Round 3

  • Opens  19 March at 5 pm 
  • Closes 10 April at 5 pm 
  • Close for documentation on 19 April at 5 pm
  • When you have completed an on-line application, you will receive an email which has a link to upload your documents.  When you have uploaded your documents, your application is only then deemed a completed application.  Completed applications are assessed on a first in first assessed basis. You will only receive updates on your application if more documentation is required or after your application has been assessed and you are notified the outcome of the assessment. 


Opening date: Tuesday, 19 March 2024 at 5 pm 

Closing date: Wednesday 10 April 2024 at 5 pm

Closing date for uploading supporting documents is Friday, 19 April 2024 at 5 pm.

  • 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.
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