The Student Assistance Fund (SAF) is managed by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. 
Government of Ireland and HEA logos

 

If you have concerns about funding your college costs you may be eligible to apply to the Student Assistance Fund (SAF). Find out more below then start your SAF application

Please note: we have a high volume of applications to the Student Assistance Fund at this time. If you find that you cannot get an appointment with a Student Budgeting Advisor (this is a required step in the process) please re-check the booking calendar frequently as slots can be freed up daily. If you have an emergency situation you can email student.budget@mu.ie and outline your circumstances and ask for an emergency appointment. 

 

SAF Poster 2021-2022

If you have any queries, you can contact the Student Budgeting Advisor at student.budget@mu.ie or the SAF team at saf@mu.ie.

 

The Student Assistance Fund (SAF)

 

Who can and cannot apply to the SAF?

When to apply and how often can you apply?

How to apply?

What happens next?

Confidentiality and Sharing of your Data

Frequently Asked Questions about the SAF

 

What is the Student Assistance Fund?

The Student Assistance Fund (SAF) is one of a number of sources of funding available to students while studying at Maynooth University, ​designed to help students meet some of the extra costs associated with being at university. 

The purpose of the SAF is to:

  • support students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds who are under-represented in higher education and who have temporary or ongoing needs for financial support;
  • provide emergency financial assistance for other students experiencing exceptional financial difficulties.
Students can be awarded funds from the SAF to cover various college-related costs such as:

  • books and class materials,
  • rent, heating, lighting, and other utility bills (including mobile phone data plans that you may require to participate and continue in university),
  • food,
  • essential travel,
  • childcare,
  • medical costs,
  • family difficulties e.g. bereavement.
  • Covid-19 has had a major impact on the financial situation of students and their families. Therefore the SAF may be used to support students who find themselves in need of financial support due to Covid-19, provided that such support aligns with the overall purpose of the SAF and the eligible costs identified above.

This list of costs is not exhaustive. However, tuition fees, registration fees, student loan repayments or any costs borne by your college are not covered by the Student Assistance Fund.


 

Who Can and Cannot Apply to the SAF?

 
You are eligible to apply to the Student Assistance Fund if …

1. You are in significant financial difficulty.

Significant financial difficulty just means that you are finding it hard to cover your additional costs while at college and that it’s significantly affecting you. You can apply to the SAF even if you are on a SUSI grant. You can apply to the SAF even if you have already received funding from the SAF this year or in a previous year. You can apply to the SAF even if you have received HEAR or TTT funding from the SAF this year or in a previous year or are in receipt of the 1916 Bursary.
                                                           
AND

2. You belong to one of the student categories below:

  • A full-time OR part-time undergraduate student at Maynooth University or St. Patrick's College Maynooth, registered for a course of not less than one year’s duration that leads to a higher education award at Level 6 to 10 of the national framework of qualifications.
  • A post-graduate student at Maynooth University or St. Patrick's College Maynooth registered for a course of not less than one year’s duration that leads to a higher education award at Level 6 to 10 of the national framework of qualifications. This includes students studying for a Professional Master of Education (Primary) or a Professional Master of Education (Secondary).
  • An internal repeat student from the above specified categories.
  • A student who is a non-EU national, including a UK national, who is eligible for free or reduced fees in line with the criteria for the Free Fees Initiative, may be considered for SAF subject to meeting the other eligibility criteria.
  • A student on a Springboard+ course, or on a blended/distance learning course of not less than one year’s duration, that leads to a higher education award at Level 6 to 10 of the national framework of qualifications. This year the Springboard+ courses at Maynooth University are the H. Dip. In Science (Software Development) and the H. Dip in Data Analytics.
  • A PhD student (PhD students in yrs 1-4 are eligible; PhD students in year 5 or higher will be considered on a case-by-case basis).
  • A student who entered Maynooth University through the HEAR route.
  • 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, will be considered on a case-by-case basis and subject to available funding.

AND

3a. You are in receipt of a Student Grant (includes part payment of the Student Contribution Charge)

- OR -

3b. If not on a SUSI grant, your household income falls within one of these income thresholds applied by Maynooth University for 2021/22*:

Dependent children (including yourself) in family Income Limit
0 - 3 dependents €63,732
4 - 7 dependents €70,024
8 or more dependents €76,022
* NB. Income thresholds for the SAF at Maynooth University are based on the income bands for the SUSI maintenance grant. For the SAF, Maynooth University sets the income thresholds 17.5% above the SUSI income bands to facilitate those students who may have just missed out on getting a grant.

 

Who cannot apply?

 
You are not eligible for the Student Assistance Fund if you are:

  • Studying a course which does not lead to a qualification at Level 6 or above.
  • Studying a course of less than 1 year’s duration. 
  • Studying pure Divinity at St. Patrick’s College Maynooth.
  • Repeating externally. Most repeat students are repeating internally.
  • An international student attending Maynooth University or St. Patrick’s College Maynooth. You are advised to contact the International Office if in need of emergency financial support.
  • Studying at Maynooth University on Erasmus from another University or Institution. You are advised to contact your home university if in need of financial support.
  • Studying for the Certificate in Return to Learning Course Level 5. You are advised to contact student.budget@mu.ie for possible alternative support.
  • Not on SUSI and are above the income limits set out above..

If you fall into any of the above categories of students who cannot apply for SAF there may be other funds that can help - contact the Student Budgeting Advisor at student.budget@mu.ie.  

 

When to Apply and How Often can you Apply?

 

  • You can apply at any time during the academic year. 
  • You can apply as many times per year as you need.
  • For your first application of the academic year you must complete the online form when you Book an Appointment with the Student Budgeting Advisor but second or subsequent applications are quicker and can be started with an email to student.budget@mu.ie with an update of your circumstances.
  • Once the fund is depleted there will be no more disbursements regardless of eligibility. 


 

How to Apply to the SAF?

Once you complete Step 1 you will be guided through Steps 2 and 3 but they are set out here for your information. You can proceed to step 1 now. 

Step 1 Book an Appointment with the Student Budgeting Advisor (SBA)
Here’s what to expect:

  • You will be asked for your budgeting and household information. 
  • When you finish and submit the form you will get a link to select an appointment time for the Student Budgeting Advisor (SBA). This will generally be an online/ phone consultation.
  • Appointment slots are booked up early and are highly sought after. If the calendar is booked up make an appointment for the earliest possible time and keep an eye on the calendar as slots can be freed up. If you have an emergency situation, you should email student.budget@mu.ie and ask for an emergency appointment, outlining your situation. Students on Erasmus, or students on a year abroad as part of an International Degree, or students on placement can book an appointment at the link above in the same way but be sure to email the SBA to advise that you are on Erasmus/Study Abroad/Placement and what your time zone is, if relevant.
  • The Student Budgeting Advisor will ring you at your consultation time so be sure to be available and have your phone switched on for the date and time of your appointment slot.
  • The Student Budgeting Advisor will review your budgeting and household information and will advise on what fund/s you should apply for. You may be referred to more than one fund.
  • If you are recommended to apply to the Student Assistance Fund, you will be guided through Steps 2-4.
  • If the Student Budgeting Advisor does not recommend you to the SAF, you can still apply independently. Should this happen, you can indicate to the Student Budgeting Advisor that you wish to apply independently, and this will be facilitated but the lack of a recommendation will be taken into account.

Step 2 Complete the SAF application form.

  • You will only get the link to this online form by going through Step 1 (consultation with the Student Budgeting Advisor).
  • The Student Budgeting Advisor will send the link from student.budget@mu.ie. It will only take a few minutes to complete the form. 


Step 3 Gather & Upload your Supporting Documents

  • Next you will be sent an email from saf@mu.ie with a secure link to upload supporting documentation.
  • You should refer to the MU SAF Documents Checklist 2021_22 now to find out what documents you will need to provide and how to get them. Getting the required documents causes the biggest delay in getting funding so you can start working on this now.
  • Note: Your documentation will be uploaded onto a secure server and data protection rules are strictly observed concerning your confidential information. Read more about SAF Confidentiality and the sharing of your data.

How do I get income documents?

  • Note: You may need to provide proof of income documents for 2020. You will need the consent and assistance of the income earner as only the income earner can request proof of income documents from government offices.
    • Where the required income document is a Statement of Liability (the income document for employed people, previously known as a P21), the income earner can request it online if they are registered with Revenue’s PAYE online service at PAYE services.  Registering with PAYE services and getting a Statement of Liability can take a few weeks. Otherwise, to get a Statement of Liability the income earner must get in touch with their District Tax Office.
    • If the income document is a Notice of Self-Assessment (self-employed people), this is available from the Revenue Commissioners – the income earner must contact Revenue.  
    • The income earner can request a Social Welfare Balancing Statement through MyWelfare or contact their Social Welfare office.
  • Review these sample documents to ensure you are providing the correct documentation: Sample Social Welfare Balancing StatementSample P21 Statement of LiabilitySample Notice of Self Assessment)
How do I get my online bank statements? 

AIB - eStatement Guide - Online Statements - AIB Internet Banking | AIB

Bank of Ireland - Digital Banking Archives | Bank of Ireland Group Website 

Credit Union - you can ring your credit union for a paper statement to be posted out or to set up online access so that you can download your statement electroniically. 

KBC - eStatements - KBC

Permanent TSB - Support And FAQ | permanent tsb

Revolut - Viewing my account statements | Revolut Help Center | Revolut

Ulster Bank - How do I download a statement file? - Ulster Bank Help

How do I create scans/electronic copies of my paper documents?

If you have paper documents, you will need to create scanned electronic copies of them to upload online. There are a number of ways to create a scanned electronic copy of your document:

Use your smartphone camera:

  • ​Scan your paper documents using the free app OfficeLens (Android / iPhone) combined with your camera. You can also follow these 8 steps using the Notes app on your iPhone.
  • If using the camera alone to take photos, ensure the screenshots are of good quality and all information is visible.
  • Save your electronic documentation onto your pc/laptop/USB key/phone. Open to the email recommending you for SAF and browse to the location of your scanned documents to upload them.

Use a printer/scanner:

  • There are 7 printers with scanning functions around the University (locations are listed in Copy & Print Services)
  • At a printer, swipe your Student ID card and set the document that you wish to scan face up on the top tray of the printer and click Scan on the printer’s screen.
  • Your scanned document will be emailed to you as an attachment to your @mumail.ie address.
  • Save your electronic documentation onto your pc/laptop/USB key/phone. Open the  email recommending you for SAF and browse to the location of your scanned documents to upload them.
  • It is not advisable to you use the Webprint facility to remotely print confidential documents.

If you are still having difficulty creating an electronic version of your documents, contact saf@mu.ie.


Step 4 Register your Bank Details with the University

  • If you are approved for SAF support, payment will be made directly to your bank account.
  • You will be given a secure link to register your bank details online with the University. The link will bring you to the Student Electronic Fund Transfer procedure on the Maynooth University Student Fees & Grants webpage. 
  • This is the only way to register your bank account details with the University. The Access Office will never contact you directly for these details.
  • If you have any difficulties registering your bank details, you should contact joan.oriordan@mu.ie in the Maynooth University Fees and Grants Office.


 

Assessment/Outcome/Appeal

  • You may be contacted for further information so keep an eye on your university email address for emails from saf@mu.ie and respond to any emails as soon as possible.
  • If you are having difficulty getting your supporting documents drop an email to saf@mu.ie so that your application can be kept open. The SAF administrator will also be able to offer you help and guidance.
  • When you have uploaded complete and correct supporting documents, your application can be brought to the SAF committee.  The SAF committee will make the final decision as to your eligibility and award. Please note that the amount for which you were recommended by the Student Budgeting Advisor may not be the amount for which you are approved. The amount can be reduced by the SAF committee or, sometimes, increased. These decisions are always made with the advice of the Student Budgeting Advisor.
  • You will be notified of the outcome by email to your official @mumail.ie or @spcmail.ie email address. 
  • If approved for funding, payment will be made by electronic funds transfer into your own bank account. You should ensure that you register your bank details with the University as soon as you know that you are recommended for SAF to avoid any delays in payment.
  • You can appeal the outcome. Students may appeal the decision of the SAF Committee or the amount awarded. Requests for an appeal must be made in the form of an email to the Director of Access within 10 working days of the original decision being communicated to you. Email saf@mu.ie and cc access.office@mu.ie using SAF Appeal as the subject line.


   

Confidentiality and Sharing of your Data

Maynooth University treats all data provided in a sensitive and confidential manner. The data will be stored, secured and remain strictly private and confidential in accordance with the University Data Protection policy. Read more information on confidentiality and how your data is stored and shared as part of your SAF application.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the SAF

Review the SAF FAQ's to find more information about your eligibility, making an application, the outcome and appeals.

For more information on the SAF, you can view the Student-Friendly SAF 2021-22 Guidelines and the Higher Education Authority's SAF page on studentfinance.ie.
 

Government of Ireland and HEA logos

      
The Student Assistance Fund (SAF) is managed by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.