The Student Assistance Fund (SAF) is co-funded by the Irish Government and European Union under the European Social Fund Human Capital Investment Programme 2014-2020. 

The Student Assistance Fund is now closed for new applications for the 2019/20 academic year. The Fund will re-open for the 20/21 academic year at the beginning of Semester 1. 

If you need support or guidance on money matters you may contact the Student Budgeting Advisor at 


Student Friendly Student Assistance Fund Guidelines

For more information on the SAF,
you can view the 
Student-Friendly SAF 2019-20 Guidelines 
and the 
Higher Education Authority's SAF page


The Student Assistance Fund (SAF)

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 meet some of the extra costs associated with being at university. Find out more about other funding options from the Maynooth University Student Budgeting Advisor

The purpose of the SAF is:

  • to support students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds who are under-represented in higher education and who have ongoing needs for financial support;
  • to provide emergency financial assistance for other students experiencing exceptional financial difficulties.
The SAF is designed to help meet the additional costs of attending college e.g.: books and class materials. rent and utilities, food, essential travel, childcare, medical costs, familty difficulties e.g. bereavement.Tuition fees, registration fees, student loan repayments or any costs borne by your college are not covered by the Student Assistance Fund.

> Students who are lone parents are encouraged to apply as additional funding has been made available to support this group.

> Support from the Student Assistance Fund may also be available to students studying for a Professional Master of Education, for example to cover the cost of spending time in the Gaeltacht.


Who Can Apply?

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In order to be eligible to apply to the Student Assistance Fund, you must be able to answer Yes to all of the following three questions.

Question 1


Are you in significant financial difficulty? 

(Note: 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 academic year).

Question 2 Are you a registered full time or part time student at Maynooth University or St. Patrick’s College Maynooth who falls into one of the eligible categories below?  
  You are eligible to apply for the SAF if you are:

  • A full-time student 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 part-time student 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 and who belongs to one of the following target groups as specified by the HEA’s National Access Plan: students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds which are underrepresented in higher education, first time mature student entrants, students with disabilities (particularly students with a physical/mobility impairment, students who are deaf/hard of hearing, students who are blind or have a visual impairment),  part time/flexible learners, Further Education Award Holders, Irish Travellers, lone parents.
  • An internal repeat student from the above specified categories.
  • A student who is a non-EU national, but who is 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 the 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
  • A PhD student in years 1-4 only (PhD students in their 5th or subsequent year are not eligible for this Fund).
  • A student who entered Maynooth University through the HEAR route is eligible to apply to the SAF.

You are not eligible for the SAF if you are:

  • Studying a course which does not lead to an undergraduate qualification at Level 6 or above.
  • Studying a course of less than 1 year’s duration. 
  • Participating on a second qualification at the same or a lower level.
  • Studying pure Divinity at St. Patrick’s College Maynooth.
  • Repeating externally.
  • An international student attending Maynooth University or St. Patrick’s College Maynooth. (You are advised to contact the International Office if in need of 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.
  • A PhD student in year 5 or above (PhD students are only eligible to apply to SAF in years 1-4).
Question 3 Are you in receipt of a Student Grant (includes part payment of the Student Contribution Charge)?
If not on a grant, does your household income fall within one of the income thresholds below applied by Maynooth University for 2018/19? *
  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.


When to Apply?

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You can apply at any time during the academic year and as many times as you need to until such time as the fund is depleted. Once the fund is depleted there will be no more disbursements regardless of eligibility. 

How to apply?

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Step 1 Meet with the Student Budgeting Advisor

You must first meet with the Student Budgeting Advisor (SBA). You can: 

  • Book an Appointment. Click on the link to fill in an online form with your financial and household information, then select an appointment time. 
  • Drop-in Clinic. If no immediate appointment is available with the SBA at the link above, you can attend the SBA drop-in clinic on Monday mornings and Wednesday mornings 10.30-12.30 in the Student Services Building, North Campus, where an appointment may be found for you. 
  • Emergency Appointment. If you have a genuine emergency which requires immediate support, you can call in to a Drop-In Clinic or email outlining the nature of the emergency and the SBA will get back to you. 
  • Phone Consultation. Students on Erasmus, students on a year abroad as part of an International Degree, or students on placement should complete the Student Budgeting Advisor’s online form 

The SBA will give you appropriate advice including whether or not you should apply to the SAF. If the SBA advises you not to apply to the SAF, you can still apply independently, but the lack of a recommendation from the SBA will be taken into account. You can indicate to the SBA that you wish to apply independently and this will be facilitated.

Step 2 Gather your Supporting Documents

If you are recommended to apply to the Student Assistance Fund (SAF), you will be emailed a link to the online SAF application form and a link to upload supporting documentation. The Student Budgeting Advisor can give you a list of the documents you may need to provide or refer to the MU SAF Documents Checklist 19/20. Your application to the SAF is only complete when you have provided all the documentation required.

Please note that where the required documentation belongs to a parent/partner or guardian, you must upload a signed SAF Data Consent Form


Step 3 Upload your Supporting Documents

Your documentation will be uploaded onto a secure server and data protection rules are strictly observed concerning your confidential information. 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 a printer/scanner:

  • Go to any of the 7 printers with scanning functions around the University (Copy/ Print Locations listed in Copy & Print Services)
  • 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 address. 

Use your smartphone camera:

  • Scan your paper documents using the free app OfficeLens (AndroidiPhone) combined with your camera. 
  • 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 to upload them. If you are still having difficulty creating an electronic version of your documents, contact or drop into the Access Office in MAP Lodge.


Step 4 Register your Bank Details

Funds awarded from the SAF will be paid directly into your bank account. If you have not already done so, you must Register your Bank Details  with the University. This is the only means by which you register your bank account details with the University. The Access Office will never contact you directly for these details. You should register your bank details even before you know the outcome of your application to avoid a long delay in payment or missing your payment completely. 



What happens next?


Assessment, Outcome & Payment

Your individual circumstances and financial means will be taken into consideration when assessing your application to the Student Assistance Fund. Final decisions on awards will be taken by the Student Assistance Fund committee.

An email with the outcome will be sent to your official or 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 in good time.You can appeal the outcome.



Students may appeal the decision of the SAF Committee or the amount awarded. 



Confidentiality and Sharing of your Data
Maynooth University treats all data provided in making an SAF application 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 about the Student Assistance Fund (FAQ)
Review the SAF FAQ's to find more information about your eligibility, making an application, the outcome and appeals.


The Student Assistance Fund (SAF) is co-funded by the Irish Government and European Union under the European Social Fund Human Capital Investment Programme 2014-2020.      

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