SAF FAQ's

Here you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ's) about the Student Assistance Fund (SAF). If your question is not listed below please email saf@mu.ie.

SAF ELIGIBILITY
SAF APPLICATION
SAF OUTCOME AND PAYMENT
SAF APPEALS
SAF CONFIDENTIALITY AND SHARING YOUR DATA

SAF ELIGIBILITY

I am registered on an approved course and am receiving a student grant. Can I apply to the SAF?
Yes, provided you satisfy the eligibility criteria you can apply to the SAF- see Who can Apply. Your grant will be taken into account by the Student Budgeting Advisor in assessing your needs. The decision on your application will be based on the information you provide (and, if necessary, verify) in your application.

I am a HEAR student and am not receiving any additional support under the SAF this year. Can I apply to the SAF?
Yes, you can apply to the SAF through the Student Budgeting Advisor

I am a HEAR student and am receiving additional support under the SAF. Can I apply for further support from the SAF?
Yes, you can apply to the Student Assistance Fund through the Student Budgeting Advisor even if you have already received funding from the SAF. 

I entered Maynooth University as a HEAR eligible student. Can I also apply to the SAF?
First year students who entered Maynooth University through the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) and continuing HEAR students who met 5 or more HEAR eligibility indicators, who are fully registered, are prioritised for the SAF. The Access Office will contact you directly about this funding. You may also apply to the SAF directly through the Student Budgeting Advisor.

I am repeating a year of college and am registered on an approved course. Can I apply to the SAF?
Yes, being a repeat student (registered) does not preclude you from making an application to the fund, however please note that the fund cannot be used to pay for tuition fees.

I am registered on an approved course and am receiving additional support under the Fund for Students with Disabilities. Am I eligible to apply to the SAF?
Yes, you are eligible to apply.

I am an Irish student enrolling in a higher education institution outside the Republic of Ireland. Am I eligible to apply to the SAF?
No, the fund is available only through Irish publicly-funded colleges. However, if you are a registered Maynooth University student on Erasmus or studying abroad for a year as part of an international degree course, you may apply to the SAF. 

Can I apply to the SAF if I am participating in an Access/Foundation/Certificate/Return to Learning course?
You can apply if your course is of at least one year's duration leading to an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification at Level 6-10 on the National Framework of Qualifications. You can check your course level on Course Finder. If you find that the course you are taking is under Level 6 (e.g. the Return to Learning course is Level 5), the Student Budgeting Advisor may be able to advise you of other funds that might be available to you. Please refer to Who can Apply for more information on eligibility for the SAF.

I am registered on a part time course at Maynooth University. Can I apply to the SAF?
You can apply if your course is of at least one year's duration leading to an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification at Level 6-10 on the National Framework of Qualifications. You can check your course level on Course Finder. If you find that the course you are taking is under Level 6 (e.g. the Return to Learning course is Level 5), the Student Budgeting Advisor may be able to advise you of other funds that might be available to you. Please refer to Who can Apply for more information on eligibility for the SAF.

I am a postgraduate student. Can I apply to the SAF?
Yes, provided you satisfy the eligibility criteria you can apply to the SAF. Please note that PhD students in year 5 or above of a PhD are not eligible for the SAF. Refer to Who can Apply for more information on eligibility for the SAF.

I went to the Student Budgeting Advisor but wasn’t referred to the SAF. What can I do?
If the Student Budgeting Advisor decided not to recommend you for the SAF you can still apply but the lack of a referral will be taken into account. You should notify the Student Budgeting Advisor at student.budget@mu.ie that you want to progress your application without recommendation. Your application will be forwarded to the Access Office and a decision made by the SAF committee. 

 

SAF APPLICATION

What costs are covered by the Student Assistance Fund?
The SAF is designed to help meet the additional costs of attending college: books and class materials. rent and utilities, food, essential travel, childcare, medical costs. Students on a Postgraduate Masters of Education course can apply for assistance with costs incurred as a result of mandatory school placement or for fees for mandatory Gaeltacht courses. Tuition fees, registration fees, student loan repayments or any costs borne by your college are not covered by the Student Assistance Fund.

When does the Student Assistance Fund open/close?
The Student Assistance Fund opens at the start of each academic year and remains open until available funds are exhausted. You are advised to apply as early in the academic year as you can. You may apply as many times as you need to in each academic year. As soon as the Fund has been distributed in full no further awards can be made, regardless of eligibility.

Can I apply to the SAF at any time in the academic year?
There is currently no closing date for applying to the SAF, however, as there is a limited amount of money in the Fund you should make your application as soon as possible after the start of the academic year. Once you start, you must complete your application within 4 weeks. You can also apply to the SAF more than once in the academic year. As soon as the Fund has been distributed in full, no further awards can be made, regardless of eligibility.

How long will the application process take?
This depends upon how quickly you can submit the required supporting documents. If you submit your documents immediately upon request, your application could be finalised within 2-3 weeks. Otherwise, allow 3-6 weeks, all depending upon submission of your complete and correct supporting documents.

I have been approved for SAF funding. When will I receive payment?
Students who are approved for funding from the SAF will be notified by email that payment will be made to their bank account within 10 working days from the date of the approval email. When calculating the 10 working days, do not count weekends or public holidays. You should also check that you have registered your bank details with the University - please refer to Step 4 Register your Bank Details. 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. 

If you have registered your bank account details and 10 working days have passed but you still have not received payment, you should contact joan.oriordan@mu.ie in the Maynooth University Fees Office who handles the actual payment to your account.

I have been approved for SAF funding but have not yet received payment into my bank account. What should I do?
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. 

If you have registered your bank account details and 10 working days have passed but you still have not received payment, you should contact joan.oriordan@mu.ie in the Maynooth University Fees Office who handles the actual payment to your account.

I completed the online application form and met with the Student Budgeting Advisor but I haven’t received any follow up email. What should I do?
You should have received a confirmation email immediately upon submitting your online form. If you have not received this email, it is likely that you entered your email address incorrectly or it may have been misdirected to your spam folder. If you cannot locate the confirmation email you can contact student.budget@mu.ie to follow up on your application. You may have to fill out the online form again.

How do I get the supporting documents needed to progress my SAF application?
Please refer to Step 2 Gather Your Supporting Documents in the SAF Application Steps.
Please note: You may be required to submit household documents belonging to your parent/s, partner or guardian/s. In this case you must also provide this SAF Data Consent Form signed by your parent/ guardian or partner.

I am under 23 but am unable to provide financial documentation for my parents/ guardians. Can I be assessed on my own income?
If you are experiencing difficulty with the documentation requirements for SAF, you should contact saf@mu.ie to discuss this confidentially. Every effort will be made to be as flexible as possible where there are exceptional circumstances leading to significant financial hardship.

Can I submit a P60 instead of a P21?
In general, you must submit a P21. A P60 shows total earnings from one employer only and does not take account of any additional income, such as another job or a spouse’s income. A P21 gives details of total household income, tax credits, tax reliefs and PAYE tax paid for a particular tax year. In exceptional circumstances, a P60 may be accepted. Please contact the Access Office at saf@mu.ie for more information.

I’m waiting on Revenue to provide a P21/ Notice of Assessment. Will this delay my application?
Applicants are strongly advised to start gathering their supporting documentation as early as possible. Every effort will be made to be as flexible as possible where there are exceptional circumstances leading to significant financial hardship.

How do I include the supporting documents in my application?
If referred to the SAF, you will be asked to submit your documentation online. Please refer to Step 3 Upload Your Supporting Documents in the SAF Application Steps.

I submitted my documents online but haven’t received any follow up email. What should I do?
You should have received a confirmation email immediately upon submitting your documentation. To check for this, first, make sure that you are checking your official @mumail.ie or @spcm.ie email address. Then check your spam folder in case the email was misdirected there. If you cannot locate the email please contact saf@mu.ie

I applied to the SAF. Can I get my confidential documents back?
You will be asked to scan and upload your supporting financial documents so this will not arise as you will have the originals. You should be careful when scanning your confidential documents and be sure not to leave soft copies on any public computers you have used for scanning.
Please see Confidentiality and Sharing of your Data for our confidentiality/data protection assurance on how we handle all your application information

I accidentally entered the wrong Maynooth University email address when filling out the online application form. How do I change this?
If you have not received a confirmation email, it is likely that you entered your email address incorrectly or it may have been misdirected to your spam folder. If you cannot locate the confirmation email you can contact student.budget@mu.ie to follow up on your application. You may have to fill out the online form again.

I entered a personal email address when filling out the online application form? Will the notification email be sent to this email address?
When you complete the online form, a confirmation email is sent immediately to the email address you provided in the form. If you are recommended to apply to the SAF, all correspondence will be sent to your official @mumail.ie or @spcm.ie email address.

I do not have a bank account, how will I be paid if my application is successful?
Payment will only be made my EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) to your bank account. If you do not have a bank account, please set up a bank account immediately and register your bank details. Please see the Step 4 Register your Bank Details section for more information. Normally student bank accounts do not incur fees.

If I received SAF funding, but I am still struggling financially can I apply again in the same year?
Yes. You may make additional SAF applications. 

If I already received SAF funding this semester/year, does this mean that I will be automatically funded next semester/ year?
Funding is not automatically granted. You can apply for additional funding and you will need to make a new SAF application each time.

If my application to the SAF is not successful, can I apply again?
Yes. You can apply as many times as you need to in the academic year and your application will be considered as long as the fund is still open.

 

OUTCOME AND PAYMENT

Will all students be notified of the outcome of their application?
Yes. Emails will be sent to your official @mumail.ie or @spcm.ie email address.

How is payment made to students who are approved for funding?
If approved for funding, payment will be made by electronic funds transfer into the student's own bank account.

Can I appeal the outcome of my SAF application?
See Appeals for more information on the SAF appeals process.

How much can I receive from the SAF?
The amount awarded is based on individual circumstances at the time of application. The average amount awarded is about €500. You can apply to the SAF more than once in the academic year.

 

APPEALS

Students who are not awarded funding through the SAF may wish to appeal this decision. Students who were awarded funding may wish to appeal the amount awarded.

You can appeal the decision if you believe that your application was not correctly considered. This might arise if you believe that your application was unsuccessful because of a failure to take account of one or more documents submitted or if you believe an error was made by the Access Office in relation to a document you submitted.

An application must have been fully completed and considered by the SAF Committee before an appeal can be made; as part of an appeal, a student can revise an application or submit new information and the appeal may then be referred to the SBA for review. 

Requests for an appeal must be made in the form of a letter to the Director of Access within 10 working days of the original decision being communicated to you. Requests for an appeal after this date will not be considered. You must outline where you believe an error occurred in the review of your application. Any other means of requesting an appeal, other than by way of a letter, will not be accepted.

Letters should be sent to Director of Access, Access Office, MAP Lodge, North Campus, Maynooth University, Co. Kildare.

SAF appeals will be considered by an Appeals Board which consists of 3 members of the Student Financial Support Steering Committee, excluding the Director of Access (or an alternate who may have been involved in the original decision). The Maynooth Students’ Union representative will always be invited to be on the Appeals Board. The decision of the Appeals Board is final.

Students will be informed in writing of the decision of the Appeals Board. For any queries in relation to the appeals process please contact saf@mu.ie.

 

CONFIDENTIALITY AND SHARING OF YOUR DATA

  • Maynooth University will use your data for the purpose of processing your application to the Student Assistance Fund. You are also asked to give your consent to some of your application details being used for research purposes. These details will always be anonymised and none of your personal data will be identifiable.
  • Information provided to the Student Budgeting Advisor that is relevant to an SAF application will be shared with relevant University administrative departments to facilitate the processing of your application.
  • Information provided to the Access Office as part of a SAF application may be shared with the Student Budgeting Advisor to facilitate the processing of your application. Outcomes from SAF applications will be shared with the Student Budgeting Advisor and with other relevant university offices for the purpose of processing your application.
  • Some of the data you provide when you apply to the Student Assistance Fund will be shared with the Higher Education Authority, the Department of Education and Skills and the European Commission for the purposes of co-coordinating, monitoring and evaluating the operation of the Student Assistance Fund and to comply with European Union requirements.
  • Maynooth University/ Maynooth University Students' Union/St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth records may be accessed in order to assist the processing of your application to the SAF and to certify that the information provided as part of an application is correct and complete.
  • If you have entered University through the HEAR route, you will be asked to give consent to Maynooth University using the information you provided in your Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) application to contact you about, and to facilitate applications to, the SAF.
  • Your information, including your documentation, will be held securely by Maynooth University for a period of up to 9 years from the year of your application, in line with requirements of the Higher Education Authority and the European Social Fund Human Capital Investment Programme 2014-20 and will be deleted confidentially thereafter.
  • Maynooth University will not use your information for any additional purpose to those stated above and all details provided or accessed will be treated in a sensitive and confidential manner and will be stored, secured and remain strictly private and confidential and in accordance with the University Data Protection policy.

The University Data Protection Officer may be contacted with any Data Protection concerns: ann.mckeon@mu.ie@mu.ie Tel. 01- 7086184. 

If you have any other queries about the Student Assistance Fund at Maynooth University which have not been answered you can email saf@mu.ie.