Student Assistance Fund (SAF)
There are two SAF funds at Maynooth University, General SAF and HEAR/ACCESS SAF:
- All students can apply to the General SAF provided they are eligible. Applicants must satisfy the eligibility and income criteria (household income must be under €73,727 in 2022). Check SAF Eligibility below for the full eligibility and income criteria. Where possible, applicants will be fast-tracked for funding without meeting the Student Budgeting Advisor (SBA). You will be directed when you apply to SAF if you need to meet the SBA.
- Only certain students supported by the Maynooth University Access Programme (MAP) are eligible for the HEAR/ACCESS SAF and they have been contacted in Ocotber 2023 to apply to that fund. Students eligible for the HEAR/ACCESS SAF can also apply to the General SAF.
Please note: there is no guarantee of funding award from the General SAF. Funding award is subject to eligibility, full completion of the application including meeting, if required, and upload of supporting documents, and to availability of funds. The Student Budgeting Advice service is also open for registered students for information and advice on managing your finances for attending college in 2023/24. The Student Emergency Fund is also available to registered students who have an unforeseen situation leading to college costs - contact the Student Budgeting Advice Service for more information.
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),
- essential travel,
- medical costs,
- family difficulties e.g., bereavement.
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.
There are two SAF Funds at Maynooth University: the General SAF and the HEAR/ACCESS SAF. All students can apply to the General SAF provided they are eligible, including students who are eligible for the HEAR/ACCESS SAF. Only certain students supported by the Maynooth University Access Programme (MAP) are eligible for the HEAR/ACCESS SAF and they will be contacted directly to apply to that fund.
Students applying to the General SAF may be required to meet with the Student Budgeting Advisor (SBA) as part of their application. Students will be advised when they apply if a meeting is required and, if required, the meeting may be online or in-person. Find more detail in the FAQs about when a meeting with the SBA may be required.
To apply to the General SAF, you must fulfil both A & B below:
A. Basic Eligibility, and
B. Household income under €73,727 in 2022
A. Basic Eligibility for SAF
You must be
- A full-time OR part-time undergraduate or postgraduate student at Maynooth University or St. Patrick's Pontifical University 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 student who is Irish, EU, EEA, Swiss or UK and who is eligible for free or reduced fees in line with the criteria for the Free Fees Initiative,
- Resident in Ireland or the EU for 3 of the last 5 years.
Provided you belong to all the above specified categories, this includes:
- Repeating students.
- Students studying for a Professional Master of Education (Primary) or a Professional Master of Education (Secondary).
- Students 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.
- PhD students (PhD students in years 1-4 are eligible; PhD students in year 5 or higher will be considered on a case-by-case basis).
- Students who entered Maynooth University through the HEAR entry 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, subject to meeting the above eligibility criteria.
- ELIGIBILITY TO BE CONFIRMED - Students who qualified for protection under Section 60 of the International Protection Act 2015 (including Ukrainian students who are currently registered as Higher Education Students, on approved courses or authorised transition arrangements in approved publicly funded institutions in Ireland). To qualify, the student must have been granted permission to reside in the State by the Minister for Justice pursuant to section 60 of the International Protection Act 2015). The student must be present, and residing at an address in the State, and attending, or intending to pursue, an approved course in the 2023/24 academic year.
You cannot apply to the SAF if you are:
- An incoming Erasmus student. Students attending Maynooth University on the Erasmus programme are advised to contact their home university for financial support
- An international student. International students cannot apply to the SAF but, in exceptional circumstances only, emergency funding may be available from the Maynooth University International Office. Incoming international students are advised to contact the International Office and/or the Student Support Officer.
- A student who is resident in Ireland on Stamp 2/2A/4D. Students on these residency stamps cannot avail of public funding support. Students are advised to contact the International Office, if relevant, and/or the Student Support Officer.
- A student of Divinity at St. Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth. You should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- A student studying for the Certificate in Return to Learning Course Level 5 at Maynooth University or any other course under Level 6. You are advised to contact the Student Budgeting Advisor to book an appointment /attend a drop-in clinic to discuss possible alternative support.
- A student whose family income in 2022 is above the income limits set out for SAF. You are advised to contact the Student Budgeting Advisor to book an appointment /attend a drop-in clinic to discuss possible alternative support. Please note that where a change of circumstances has occurred in the houshold income resulting in a reduction of income since 2022 which brings you under the SAF income threshold of €73,727, you may apply to the SAF and indicate the change of circumstances on the application form.
- A student who is repeating a year/module externally. Most repeat students are repeating internally however and are eligible to apply to the SAF.Students who are not eligible to apply to the SAF are advised to make an appointment or attend one of the weekly drop-in clinics at the Student Budgeting Advice Service to discuss other possible supports.
B. Income under €73,727 in 2022
To apply to the General SAF, the household income must be under €73,727 in 2022. Students will be assessed on the reckonable income on page 3 of their SUSI award letter for 2023/24 OR on their parents/guardians income for 2022. To be assessed on your own income, you must be 'living indpendently'. Renting during term time is not considered 'living independently. For the full definition of 'living independently', see the SAF FAQ Independent Living.
When you apply to the General SAF, you will be will be advised if you need to meet with the Student Budgeting Advisor, and provided with a Household Income Documents Checklist and step by step instructions on how to securely upload your supporting documents.
General SAF application form open now or, if you would like the details of how applications will be differentiated based on income and previous application, read on:
- Students with a family income under €46,790 in 2022 AND who are applying to the General SAF for the first time in 2023/24 will be prioritised for funding and will be assessed on a Means Tested basis only i.e. they will be required to provide their 3-page SUSI letter for 2023/24 OR other household income documents for 2022. A meeting with the Student Budgeting Advisor will not be required. The award is at a set rate which is dependent upon the available funding each year; in 2022 the set rate award was €600.
- Students with a household income above €46,790 and under €73,727 OR students who are re-applying for SAF in the same academic year OR students who have a previous qualification at the same level as the course they are currently undertaking OR Ph.D students in year 5 or above will be assessed on an Exceptional basis i.e. a meeting with the Student Budgeting Advisor MAY be required. Students in this category will be required to provide 3 months bank statements for their own bank accounts + their 3-page SUSI letter for 2023/24 OR other household income documents for 2022. Students will be advised if a meeting with the SBA is required and how to do this, and the application will only progress when the meeting has been held.
- Award amount: the award amount depends on whether a meeting is required or not. If a meeting is not required, the award is at a set rate which is dependent upon the available funding each year; in 2022 the set award was €600. If a meeting is required, the award will be individualised and based on the applicant’s circumstances.
- Note: exceptional circumstances in relation to income will be considered on a case-by-case basis and can be brought to the attention of the SAF team email@example.com when you provide your documents or to the SBA (if an SBA meeting is required).
Only certain students supported by the Maynooth Access Programme (MAP) are eligible for financial support from the HEAR/ACCESS SAF. Students who are eligible for this fund will be contacted directly by MAP from firstname.lastname@example.org in late October, with instructions on how to get their HEAR/ACCESS funding. Note that all HEAR entry students may also apply to the General SAF, including students eligible for the HEAR/ACCESS SAF. Find more detail on the HEAR/ACCESS SAF application process in the FAQs.
HEAR/ACCESS SAF eligible students are:
- HEAR entry students in 1st year of an undergraduate course who have attended MAPMyWay orientation for access students will be awarded €1,000, paid as €500 in Semester 1 and €500 in Semester 2.
- Turn to Teaching Certificate programme students who have attended MAPMyWay orientation for access students AND who have a household income under €46,790 will be awarded €1,000, paid as €500 in Semester 1 and €500 in Semester 2.
- Turn to Teaching progressed students – students who entered the Turn to Teaching programme and who are progressing to 1st year of an undergraduate course or a Professional Masters in Education course in 2023/24. who have attended MAPMyWay orientation for access students AND who have a household income under €46,790 will be awarded €1,000, paid as €500 in Semester 1 and €500 in Semester 2.
- Repeating students in the above categories with exceptional or extenuating circumstances for repeating or with exceptional costs while repeating will be awarded €500, paid in Semester 1. A MAP Advisor will contact repeating students in late October to discuss this and to determine eligibility.
- For 2023/24 only: HEAR entry students in 4th year of an undergraduate course who were eligible in 2022/23 for the HEAR/ACCESS SAF will receive €500 in 2023/24, paid in Semester 1. HEAR students in 2nd yr, 3rd yr or 4th year HEAR students who had less than 5 HEAR indicators on entry to university, can apply to the General SAF.
Review the SAF FAQ's to find more information about your eligibility, making an application, the outcome and appeals.
The Student Assistance Fund at Maynooth University operates within an ethos of respect, courtesy and confidentiality. Where a consultation with the Student Budgeting Advisor is required, consultations are held in an environment of respect, confidence and only where it is necessary to gather essential information. All data provided or accessed will be treated in a sensitive and confidential manner and will be stored, secured and remain strictly private and confidential in line with GDPR and Maynooth University Data Protection requirements.
Students will be provided with a secure link to upload supporting documents. Where students provide supporting documentation belonging to a third party (parent/guardian/partner/spouse) they will be asked to confirm on the application form and on the Documents Upload that they have obtained permission/consent from the third party. Supporting documents will be used only for the purposes of processing the application and will be stored in line with retention periods as required by the funding body, the Higher Education Authority (7 years), and as set out under the Maynooth University Data Protection policy.
All data provided or accessed will be stored, secured and retained in line with GDPR and Maynooth University Data Protection requirements and in line with retention periods required by the funding body, the Higher Education Authority (7 years).
More information on how your data is used is contained in the Student Assistance Fund Application Form Terms and Conditions. This information appears at the end of the SAF application form and applicants are asked to agree before submitting their application:
Please note that you may withdraw your consent to your application data being processed by the Student Assistance Fund by emailing email@example.com. If you withdraw your consent, your application will be cancelled.
The Maynooth University Data Protection Office may be contacted with any data protection concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org 01-7086184.
For more information on the SAF, you can view the SAF Guidelines Flyer and the Higher Education Authority's SAF page on studentfinance.ie.
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 (DFHERIS).