Guide to the Student Assistance Fund (SAF)

 

There is some additional funding available to students while at Maynooth University. The Student Assistance Fund (SAF) is one of these additional sources of funding. 

The purpose of the SAF is to support students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds who are underrepresented in higher education with ongoing needs for financial support AND to provide emergency financial assistance for other students experiencing exceptional financial difficulties. The Fund is designed to help students meet some of the extra costs associated with being at university.  

Who can apply?
When to apply?
How much can I receive?
How long will it take?
How can I apply? - The Student Budgeting Advisor Consultation
Recommendation to the Student Assistance Fund


 

Who Can Apply?

▲ back to top
 

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

Question 1

 

Are you in significant financial difficulty? If Yes, proceed to Question 2.
-AND-
Question 2 Are you a registered full time or part time student (grant holders included) of Maynooth University or St. Patrick’s College Maynooth? 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, OR 
  • 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 entered Maynooth University through the HEAR route. The Access Office will contact HEAR students directly about the SAF, at the beginning of each year.
  • Ph.D students are funded for years 1-4 only.

You are not eligible for the SAF if you are:

  • Studying a course which does not lead to an undergraduate qualification, such as a foundation or access course.
  • Studying a course of less than 1 year’s duration. 
  • Students participating on a second qualification at the same or a lower level.
  • Studying pure Divinity at St. Patrick’s College Maynooth.
  • Students 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.)
  • A student at Maynooth University on Erasmus from another University or Institution. You are advised to contact your home university if in need of financial support.
  • PhD students are funded for years 1-4 only.
-AND-
Question 3 Are you in receipt of a Student Grant (includes part payment of the Student Contribution)?
OR
If not on a grant, does your household income fall within one of these income thresholds applied by Maynooth University for 2017/18?
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 applied by Maynooth University are linked to the income bands for the maintenance grant. Maynooth University has increased these thresholds by 17.5% to facilitate those students who may have just missed out on getting a grant.

Did you answer YES to all of the above three questions? If you did, you are eligible to apply to the Student Assistance Fund. You should read the SAF Application Steps before you start your application.

 

When to Apply

▲ back to top

As there is a limited amount of money in the Fund, it is advisable that you apply to the fund as soon as possible after the start of the academic year. There is currently no closing date for applying to the SAF; however, once you start the process you must complete your application within 4 weeks. Things that could slow down your application might include e.g. not following up on SAF related emails from the Access Office (emails are always sent to your @mumail.ie/@spcm.ie email address), not providing your supporting financial documents when requested or not registering your bank details on time.

Note: If you are not receiving expected SAF related emails, you should check your spam folder. ​

 

How much can I receive from the SAF?

▲ back to top

Typically a student might receive between €200-400, the average amount being about €400. Students can return to the SAF more than once in the year, but previous payments will be taken into account.

 

 

How long will the application process take?

▲ back to top

4-6 weeks is the maximum amount of time the process should take, provided you complete your application within the required timeframe. During this time you must meet the Student Budgeting Advisor and gather the supporting documents you need for the online application.

 

 

The Student Budgeting Advisor Consultation

▲ back to top

Nothing can happen until you make an appointment to meet the Student Budgeting Advisor (SBA). The SBA will meet with you and can get an accurate picture of your financial situation based on the information that you provide when making your appointment. The SBA will give you appropriate advice, including a recommendation on whether or not to refer you to the Student Assistance Fund. If you are recommended to apply, your application will be processed by the Access Office. Please note that in some circumstances, you may be advised not to make an appointment as you might have previously met with the SBA.

If there is no immediate appointment available for the SBA you can attend the Student Budgeting Advisor drop-in clinic on Wednesday mornings 10.30-12.30 in the Student Services building, North Campus. If  you feel that you need an emergency appointment students are advised to email student.budget@mu.ie indicating that an emergency appointment is required.  Please note that an emergency appointment should only be requested where there is a genuine emergency which requires immediate support. Students will generally not be able to apply to the SAF directly without having attended this appointment. If the SBA decides not to refer you to the SAF, you can still apply to it, but the lack of a referral will be taken into account.

 

Recommendation to the Student Assistance Fund

▲ back to top

The application process involves a number of steps, each with rules and regulations, as set out below. Read through the SAF Application Steps section now to begin your application process.