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 help students who are in significant financial difficulty and who may not be able to continue at University without financial assistance. 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?

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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 and feel that you might not be able to continue at University? The purpose of the SAF is to help students who are in significant financial difficulty and who may not be able to continue at University without financial assistance.
-AND-
Question 2 Are you a registered full 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 full time Level 8 programme of at least 2 year’s duration or a full time postgraduate course.
  • A students who is repeating internally. You must be repeating modules with a minimum combined credit value of 27.5 to be eligible to apply.
  • 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.

You are not eligible for the SAF if you are:

  • Studying a full-time course which does not lead to an undergraduate qualification, such as a foundation or access course.
  • Studying pure Theology or pure Divinity at St. Patrick’s College Maynooth.
  • Repeating externally.
  • Repeating internally where the total combined value of your of your modules is less than 27.5 credits.
  • 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.
-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 2016/17?
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

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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, not providing your supporting financial documents when requested or not registering your bank details on time.

Note: If you don’t check your @mumail.ie or @spcm.ie email address you will miss SAF related emails, which are always sent to your official University email. You should also ensure that your inbox is not full as emails cannot then be downloaded.

 

How much can I receive from the SAF?

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Typically a student might receive between €200-400, the average amount being about €370. 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?

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

Note: At the beginning of the academic year the Student Budgeting Advisor is usually very busy but if you are in particular financial distress you can email student.budget@mu.ie indicating that an emergency appointment is required.

Remember, you must complete your part of the application process within 4 weeks.

 

The Student Budgeting Advisor Consultation

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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 for the SBA available and 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

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If you are recommended to apply to the SAF, your application will be forwarded to the Access Office which handles the administration of the Fund. The Access Office will send any SAF related emails to your @mumail.ie or @spcm.ie email address. You must be careful to check your @mumail.ie or@spcm.ie address regularly to pick up emails from the Access Office about the SAF. You should always reply as promptly as possible as there is a cut-off limit of 4 weeks for your application to be processed. The Access Office will always attempt to be as flexible and understanding as possible if you are having difficulties with your application, but you must keep in touch.

Read through the SAF Application Steps section now to begin your application process.