SAF APPLICATION STEPS

Step 1 Meet with the Student Budgeting Advisor
Step 2 Gather your Supporting Documents
Step 3 Submit your Supporting Documents
Step 4 Register your Bank Details
 
Closing Dates Confidentiality Criteria
Outcome Payment Appeals
 

Step 1 Meet with the Student Budgeting Advisor

▲back to top​

You must first make an appointment to meet with the Student Budgeting Advisor (SBA). You will be asked to fill in an online form and provide financial and household information. Some of this information is required for research purposes only and these questions will be flagged on the application form. Based on the information you submit, the SBA will get an accurate picture of your own individual circumstances and give you appropriate advice, including a recommendation on whether or not to refer you to the SAF.

  
 

Step 2 Gather Your Supporting Documents

▲back to top

​If you have been recommended to apply to the Student Assistance Fund (SAF) the Access Office will then process your application and will contact you (using your Maynooth University/St Patrick’s College Maynooth email only). You will be asked to provide some documentation to support your application. This is because applications to the SAF are needs assessed and prioritised according to need, therefore claims must be verified. The Student Budgeting Advisor can  also give you a list of the documents you may need to provide. Your application to the SAF is only complete when you have provided all the documentation outlined below.

You must provide 1 and 2 below. You may be asked to provide all 4.

  1. Bank Statements for the 3 months leading up to your application
  2. Evidence of Grant OR Evidence of Income Documents
  3. Birth Certificates of (your own) dependent children. 
  4. Evidence of independent living. 
 

Refer to the MU SAF Documents Checklist 1718   for information on the required supporting documents.
 

Important Information on Supporting Documentation

  • Mature students who are living with their parent(s)/ guardian(s) will be assessed on the household income of their parents/ guardians.
  • Your income documents will show income from 2016. If there has been a significant change in income since last year please provide evidence of the change of circumsances (i.e. P45, payslips, or social welfare documentation).
  • You may be asked to provide additional evidence of income or expenditure if necessary.
  • If you are found to have provided false information or to have omitted relevant information as part of your SAF application you will be disqualified from all support from the Fund. If funding had been approved, Maynooth University will seek to recoup the payment made to you.
  • If referred to the SAF, you will be asked to submit your documentation online. Your documentation will be uploaded onto a secure server. Data protection rules are strictly observed concerning your confidential information.
  • Your application is only complete when you have provided all the information and documentation required.
  • If you are experiencing difficulty with your application you should contact the Access Office at saf@mu.ie for assistance. Every effort will be made to be as flexible as possible where there are exceptional circumstances leading to significant financial hardship.
 

Step 3 Submit your Supporting Documents

▲back to top

At this stage in the process you will be provided with a link to submit your documentation online. If you have paper documents, you will need to create electronic copies of them to upload online. There are a number of ways to create an electronic copy of your document:

  1. You can scan your paper document at any scanner available to students around the University: there are 7 printers with scanning function in the Library and 1 printer with scanning function in the Arts Building Public Access Computer Room (PACR). To do this, you will need to swipe your Student ID card, set the document that you wish to scan, and click Scan. This will be emailed to you as an attachment to your @mumail.ie address.These are the locations of the Copy & Print Services
  2. You can use your smartphone to scan your paper documents using the free app OfficeLens (Android / iPhone). This is quick, free and very accurate.  

 If you are still having difficulty creating an electronic version of your documents you may contact saf@mu.ie or drop into the Access Office in MAP Lodge on the North Campus.
.

Your documentation will be uploaded onto a secure server. Data protection rules are strictly observed concerning your confidential information.

Note: your application is only complete when you have provided all the information and documentation required.

Once you have submitted all your documentation, your application is reviewed to make sure that you are eligible, as set out above in the Guide to SAF and that your financial documents have been submitted and approved, as set out in Step 2 Your Supporting Documents. Your application will then be brought before the Student Assistance Fund Committee for consideration.
 

Step 4 Register your Bank Details

▲back to top

If your application has been approved, your funds will be paid directly into your bank account provided you register your bank details in time. You must register your bank details for the University to electronically transfer the funds into your bank account. 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. If you have not registered your bank account details your payment will be delayed by up to 6 weeks or you may miss it completely. 

Electronic SAF payments are scheduled monthly and are made towards the end of the month.

 

 


Closing Dates

▲back to top
The Student Assistance Fund 2017/18 is now open and remains open until available funds are exhausted. The number of students that may be approved for funding and the level of award are subject to the number of applications received and the overall availability of funding. 

As soon as the Fund has been distributed in full no further awards can be made, regardless of eligibility. If you have any other queries which have not been answered here or in the SAF FAQs you can email saf@mu.ie.

 


Confidentiality and Sharing of your Data

▲back to top
All information provided as part of an application to the SAF will be treated in a sensitive and confidential manner and is covered under the University Data Protection policy

Maynooth University will not use your information for any additional purpose other than to process your SAF application and all details provided or accessed will be stored, secured and remain strictly private and confidential. 

Information provided to the Student Budgeting Advisor that is relevant to a SAF application, will be shared with relevant University administrative departments to facilitate your application to the SAF.

Information provided to the Access Office as part of a SAF application may be shared with the Student Budgeting Advisor. Outcomes from SAF applications will be shared with the Student Budgeting Advisor.

Maynooth University/ Maynooth University Students' Union 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.

You are also asked to give your consent to some details of your application to the SAF being used for research purposes. These details will always be anonymised and none of your personal data will be identifiable.

Data on all recipients of SAF awards will be provided to the Higher Education Authority.

 

 


Criteria

▲back to top

Mature students (over 23 on year of entry to University) who are living independently will be assessed based on their own household income. To be assessed on their own income, mature students must provide proof that they are living independently. To verify independent living, you will be required to submit evidence of mortgage or a signed lease dated October of the year prior to entry to University and a current utility bill at the rental address (a mobile phone bill is not acceptable).

The Student Assistance Fund has a dual focus. It is designed 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. 
All full time or part time students on courses that lead to a higher education award at Level 6 to 10 of the national framework of qualifications are eligible to apply for the SAF. In relation to part time students, students must be from one of the target groups as specified in 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.

To be eligible for consideration for funding a student must be either eligible for a grant (includes part payment of the Student Contribution Charge) OR household income must fall within one of the Maynooth University Student Assistance Fund income thresholds listed as Question 3 in the Guide to SAF. 

The Student Budgeting Advisor will look at household income first and then the net difference between income and additional university costs. Applications will be  prioritised on the following basis:

  1. Category of student: Students in their first year of an undergraduate degree:
     (a) Priority will be given to specific target groups that have low participation 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 and Irish Travellers and lone parents. 
    (b) Priority will be given to socio-economic disadvantage which can be evidenced through a range of indicators collected during the application process including household income, students who are on a SUSI grant particularly students who are on the highest rate of student grant, students eligible for HEAR, students eligible for HEAR and DARE, students with a disability, students who live in an area of urban or rural disadvantage, students who are in the care of the state/TUSLA or who are students from ethnic minority backgrounds (refugees, migrants, direct provision), students who are lone parents or who are carers. Reference will also be made to indicators which may be elicited during the Student Budgeting Advisor consultation, such as if the student is from non-manual or semi and unskilled manual backgrounds, if the student attended a DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) school or if the student lives in an area with the lowest levels of educational participation.
  2. Living Arrangements: Students who are renting accommodation for the purposes of attending university or proximity to the university/transport costs related to attending university.
  3. Childcare: Students who are parents and who have childcare costs related to attending university.
  4. Exceptional circumstances: these would be individual but could include exceptional unforeseen events, impact of illness/disability within the family, number of siblings in full time education, costs related to travel abroad as required by course etc.

Every effort will be made to be as supportive as possible where there are exceptional individual circumstances leading to significant financial hardship. 

 

Outcome of your Application

▲back to top

Once all your documents are submitted and in order, your application will be considered by the Student Assistance Fund Committee which will make a decision on your eligibility/ award. The decision on your application will be made by the SAF Committee based on the criteria agreed by the Student Financial Support Steering Committee, the recommendation from the Student Budgeting Advisor and the application and supporting documentation provided by you.

An email will issue to you notifying you of the outcome of your application to the SAF.
If your application is rejected you may appeal (see Appeals section below).  

Payment

▲back to top

The maximum payment that a student can typically receive is €700. Amounts in excess of this may be considered in exceptional cases. Typical allocations for 2016/17 were between €300 and €400, with the average award being €400.

You must register your bank account details with the University to receive payment. You can do this now or at any stage, even before your application is complete. Electronic SAF payments are scheduled monthly and are made towards the end of the month.

Note: It is important that you register your bank details as soon as possible to avoid delayed payment. You must enter your IBAN and BIC codes accurately. Information on how to get the IBAN and BIC from your bank statement can be found by following the register your bank details link. If you have not registered your bank account details or register them incorrectly your payment will be delayed by up to 6 weeks or you may miss it completely.  

Appeals

▲back to top

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 within 10 working days of the original decision being communicated to you to the Director of Access. 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.