Steps in submitting an application to the Student Assistance Fund (SAF)

 

To make an application to the Student Assistance Fund (SAF), you must first make an appointment to meet with the Student Budgeting Advisor (SBA)

To make your appointment with the SBA you will be asked to fill in an online form and provide information in relation to your financial situation. Based on this, the SBA will meet with you to 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.

The following process applies for students who have been recommended for the SAF by the SBA only:

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 information in this section will help you get your application processed in the quickest possible time. The application process involves a number of steps, each with rules and regulations and you should know what is involved before you start.

SAF Visual Steps Gather docs Submit docs Bank Details

SAF APPLICATION STEPS

Step 1 Gather your Supporting Documents
Step 2 Submit your Supporting Documents
Step 3 Register your Bank Details
 
Closing Dates Confidentiality Criteria
Outcome Payment Appeals
 

  
 

Step 1 Gather Your Supporting Documents

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If you have been recommended to apply to the SAF the Access Office will process your application and will contact you (using your Maynooth University/St Patrick’s College Maynooth email only). The Access Office will ask you 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 Budget Advisor will 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 3.

  1. Proof of being in receipt of a Grant or Proof of Income Documents
  2. Bank Statements
  3. Birth Certificates of (your own) dependent children. 
 

1. Proof of Income Documents

The tables below show what income documents you will be asked to provide depending on the income source of you or, if you are under 23, your parent(s)/guardian(s) and how to access these documents.
 

Documents Required from Grant Holders

Letter or email from SUSI confirming your grant award for the 2016/17 academic year. Contact SUSI
OR
Letter or email from Local Authority confirming your grant award or the 2016/17 academic year. Contact your Local Authority

 

Documents Required from Non-Grant Holders

SAF Financial Documents Checklist - Household Income  PAYE

Student not in receipt of SUSI grant and if you are under 23 and where the household income is PAYE.
-OR-
 
Your parent(s) P21 for the previous year ending 2015 You can request a P21 online if the income earner has registered with Revenue’s PAYE Anytime online service. Go to ROS PAYE Anytime or see the Revenue website.

Otherwise, to get a P21 you must get in touch with your district tax office.

Student not in receipt of SUSI grant and if you are over 23 and you are living with your parent(s) and where the household income is PAYE.
-OR-
Your parent(s) P21 for the previous year ending 2015
Student not in receipt of SUSI grant and if you are over 23 and you are living independently and you and/or your partner are PAYE tax payer(s). Your and/or your partner(s) P21 for the previous year ending 2015
 
SAF Financial Documents Checklist – Household Income  Self Employed
Student not in receipt of SUSI grant and if you are under 23 and your parent(s) are self employed.
-OR-
Notice of Assessment for the previous tax year ending 2015. The Notice of Assessment is available from the Revenue Commissioners – you (or your parent/guardian) must contact Revenue.
Student not in receipt of SUSI grant and if you are over 23 and you are living with your parent(s) and your parent(s) are self employed.
-OR-
Notice of Assessment for the previous tax year ending 2015.
Student not in receipt of SUSI grant and if you are over 23 and you are living independently and you and/or your partner are self employed. Your and/or your partner(s) Notice of Assessment for the previous tax year ending 2015.
 
SAF Financial Documents Checklist – Household Income  Social Welfare
Student not in receipt of SUSI grant and if you are under 23 and your parent(s) are in receipt of a Social Welfare payment.
-OR-
Your parent(s) Social Welfare Balancing Statement for the full year ending 2015. Social Welfare Balancing Statements are available from your local Social Welfare office.
Student not in receipt of SUSI grant and if you are over 23 and you are living with your parents and your parent(s) are receiving a Social Welfare payment.
-OR-
Your parent(s) Social Welfare Balancing Statement for the full year ending 2015.
Student not in receipt of SUSI grant and if you are over 23 and you are living independently and you and/or your partner are receiving a Social Welfare Payment. Your and/or your partner's Social Welfare Balancing Statement for the year ending 2015.
 
NB: Where the household income is made up of different sources you will be required to submit all the relevant documents for the full year.
 

2. Bank Statements

Bank statements for you, the student, for the three months prior to your application. Contact your bank and allow 5 working days to receive the statements. Some banks will allow you to order statements online or print from your online account.

 

3. Birth Certificate(s)

Birth certificates may be required if you are a student parent with your own dependent children. You may be asked to provide a birth certificate(s) for all children who are financially dependent on you. You will be notified of this if it is required.

You can get copies of Irish birth certificates from your local Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
 

Important Information on Supporting Documentation

  • Students under 23 on year of entry will be assessed based on the household income of their parent(s)/ guardian(s).
  • 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 (i.e. utility bill in own name).
  • 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 last year. Please provide evidence if there has been a significant change in income since last year (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 2 Submit your Supporting Documents

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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 1 Your Supporting Documents. Your application will then be brought before the Student Assistance Fund Committee for consideration.
 

Step 3 Register your Bank Details

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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

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The Student Assistance Fund 2016/17 opens on 1st October 2016 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. A portion of the fund will be retained for emergencies which may present throughout the year.

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

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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

Funding is targeted at students who have a very low net income and who are experiencing significant financial difficulties and whose participation in university would be at risk without support.  The Student Budgeting Advisor will look at household income first and then the net difference between income and additional university costs.

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.

Applications will also be prioritised on the following basis:

  1. Category of student: Students in their first year of an undergraduate degree. Special consideration will also be given to specific target groups with exceptional need including students eligible for HEAR, DARE, mature students, and members of the Irish Traveller community.
  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

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Once all your documents are submitted and in order, your application will be considered by the Student Assistance Fund Committee who 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

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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 2015/16 were between €300 and €400, with the average award being €370.

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

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Students who were 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; no new or further documentation can be submitted as part of an appeal request; you cannot appeal the criteria set by the Student Assistance Fund Committee to determine eligibility for the Fund.

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.