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Student Assistance Fund: Financial assistance for students

Are you having financial difficulties while at college?


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in education


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The Student Assistance Fund provides financial assistance for full-time higher education students who are having money problems while attending college.

Students can apply for Student Assistance to help them with either temporary or ongoing financial difficulties. The SAF provides a further source of funding for higher education students in addition to the Student Grant.

What is covered by the Student Assistance Fund?

The Student Assistance Fund can help students who are struggling to cover the costs of things that are required in order for them to be able to attend college, pay necessary daily, weekly or monthly expenses, or participate in their course.

This can include:

  • Books and class materials
  • Rent, heating and lighting bills
  • Food
  • Medical expenses, i.e. doctor or dental visits
  • Childcare
  • The cost of essential or urgent travel
  • The cost of study abroad if it is a compulsory part of your course
  • Expenses associated with family breakdown, bereavement, or accidents

What is not covered by the Student Assistance Fund?

Students requiring financial assistance to help with tuition fees or registration fees cannot be considered under the Student Assistance Fund.

Who can apply for the Student Assistance Fund?

In order to be eligible to apply for student assistance, you must be registered on a full-time undergraduate or postgraduate course of not less than one year’s duration in a participating college, or on a part-time course leading to a higher education award at level 6-10.

Due to demand for Student Assistance, your college may not be able to approve all applications they receive, and may prioritise students who receive a maintenance grant, as this indicates that they have limited means.

Who is not eligible to apply?

  • Unlike the student grant, you cannot be considered for Student Assistance before registering in a participating college
  • The Student Assistance Fund is not available in further education/PLC colleges
  • Students participating in access or foundation courses, which do not lead to an undergraduate qualification, are not eligible to apply for Student Assistance
  • Students participating in part-time courses that lead to a  higher education award that is less than level 6-10 are not eligible to apply for Student Assistance

How to apply for the Student Assistance Fund

You can apply for the Student Assistance Fund in your college or university. Click here for a list of participating institutions under 'Check Participating Colleges'.

Application form

All participating colleges have an application form, which must be completed by students in the college they are attending for the assistance fund.

Attending a meeting

Applicants may be required to attend a meeting with a member of the college staff to discuss the application. You may also be required to provide documentation to verify details of the income and outgoings provided in the application.

For more information on the Student Assistance Fund visit the HEA website or speak to the student services at your college.

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Published July 22nd2013
Tags student finance grants money
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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