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Student Assistance Fund

The purpose of the Student Assistance Fund (SAF) is to provide financial support to disadvantaged students who would be unable to fully benefit from third level education without external support.

The SAF is best described as a relief fund as opposed to a survival package. Students are encouraged to source additional supports outside the fund as typically the fund will ease a financial burden rather than totally alleviating the situation.

The Third Level Access Activity is funded by the Irish Government and part funded by the European Social Fund under the Human Capital Investment Operational Programme 2007 – 2013.

For more information on the Student Assistance Fund please contact Jonathan Lynch, Student Retention and Attendance Support Coordinator, on (01) 4498 503 or email Jonathan.Lynch@ncirl.ie

Am I Eligible for Funding?

The SAF is only available to full-time students who are participating on a course of no less than one year in duration which leads to an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification. 

The categories below serve as an example of some of the instances in which a student may be approved for funding. Please note that a student is not automatically approved for funding if he/she falls into one of the categories listed below. Each application is reviewed on an individual basis with direction from the guidelines below.

  • Student must be experiencing considerable financial difficulty.

  • Student has no access to financial assistance from other sources.

  • Student is unable to meet daily living expenses.

  • Financial difficulties are negatively impacting on education.

  • Sudden or unseen expenses that a student is unable to meet.

  • Student is in financial difficulty to family breakdown.


Who is NOT Eligible to Receive Funding Through the SAF

  • Students participating on access programmes or foundation courses.

  • Part-time students.


What is and is not covered by the Student Assistance Fund?


  • Books and Materials

  • Transport

  • Rent

  • Child Care Costs (only from registered childminders or créches)

  • Heating / Lighting

  • Medical

  • Disability


Not Covered

  • Tuition fees

  • Loans


How do I Apply? 

Semester Two Deadline: 25th February

You must complete an Student Assistance Fund Application Form and return it to the Student Support Officer. Before completing the application form, please read the following guidelines.

SAF Guidelines

The Student Support Officer meets with all applicants to discuss their application and to talk them through the fund.

All applications are reviewed by the Student Assistance Fund Committee. The Director of Student Services, the Student Support Officer and the SU Welfare Officer are members of the Student Assistance Fund Committee.

You will receive written notification on the outcome of your application.

How do I make an appeal?

You must complete an Student Assistance Fund Appeal Form and return it to the Learning Support Tutor.

All appeals are reviewed by the Student Assistance Fund Advisory Committee. 

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