The Student Assistance Fund is managed by the Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills. The Student Assistance Fund is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.
About the Student Assistance Fund
The purpose of the Student Assistance Fund (SAF) is to provide financial support to disadvantaged students with ongoing needs for financial support and to provide emergency financial assistance for other students.
The SAF is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.
Eligibility criteria changes from year to year, therefore, eligibility in previous years does not guarantee that you are eligible in this current academic year
Who can apply?
The student assistance fund is for students who are EU citizens or students who have been deemed eligible for the free fees. The fund is open to registered students on courses of no less than one year's duration.
Full-time registered students on courses that lead to a higher education award at Level 6-10 of the national framework of qualifications can apply.
Part-time registered students must be from one of the target groups listed below as specified by the HEA’s National Access Plan:
- Lone parents
- Students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds: in receipt of a means tests Social Welfare Payment
- Students with disabilities
- Members of the Irish Travelling Community
Meeting the above criteria does not automatically deem you eligible as all your financial situation will be taken into account.
The Student Assistance Fund assists with costs such as:
- Living Expenses – Food/Heating/Lighting
- Transport – Essential - to/from university
- Medical Expenses – Doctor/Dentist/Other
- Emergency (This includes bereavement, accidents, family breakdown or other unforeseen circumstances)
Funding is NOT available to cover:
- Tuition fees
- Registration fees
- Student loan repayments
Please note international students are not eligible to apply for SAF