Student Assistance Fund

Information regarding Student Assistance Fund 2019/20


The Student Assistance Fund will reopen on the 24th of September for the 2019/20 academic year.


General guidelines and case studies are available on this website.


We recommend students considering in making an application, to attend the Student Assistance Fund Information sessions for 2019. Details of date, location and time are provided below:


What Is The Student Assistance Fund?

The Student Assistance Fund provides financial assistance for full-time higher education students who are experiencing financial difficulties whilst attending college.

The Student Assistance Fund is part supported by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.

The Student Assistance Fund provides a further source of funding for higher education students in addition to the Student Grant.

Who Can Apply For The Student Assistance Fund?

All full-time registered students (subject to EU status), undergraduate and postgraduate, for the 2019/20 academic year are eligible to apply for assistance from the fund. Students participating in foundation courses or part-time courses are not eligible for this fund. Also, students pursuing a second Degree/second Masters/second PhD are ineligible. Students may be supported for one repeat year only. PhD applicants may be supported for years 1 – 4.

Where Can I Get An Application Form?

Application forms are now available from this website at the following link:


Student Assistance Fund Application 2019/20


Where Is The Student Assistance Fund Office Located?

The address of the office is:

Student Assistance Fund Office
1st Floor
1-2 Brighton Villas
Western Road
Location of SAF Office on UCC Map

What If I Have Any Questions About The Form Or The Process?

All queries on the application form can be answered by first reading the information on this website.

Visits to the office can only be facilitated through appointments and please visit the appointments section of the website to book a suitable time.

Any additional questions can be emailed to the Student Assistance Fund Administrator:



What Financial Documents Do I Require?

The type of documents generally required are P21's, Social Welfare Statements or Notice of Assessment/Self-Assessment Letters depending on your households individual circumstances. Examples of the type of documents required are given in the "Case Studies and Sample Documents" section of this website.

You must also complete the SAF assessment tool as it forms a mandatory part of your application to the Student Assistance Fund - (SAF Assessment Tool).

A general guide is below:

  • For Those Who Had PAYE Income Only in 2018:

A copy of Form P21 for the year ended December 31st 2018 (available from the Revenue Commissioners). P60's which you get from your employer are not sufficient.


  • For Those Who Had Social Welfare Payments Only in 2018:

statement from the Social Welfare Office showing the total amounts received for the year ended December 31st 2018. Weekly paymrent slips or letters than don't specify the full calendar year of 2017 are not sufficient. We exclude child benefit and rent supplement/HAP payments so there is no need to provide doumenation for these types of payments.


  • For Those Who Had PAYE Income and Social Welfare Payments in 2018:

A P21 and Social Welfare Statement for 2018 are required. Please note that even if Social Welfare payments are included on a P21, you still need a seperate social welfare statement.


  • For Those Who Had VTOS/ETB payments in 2018:

A letter/statement from the VTOS/ETB office outlining what payments you received in total for 2017 is required. If in addition to this, Social Welfare was claimed for some of the year a separate Social Welfare Statement as above is also required.


  • For Those Who Were on TUS/CE/RSS Schemes in 2018:

These schemes are treated as taxable employment and require a P21 for 2018.


  • For Self-Employed and Persons Engaged In Farming Activities in 2018:

A copy of Notice of Assessment / Self-Assessment Letter – Chapter 4 or 5 in respect of the year ended December 31st 2018


Form 11 A (online ) or Form 11 (paper based)


  • Non-Irish Income/Welfare Payments

If your household has worked or received any type of social welfare payments or income from another country in 2018, then you need to provide official documentation from that country to show the income received for all of 2018.

Other countries may not have the calendar year as their tax year, so you may need to provide two years of income documents (e.g UK tax documents are April to April).

If these documents are not in English, then you need to get them officially translated into English.

It may also be advisable to make an appointment (when fund opens) to discuss your particular situation.

What Income Do You Assess?

It is the household income for 2018 that we assess and could be one of the following situations (not an exhaustive list):

  • Over 23 on January 1st of first year of entry for present course and living independently of parents

Assessed on their own personal circumstances - (single, married, living with partner, seperated, divorced)


  • Over 23 on January 1st of first year of entry for present course living with parent/guardian

Assessed on the income of parent/guardian and their own income


  • Under 23 on January 1st of first year of entry for present course

Assessed on the income of their parent/guardian and their own income


  • Under 23 on January 1st of first year of entry for present course and asserting financial independence

Will need to provide evidence of the financial independence, an affidavit from a solicitor and other supporting documentation to support their assertion. Make an appointment with the SAF office.


How Do I Determine My EU Status?

This is an EU funded programme and is open to citizens of the EU union.

If other applicants have EU naturalization/citizenship/ refugee/asylum status, then documentation needs to be submitted with the application to demonstrate same.

International students should check the criteria on  and for further information on eligibility for this fund.

Applicants should hold EU nationality or official refugee status and have been ordinarily resident in an EU Member State for at least three of the five years preceding their entry to an approved third level course.

Visiting Erasmus students need to apply to their home university for funding.

What Can The Award Monies Be Used For?

There is no longer a requirement to submit receipts to receive your award. The new simplified proecdure will be explained if you are successful in your application for funding.

The following items are allowable types of expenditure for the Student Assistance Fund:

Books Class materials
Rent Travel of an urgent or essential nature
Food, Heat & Light Childcare Expenses
Medical expenses Expenses associated with bereavement
Compulsory study abroad Expenses associated with family breakdown
Expenses assoc from accidents  

Unsuccessful Application Or Have Feedback/Complaint To Give?

There is an appeals process and the full details are outlined in our  Student Assistance Fund Appeals Processdocument


If you wish to provide feedback or make a complaint please click on this feedback link.: - Feedback

Other Useful Links

Financial Information can be obtained through the following websites/phone numbers:


Form P21 is available from the Revenue Commissioners Office.  Tel: 1890 222 425 (Southern Region enquiries).

See for other areas and on-line requests (


Notice of Assessment/ Self Assessment Letter is required for persons who are self employed or engaged in farming.

Contact the Revenue Commisioners Office at 021 6027000 (Cork area enquiries). 

See for other areas and on-line requests (


Social Welfare Documentation can be obtained from the Department of Social Protection. 

See for your local office contact details or on-line requests. (

Data Protection

Data Protection: HEA Statement

There are a number of questions that are required as part of HEA reporting requirements. As part of this you need to be informed under Data Protection that:

  • personal data collected as part of the application process may be processed for the purposes of coordinating, monitoring and evaluating the operation of the Fund and to comply with European Union requirements,
  • this personal data may include personally sensitive data where they choose to share that data, and
  • personal data may be shared with third parties for the purpose of monitoring and reporting on European Social Fund co-financed activities.


Data Protection Notice: How we use your data: SAF

Please read the UCC Student Data Protection Notice at:

Your data will be held securely and will not be shared with any external third parties, other than prescribed by HEA requirements. You have a right to ask for a copy of any personal data held about you and to have any inaccuracies in such personal data corrected. If you wish to avail of this right, please write to: The Information Compliance Officer, University College Cork, 4 Carrigside, College Road, Cork (

If you have any questions in relation to this, please contact a member of the SAF team on

In completing the application form, you understand and agree that your personal details will be used by SAF for the purposes outlined above.


Student Assistance Fund Office

1st floor,