Student Assistance Fund

Attention: Student Assistance Fund is now closed

Attention: Student Assistance Fund is now closed

Please be aware that the Student Assistance Fund 2020/21 is now closed. New applications will not be accepted after the closing date. Applications submitted prior and that are deemed incomplete after this date will not progress further.


If you experiencing financial hardship, it is advised that you contact UCCs dedicated Budgetary Advisor on 


General guidelines and case studies are available on this website.

For further guidance, please see our information video

About the Student Assistance Fund (SAF)

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

The Student Assistance Fund is partly 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.

The Student Assistance Fund is available to:

  • All full-time registered students (subject to EU status), undergraduate and postgraduate, for the 2020/21 academic year are eligible to apply for assistance from the fund.
  • PhD students from years one to four.


  • 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 can be supported for one repeat year only.

Income assessment

ALL STUDENTS must complete the Student Assistance Fund Assessment Tool prior to submitting their online application. The Assessment tool will guide you in what documentation you will need to upload alongside your online application. While assessing your Student Assistance Fund application, we will take into account income for the previous calendar year. While not an exhaustive list, the following are some factors that we consider:

  • Whether or not you are living with your parents
  • Your age on 01 January of the first year of entry to your present course of study
  • Your financial independence

Students who are living with their parents/guardian

Your income will be assessed alongside the income of your parent/guardian, regardless of your age. 

Students living independently of their parents/guardian

If you were over the age of 23 on 1 Jan on the first year of entry to your present course of study, you will be assessed on your own personal circumstances.

If you were under the age of 23 on 1 Jan on the first year of entry to your present course of study, your income will be assessed alongside the income of your parent/guardian.

Asserting financial independence

If you feel that you are at risk of being incorrectly categorized as financially dependant of your parents/guardian, you may wish to assert financial independence. To do this you will need to provide evidence of your financial independence, an affidavit from a solicitor, and other supporting documentation to support your assertion. You may also wish to make an appointment with us to discuss the matter further. You can make an appointment by visiting the Contact us section of this website.

Supporting documents

To complete your application to the Student Assistance Fund, you may be asked to provide some supporting documentation. These documents will enable us to fully assess your financial circumstances and progress your application accordingly. 

The documents generally required to complete your application include: 

  • SUSI Award Letter (Please be aware if you have not been fully assessed/reassessed by SUSI for 2019, you will need to supply full financial documentation for your household in support of your application (renewal letters will not suffice). 
  • Statement of liability 
  • Social Welfare statements
  • Notice of Assessment/Self-Assessment letter 

Different circumstances will have a bearing on the documentation you will be required to furnish in support of your application. You can explore the different documents needed below. Further examples can be found on the Case Studies and Sample Documents section of this website.


Your EU status

The Student Assistance Fund is an EU funded programme and is open to citizens of the European Union.

To be eligible for the Student Assistance 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.

If you were not born in the EU but you are an EU citizen, you will be required to provide evidence of your citizenship to the European Union. This will involve providing documents confirming your EU naturalization/citizenship or your status as a refugee or asylum seeker.

For further information on eligibility for this fund, international students should refer to the criteria set out on  and

Please note that visiting Erasmus students need to apply to their home university for funding.

What the award can be used for

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


Class materials


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


How to make an appointment

Please click either the following link or the Student Assistance Fund box below to make an appointment. Select a date that suits you and then click on that date so you can choose a time to meet with an advisor online by completing the instructions. 

Ensure you put in your full name, ucc student umail address, phone number, and the main purpose of visit. 

New appointment times will be added each week for the forthcoming weeks.  

Appeals, feedback, complaints...

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

If you wish to provide feedback or make a complaint you can do so at this webpage.

Student Financial Supports and Advice