Student Assistance Fund

Applications are now closed for the academic year 2021/22

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 a means tested fund. Funds are limited and not all applicants may be eligible and/or may not be awarded funding

Who can apply:

  • 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.

Who cant apply:

  • 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.


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


Applying to the Student Assistance Fund

Applying for the Student Assistance fund is a two-part process.  First, you must complete the Assessment Tool as it forms a mandatory part of your application (this is not your application) to the Student Assistance Fund.  Secondly, you must complete the Online Application Form and upload the output from our Assessment Tool.

A quick guide to using the SAF assessment tool:

  • Log in using your UCC student details (your UCC student admin portal details - umail and password).
  • When the SAF assessment tool is completed and submitted, an email will be sent to your UCC umail account with the list of financial documentation required for your application based on the answers you have given to the various questions asked. This is a guide only.
  • You must then fill out the SAF online application form, attach a copy out of the SAF Assessment Tool email output and the relevant financial documentation for your household situation.
  • Due to COVID-19, there is no requirement to visit the office in person to submit your application.
  • There is no physical visits permitted to the Student Assistance Fund, but online consultations can be requested via the Contact us section of this website. We do not accept applications by email.

If you are unable to complete the assessment tool due to your unique situation, believe that the guidance produced from the assessment tool varies from your actual situation, had a change of circumstances, traveled or worked abroad, or have a complex situation, then you need to make an appointment to meet us online at Contact us

Further queries

Feel free to contact us if you have any further queries on the Student Assistance Fund: 

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

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 in 2021 for the 2020 reference year, 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.

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