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Student Assistance Fund

The Student Assistance Fund is now closed as of Wednesday 17th January 2024.

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About the Student Assistance Fund (SAF)

The Student Assistance Fund Committee regrets to announce that the funds for 2023/24 have now been fully allocated and the fund is now closed as of Wednesday 17th January 2024.

SAF Advisors continue to be available to listen, advise and support where possible if you are experiencing significant financial hardship.  To make an appointment here

Please be aware that If no appointments are showing, it means all appointment slots are booked


The Student Assistance Fund provides financial assistance for full-time higher education students who are experiencing financial difficulties while attending college, if you are a part-time registered student for the academic year 2023/24 please visit our Financial Aid Part-Time Fund for further details. 

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 SUSI Student Grant Scheme.

The Student Assistance Fund is a means-tested fund.  There are a number of factors that contribute to the applicants' financial assessment, however, as a guide applications with an income in excess of €50,840 may be ineligible - Please also be aware being under this amount does not guarantee an award. 

  • Funds are limited and not all applicants may be eligible and/or may not be awarded funding. 
  • Students can only apply once per academic year and if successful, awards are a once-off payment.
  • There is no official closing date for the Student Assistance Fund, but once all funds are dispersed the fund will close.

Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible to apply:

  • All full-time registered students (subject to EU status), undergraduate and postgraduate, for the 2023/24 academic year are eligible to apply.  
  • For the 2023/24 academic year the course must be no less the 1 year in duration. 
  • The course must lead to an NFQ Level 6 –10. 
  • Repeat Students can be supported for one year only. 
  • PhD students from years one to four. 
  • UCC Students away on Erasmus year can apply for funding subject to meeting fund criteria 

Ineligible to apply:

  • Students participating in foundation or part-time courses are not eligible for this fund.  
  • Students pursuing a second Degree/second Masters/second PhD are ineligible.  
  • International/non-EU fee-paying students are not eligible for funding. 
  • Visiting Erasmus Students must apply to their home university. 



What the award can be used for

The following is a sample of types of expenditure for the Student Assistance Fund:


Class materials 


Travel of an urgent or essential nature 

Food, Heat & Light 

Childcare Expenses 

Medical expenses 

Mobile phone/data associated with teaching/learning 

Compulsory study abroad 

Expenses associated with family breakdown/bereavement 

What the award cannot be used for: 

Tuition Fees 

Registration Fees 

Student Loans 

Any costs borne by the HEI 

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. 
  • Student must 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 

Application Process Explained

Applications are made through the online application form.  Applications will be open from 20th September, 2023 from 12pm.


Students will be required to complete sections within the application form outlining their financial status (for the financial year 2022), their residential status, and biographical information.


Applications are assessed on the basis of household income for the year 2022, supporting financial documentation will be required.


How Student Financial Household Income is Assessed

Student Financial Household income is determined by last year's income (for this academic year that is 2022).  This can be student income and/or Parent/Guardian income.  Dependency on parental income will be determined by the age of the student as of the 1st of January of the year they commenced their studies.

A sample of household circumstances are outlined below: 

  • Applicants U23 years of age - will be assessed on their own and parent/guardian income.
  • Applicants over 23 years of age - will be assessed on their own income if living independently of parents, however, if an applicant is residing with parent/guardian/partner etc. income for those individuals will also be taken into consideration.
  • Other Circumstances – An appointment is necessary prior to commencing the application process. 

As you progress through the application form, your household situation will be determined and the information you provide will guide you as to what financial documentation you need to provide to support your application. 

Example of Financial Supporting documents

The documents generally required to complete your application include:  

  • SUSI Award Letter  



1st Year  

2nd Year* 

3rd Year* 

4th Year* 


Upload your SUSI Award Letter for 2023/2024, dated 2023 all 3 pages 


Upload your 1st SUSI Award Letter (3 pages) dated 2022 AND your 2023/24 SUSI RENEWAL Letter(1 page) 


Upload your 1st SUSI Award Letter (3 pages) dated 2021 AND your 2023/24 SUSI RENEWAL Letter(1 page) 


Upload your 1st SUSI Award Letter (3 pages) dated 2020 AND your 2023/24 SUSI RENEWAL Letter(1 page) and any other SUSI reassessment letter that would have been completed during the duration of your degree (2-3 pages)


  • PAYE Employment - Statement of Liability for the year 2022 
  • Self Employed - Notice of Assessment/Self-Assessment letter 2022 and Form 11A 
  • Department of Social Protection payments - Statements for 2022 (1st January 2022 -31st December 2022)  


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 in the Case Studies and Sample Documents section of this website. 

Appeals, feedback, complaints...

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

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

How to make an appointment

Please click either the following Student Assistance Fund Appointment Link

  • Select which type of appointment you would prefer (either online or in person)
  • Available dates & times will be displayed (please note appointments are only available a week in advance, as the week progresses the appointments for the following week will become available)
  • Select a date that suits you.
  • Then you can choose a time to meet with an advisor, by completing the online form to ensure you fill in all required information. 

Ensure you put in your full name, ucc student umail address(all correspondence will be through your UCC Umail email address), phone number, and the main purpose of the visit. 


Further Links & Information

Student Financial Supports and Advice

Tacaíocht agus Comhairle Airgeadais do Mhic Léinn

1st Floor, The Hub , T12YF78