Student Assistance Fund

Student Assistance Fund for 2021

The Student Assistance Fund (SAF) is managed by the Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills and co-funded by the Irish Government. The SAF is allocated to higher education institutes (HEIs).

The Student Assistance Fund provides financial assistance for students who are experiencing financial difficulty whilst attending college. The fund provides a further source of funding for higher education students in addition to the SUSI grant.

Application to the Fund is open to full-time and part-time registered students on a course of not less than one year's duration leading to an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification. Applicants must meet the application eligibility criteria. Funding is not available under this fund for the cost of tuition or registration fees.

International/non-EU fee paying students are not eligible for funding. However, students who are non-EU nationals, but who are eligible for free or reduced fees in line with the criteria for the Free Fees Initiative, may be considered for the SAF subject to meeting the eligibility criteria.

Unfortunately not all applications will be successful due to limited funds. Students who apply to the fund are assessed on an individual and confidential basis.

The purpose of the Student Assistance Fund is to provide support to full-time and part-time registered students of AIT who may be experiencing extreme financial difficulties/ have experienced a major change of circumstances.

The application process:

Complete the online application form and upload your documentation. Make sure you click the SUBMIT button at the end of the form.

The following frequently asked questions (FAQs) provide you with information about the fund. You need to read these before you make an application and before you submit documentation.

Frequently asked Questions:

  • Who can apply for the SAF?

    Full-time and part-time registered students on courses that lead to a higher education award at level 6 to 10 of the national framework of qualifications are eligible to apply for the SAF.

  • How do I apply for the SAF?

    You complete the online application form (paper application form discontinued) and then you upload your supporting documentation. The Access Office is not accepting hard copies of documentation. It must be uploaded with your application.

    Make sure to write your name and student number on your documentation. Click here to access the Student Assistance Fund application form.

  • How will my SAF application be assessed?

    Each application form is assessed by a sub group of the Student Assistance Fund Committee on an individual and confidential basis. The committee will assess applications based on the application submitted and evidence provided

  • What documentation should I provide for the SAF?

    You need to provide details of your income to support your SAF application. Your application cannot be assessed without documentation.

    Write your name and student number on the documentation that you are submitting.


    You need to provide one or more of the following documents for your SAF application, whichever applies to your situation:

    SUSI award letter or email

    Screen shot of SUSI account showing application status

    Proof of your own Social Welfare payments (Mature students)

    Proof of your Parent(s)/Guardian/Spouse/Partners Social Welfare Payments

    Proof that your household income is under €76,000 (Employee Summary Detail, formally known as P60 or P21 STATEMENT) and proof of children in full-time education (Birth Certs)

    Confirmation that you are a HEAR student

    You can request a Dept of Social Protection Statement online.

    You can request a P21 online.