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Student Assistance Fund

The purpose of the Student Assistance Fund (SAF) is to provide financial support to disadvantaged students who would be unable to fully benefit from third level education without external support.

The SAF is best described as a relief fund as opposed to a survival package. Students are encouraged to source additional supports outside the fund as typically the fund will ease a financial burden rather than totally alleviating the situation.

The eligibility criteria have changed from the HEA this year 2017/2018. Eligibility in previous years does not guarantee that you will be eligible now.
All students will be issued with eligibility and application details in an email.

What is and is not covered by the Student Assistance Fund?


  • Books and Materials
  • Transport
  • Rent
  • Child Care Costs (only from registered childminders or créches)
  • Heating / Lighting
  • Medical
  • Disability

Not Covered

  • Tuition fees
  • Loans

*Please note international students are not eligible to apply for SAF.

Once I make an application - what happens next? 

Your application will then go into an online Review Queue for assessment by two members of the SAF Committee. They will be checking your documents, confirming the amount to be paid based on the guidelines and ensuring your application is eligible. We aim to have this assessment done within 10 working days however sometimes if there has been a huge amount of applications this is not always possible. 

If your application is incorrect (e.g. incorrect paperwork, not enough evidence) - you will be emailed and advised what is required. If you are deemed ineligible, you could be rejected at that stage. 

If you are approved - your status on NCI360 will be changed to approved. Each month then the SAF Committee meet to discuss applications and to ratify that month's payments. Once this sign off is done by the Committee all names are sent to Finance for a cheque to be drawn up. This normally takes a week and you will be emailed when we have your cheque ready for you. 

How do I make an appeal?

You must complete a Student Assistance Fund Appeal Form and return it to saf@ncirl.ie

If you have any further queries regarding the SAF please email saf@ncirl.ie

get in touch

Online Enquiry