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The Student Assistance Fund is managed by the Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.


Financial Aid Fund

What is the financial aid fund?

The Financial Aid Fund comprises the Student Assistance Fund and an additional contribution from the University

The Student Assistance Fund is intended to tackle disadvantage by providing financial support to students who require financial support to enable them to fully benefit from their third level studies.   We recognise that financial problems can arise for several reasons and NUI Galway endeavours to offer opportunities for students to apply for financial assistance and support in a number of ways.

NEWS UPDATE

While we know that this is a particularly difficult year for students, we have had a significantly high number of financial aid fund application.  We assure you that we are working hard to make sure that all applications will be processed without delay. We hope to be able to inform you of the outcome of your application as soon as is possible. In some cases we have to wait for all students to apply before we can review applications. We appreciate your patience at this time.

Who is eligible to apply?

Any NUI Galway student who is currently registered on a full-time or part-time programme of at least one year’s duration and which leads either to an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification.

Who is not eligible to apply?

Students who have non-EU status and incoming ERASMUS students are ineligible for the Student Assistance Fund.   Students who have completed a Degree/Masters/PhD and are undertaking a second qualification at the same level are ineligible to apply.  However, in extreme circumstances students from Graduate Entry programmes, will be considered.  Students who have not paid the €224 student levy will not be eligible to receive a funding allocation.

Which fund should I apply to?

The Financial Aid Fund is divided into four funds as follows:

  • HEAR Access Fund - for HEAR students, Access School Leavers and Access Mature students.  Applications to this fund are now open and will close on Wednesday, 18 November at 12 noon.
  • Means Tested Fund - for students with a gross family income of  €39,875 or less (NOTE: family income for HEAR , Access School Leaver and Access Mature students is already assessed and this figure does not apply).  Therefore, HEAR , Access School Leaver and Access Mature students should apply to the HEAR/Access Fund.  This fund is now open.  There is no fixed closing date for applications to this Fund but please note that the funding is limited. When all the available funding has been allocated, no further applications can be considered.
  • Hardship Emergency Fund - for students who have had a significant life changing experience within the last 12 months that has impacted on their financial plan for attending University.  There is no fixed closing date for applications to this Fund but the funding is limited. When all the available funding has been allocated, no further applications can be considered
  • PME Fund - for PME and MGO students only.  Applications to this fund will close on Wednesday, 18 November at 12 noon.

When will the Financial Aid Fund open for the academic year 2020/2021?

The following funds are now open; HEAR / Access School Leavers and Access Mature, the Means Tested Fund, PME?MGOm and The Hardship Emergency Fund are now open.

Please click here to complete the relevant application fund.

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING; 

  • STUDENTS CAN ONLY APPLY ONCE IN THE ACADEMIC YEAR TO THE FINANCIAL AID FUND
  • IF YOU ARE REQUIRED TO UPLOAD SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION WITH YOUR APPLICATION, PLEASE ENSURE YOU UPLOAD THE CORRECT DOCUMENTATION.  IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO CHANGE OR EDIT YOUR APPLICATION AT A LATER STAGE.   IF YOUR DOCUMENTATION IS INCORRECT YOUR APPLICATION WILL BE REJECTED.
  • IF YOU HAVE SUBMITTED MORE THAN ONE APPLICATION TO INDIVIDUAL FUNDS, WE WILL ACCEPT YOUR LAST APPLICATION - ALL PREVIOUS APPLICATIONS WILL BE REJECTED.

I am having difficulties submitting the form, where can I get help?

Please check out our FAQs and resubmit your application.   If you are still having difficulties please contact us, our contact details can be found here.

When will the Financial Aid Fund close?

  • The HEAR | Access Fund will close on Wednesday, 18 November at 12 noon
  • The PME/MGO Fund will close on Wednesday, 18 November at 12 noon
  • The Means Test Fund - There is no fixed closing date for applications to this Fund but please note that the funding is limited. When all the available funding has been allocated, no further applications can be considered
  • Hardship Emergency Fund - There is no fixed closing date for applications to the Fund but the funding is limited. When all the available funding has been allocated, no further applications can be considered

I was accepted into University as a HEAR / Access School Leaver/ Access Mature Student, what fund should I apply to and what are the criteria?

All undergraduate HEAR students and Access School Leavers and Access Mature students are eligible to apply to the HEAR |Access Fund. The application form is now available here  . The only criterion is that you entered University under these listed access initiatives and you do not need to be means tested again. NOTE: This means you do not need to upload any additional documents with your online application.

How do I know if I am eligible to apply for the Means Tested Fund

It is important to note that eligibility for support from the Means Tested Fund is based on a defined and appropriately documented income figure.   The upper annual income limit for eligibility for the fund is €39,875.   Please also note that this fund has a limited budget and will operate on a first-come, first-served basis, therefore once the funds have been exhausted the fund will close for the academic year.   Early application is recommended.

I think I am eligible to apply to the Means Tested Fund.   What documents are required?

Confirmation of household income is required by way of SUSI letter (the page uploaded must show ASSESSED RECKONABLE INCOME), or P21, or Confirmation of Social Welfare, or copy of business accounts for year ended 2019 and accountant’s confirmation of adjusted profit computation (if parents are self-employed).   Please also note that we assess your application on gross income.   This means that all household income shown on the document you upload is taken into consideration.

I have had a significant change in my household income in the last 12 months can I apply to any fund?

Yes, you can apply to the Hardship/Emergency Fund.  The purpose of this fund is to offer financial assistance to students who encounter acute and significant unexpected difficulties during their time of study in NUI Galway.  Illnessesbereavement, Covid-19 impacts and sudden unemployment are some of the issues that may make you eligible for the Hardship/Emergency Fund.    On-going low income does not, in and of itself, qualify you for the Hardship Emergency Fund.

Applicants must complete the online application form and complete and upload a Budget Worksheet 2020.21.‌    Applicants will be invited to a meeting in the Accommodation & Welfare Office to discuss the change in circumstances with a member of staff.   The contents of your application will be treated confidentially.    You will be asked for documentation to show the impact of the change in your circumstances.   The documentation should relate to the current academic year.

I am a student in the Professional Master in Education /Mháistir Gairmiúil san Oideachas.   Is there any fund I can apply to?

Yes. The PME/MGO Fund is only available to students who are currently registered on the Professional Masters in Education / Mhaistir Gairmiúl san Oideachas.   It is important to note that eligibility for support from this fund is based on a defined and appropriately documented income figure.   The annual income limit for eligibility for the fund is €39,875.

I think I am eligible to apply to the PME fund.   What documents are required?

Confirmation of household income is required by way of SUSI letter (page uploaded must show ASSESSED RECKONABLE INCOME) or P21 or confirmation of Social Welfare or a copy of business accounts for year ended 2019 and accountants confirmation of adjusted profit computation.   Please also note that we assess your application on gross income.  This means that all household income shown on the document you upload is taken into account.

Can I apply to all the funds?

No.   If you are a HEAR student or Access School leaver or Access mature student you must apply to HEAR | Access fund.   If you are a PME student you apply to the PME Fund.   All other students from low-income households should apply to the Means Tested Fund.

However, if you have applied to one of the above funds and you have experienced a significant life changing event then you can also apply to the Hardship/Emergency fund.

I’m still confused and am not sure which fund to apply to.   Can you help?

Yes, please check our chart at Guidelines on which Financial Aid Fund is most applicable to me. If you are still in doubt contact us via online contact form here.

None of the above funds seem to apply to me, am I still eligible for funding?

We suggest that you read the eligibility criteria for each fund carefully.  However if you are in financial difficulty and none of the funds above apply, you may still contact us via our online contact form here to check your eligibility for alternative sources of funding or support.

I am having difficulty payment my fees, will the financial aid fund help?

No.  The FAF cannot help students with the cost of fees or loans from this fund.   However, if you contact our Fees Office they may be able to arrange a payment instalment plan for you.  You will find further information at https://www.nuigalway.ie/student-fees

Terms and Conditions

The University reserves the right to vary or alter, amend, revoke or recover any aspect or payment made under this scheme at its discretion. 

Data Protection

Under GDPR your personal data collected as part of the application process may be processed for the purposes of coordinating, monitoring and evaluating the operation of the Fund and to comply with European Union requirements.    This personal data may include personally sensitive data where you choose to share that data and your data may be shared with third parties for monitoring and reporting on co-financed activities.