What are the Financial Aid Funds

The Financial Aid Funds are operated by Professional Services providing financial supports to students experiencing short or long-term financial difficulties while attending higher education. The Funds are partly supported by the Student Assistance Fund with additional funding provided by NUI Galway.

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

The NUI Galway Financial Aid Funds are overseen by a Steering Group comprising of Professional Services with the Students Union and Academic College representatives.

The Funds are intended to tackle disadvantage by providing financial support to enable students fully benefit from their third level studies. 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. The FAF provides a further source of funding for higher education students in addition to the (SUSI) Student Grant.

Funds and Details

Who is eligible to apply?

Any NUI Galway student who is currently registered on a full-time or part-time programme of one year’s duration or more that leads to an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification and each fund has specific eligibility criteria.

Which fund should I apply to?

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

 Summary of the funds and guide to the most relevant for you.



Closing date

To apply please ensure you have the following details

International Student Hardship/Emergency Fund

Non-EU students who have had a significant life changing experience within the last 12 months that has impacted on their financial plan for attending University.


This fund is open.  Please note the fund is limited. When all the available funding has been allocated, no further applications can be considered

  • Your completed Budget Worksheet 2020.21
  • Details of why you need funding assistance
  • Your funding requirement
  • Bank account details

Please click here to apply for the International Student Hardship Emergency Fund.

Hardship/Emergency Fund (Irish and EU Students)

EU (including UK) Students who have had a significant life changing experience within the last 12 months that has impacted on their financial plan for attending University.

This fund is open.  Please note the fund is limited. When all the available funding has been allocated, no further applications can be considered.

  • Your completed Budget Worksheet 2020.21
  • Details of your circumstances
  • Your funding requirement.  
  • Bank account details 

Please click here to apply for the Hardship/Emergency Fund.

Means Tested Fund

Irish and EU Students with a gross family income less than €39,875

HEAR, Access School Leaver and Access Mature students should apply to the HEAR|Access Fund instead (see below). 

PME/MGO students should apply to the PME fund instead (see below).

This fund is open. When all the available funding has been allocated, no further applications can be considered.

As well as Bank account details please upload one of:
  • Most recent P21 for your household’s income,


  • SUSI letter pages must show your name, address and the "Assessed Reckonable Income",


  • A letter from Dept. of Social Protection showing payments for last year,


  • A copy of business accounts for year ended 2020 with accountant’s confirmation of adjusted profit computation (if parents are self-employed).    

We assess your application on gross income. This means that all household income shown on the document you upload is taken into consideration.

Please click here to apply.

Professional Masters in Education (PME) Fund

PME and MGO students only. 

Closed for 2020/21. Reopens Nov 2021.

As per the Means Test Fund above

HEAR|Access Fund

HEAR students, Access School Leavers and Access Mature students only.

Closed for 2020/21. Reopens Nov 2021.

You need to complete the application form. If registered under one of the eligibility categories shown, you will receive funding.

Please click here to apply


  • Students can only apply once per academic year to a fund.
  • If you submit more than one application to a fund, only your latest application will be retained and assessed; earlier applications to that fund are over-written.
  • By uploading incorrect or inaccurate documentation, your application may be rejected or delayed.
  • EU (including UK) students may apply to the Hardship/Emergency fund plus one other fund if eligible and relevant.

Who is not eligible to apply?

  • Incoming ERASMUS students
  • Students who have completed a Degree/Masters/PhD and are undertaking a second qualification at the same level. However, in extreme circumstances students from Graduate Entry programmes, will be considered.
  • Students owing the student levy (€224) may apply but will not be eligible to receive an allocation while the levy is unpaid.

What costs are eligible under the fund guidelines?

The Financial Aid Fund is available to assist students who are unable to meet costs associated with day-to-day participation in higher education, including:

  • books and other class materials
  • rent, heating, lighting bills and other utility bills e.g. data plans
  • food
  • essential travel
  • childcare costs
  • medical costs
  • family difficulties e.g. bereavement
  • other expenses that are required to enable students to continue and participate in teaching and learning and/or complete examinations

What costs are ineligible under the Fund?

Funding is not generally available to assist students with the costs of tuition fees, registration fees, student loans or any costs that are borne by the Higher Education Institute. 

Need more detail? Answers to further questions are on our FAQ page here.


What Happens After You Apply

When you save or submit your application, you will receive a confirmation email to your NUI Galway email account.
Your application is reviewed by NUI Galway Professional Services staff to validate your eligibility. In a small number of instances, where consent is given and your application is deemed suitable, staff may advocate on your behalf for additional funding from external agencies.
The value of each allocation from the Hardship/Emergency funds is established by a sub-committee of the Financial Aid Funds Steering Group. If deemed eligible for funding, based on criteria decided upon by the Steering Group, the money will be deposited in the bank account you specify and you will receive an email confirming this from a Financial Aid Funds administrator.
Applicants who are ineligible will also receive an advisory email.

We protect your data

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.

Financial Aid Fund 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.