Government Logos 

The Student Assistance Fund is funded by the Department of Education and Skills and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.  

Financial Aid Fund


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

NUI Galway expects its students to have budgeted appropriately and sufficiently before starting studies in NUI Galway.  Please see the average cost of living in galway to understand the costs associated with coming to University.  However, we recognise that financial problems can arise for several reasons. To allow for this, we offer opportunities for students to apply for financial assistance.

All students considering applying to the Financial Aid Fund should read the FAQs to find out who is eligible to apply, how to apply andother  important information about the application process.   Application to the Financial Aid Fund is open to all registered students, who have paid their student levy and are on courses of not less than one year in duration.  Funding is not available for students to assist with the costs of tuition fees, registration fees, the student levy (€224) or student loans.  The schemes below are funded by the Irish Government and part-funded by the European Social Fund Programme for Employability, Inclusion & Learning 2014-2020.

Who is eligible to apply?

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

Non-EU Students are eligible to apply to the Covid-19 Hardship Emergency Fund, see below for further details.

Who is not eligible to apply?

Students who have non-EU status and incoming ERASMUS are ineligible for the Student Support Fund.   Students who have completed a degree/Masters/PhD and are undertaking a second qualification at the same level are ineligible to apply.  Students from Graduate Entry programmes, however, will be considered.  Students who have not paid the €224 student levy will not be eligble to apply.‌  Guidelines on which Financial Aid Fund is most applicable to me.pdf

Summary of funds: 

HEAR/ACCESS Fund (not means tested) - this fund is closed for the academic year 2019/20

Application is open to all HEAR and Access full time undergraduate students registered students on higher education courses of not less than one year in duration.  This fund is not means tested.  There is no documentation required other than the online application.  This fund will close on Friday, 31st January at 4.00 p.m.

MEANS TESTED FUND - this fund is closed for the academic year 2019/20

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 annual income limit for eligibility for the fund is €24,000.  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.  Therefore early application is recommended.   Applications to the Means Tested fund will close at 4.00 p.m. on Friday, 14th February.  

Documents required - confirmation of household income is required by way of SUSI letter (page uploaded must show ASSESSED RECKONABLE INCOME) , P21 (if parents employed), Confirmation of Social Welfare, or copy of business accounts for year ended 2018 and accountants confirmation of adjusted profit computation.  To ensure you have the correct documentation and to find out what you need and where to find it, please check our FAQ page under documentation required.

HARDSHIP EMERGENCY FUND: This fund is closed for the academic year 2019/20.  However, if you are a repeat student and experiencing financial difficulty please email

The purpose of this discretionary fund is to offer financial assistance to students who encounter acute and significant unexpected difficulties during their time of study in NUI Galway.  Illnessesbereavement and sudden unemployment are some of the issues which may make you eligible for the Hardship Emergency Fund.    Ongoing 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. Applicants will be invited to meet with Dave Barry or Una McDermott in the Accommodation & Welfare Office to discuss the change in circumstances.   The contents of your application will be treated confidentially.

Documentation for the Hardship Emergency Fund should relate to the current academic year.

PROFESSIONAL MASTERS IN EDUCATION  / MHÁISTIR GAIRMIÚIL SAN OIDEACHAS FUND - this fund is closed for the academic year 2019/20

The PME/MGO Fund is only available to students who are studying the Professional Masters in Education / Mhaistir Gairmiul San Oideachas.

This PME Fund will remain open until Friday 31st January, 2020.   Payments will be processed by the end of February at the latest.

Applications are available here. Select the link to 'Financial Aid Fund 2019-20: PME + MGO students'.

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 European Social Fund co-financed activities.