Who is eligible to apply?

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). 

To apply please ensure you have the following details:

As well as Bank account details please upload one of:

  • Most recent Statement of Liability (formerly P21) for your household’s income or
  • SUSI letter pages must show your name, address and the "Assessed Reckonable Income" or
  • A letter from Dept. of Social Protection showing payments for last year or 
  • 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.

Where do I apply?

This fund is closed to further applications until October 2021.

Key considerations in making your application:

  • 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 probably 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.

Fund-Specific FAQ's:

What documentation do I need to submit with my Means Tested Fund application?

Applicants for the MEANS TEST fund should show their household income by submitting either a Statement of Liability (formerly P21) if employed or Confirmation of Social Welfare (if unemployed), your SUSI letter or, if self employed, a statement of accounts.

The documentation for the Means Tested Fund varies for dependant and indepdependent students, please see below:

Students living with parents (considered as dependant on parents irrespective of age):

Where one or both parents are employed Statement of Liability (P21)  or accountant’s confirmation of income or SUSI letter confirming that student is in receipt of a grant.
Where parents are unemployed SUSI letter confirming at minimum that they are having their fees paid together with Confirmation of parents social welfare. 

Students over age 23* and not living with parents:

Confirmation of address in the form of a utility bill or rent agreement
Confirmation of income in the form of a Statement of Liability (P21) or accountant’s confirmation of income or SUSI letter confirming that they are in receipt of a grant.

If unemployed SUSI letter confirming at minimum that they are having their fees paid plus confirmation of social welfare amounts.

Confirmation of partner’s income either in the form of Statement of Liability (P21), or accountant’s confirmation of income or confirmation of social welfare payments.
[* 23 years of age or over on January 1st of the year when you first enter/re-enter further or higher education.]

Refugee Status:

Once a student can produce a SUSI letter to support their documentation this confirms that they meet SUSI criteria

Foundation students:
Same requirements as for students classified as dependent or independant as detailed above.  Confirmation of social welfare payments to prove their income.

What is considered as Household Income?

It is the household income for 2020 that we assess and could be one of the following situations (not an exhaustive list):

Students living with parents (considered as dependant on parents irrespective of age):

Where one or both parents are employed P21 or accountant’s confirmation of income or SUSI letter confirming that student is in receipt of a grant.
Where parents are unemployed SUSI letter confirming at minimum that they are having their fees paid together with Confirmation of parents social welfare. 

Students over age 23 and not living with parents:

For full-time undergraduate students to be considered independent of parents you need to be 23 on the 1st of January prior to when you started 3rd level education.   For part-time students you need to show that you were 21 on the 1st of January prior to when you started your course.  Confirmation of address in the form of a utility bill or rent agreement

Confirmation of income in the form of a Statement of Liability (P21) or accountant’s confirmation of income or SUSI letter confirming that they are in receipt of a grant.

If unemployed SUSI letter confirming at minimum that they are having their fees paid plus confirmation of social welfare amounts.
Confirmation of partner’s income either in the form of Statement of Liability (P21), or accountant’s confirmation of income or confirmation of social welfare payments.

Refugee Status:
Once a student can produce a SUSI letter to support their documentation this confirms that they meet SUSI criteria

Foundation students:
Same requirements as for students classified as dependent or independant as detailed above.  Confirmation of social welfare payments to prove their income.

Whichever category you fall into we consider the household income for your application to be the combined income of your Mother/Father/Guardian/Spouse/Partner/Self (if independent) from the following sources:

Income from employment, e.g. PAYE, Salary, Wages, Fees (Mother/Father/Guardian)
Income from self-employment
Payments from the Department of Social Protection e.g. Unemployment Benefit, Unemployment Assistance, Widows Pension, Deserted Wives, One Parent Family Payment, Family Income Supplement, Disability Benefit, Disability Allowance, DSP-Pension Payment, Scholarship Income

Where will I find my  household Income?

A P21, Letter from Social Welfare, Notice of Assessment or your SUSI Letter.

Will any SUSI letter suffice?

The SUSI letter or pages uploaded MUST show the household income (ASSESSED RECKONABLE INCOME) and the name of the recipient.  Please note that we consider ALL income on this document as relevant for your FAF application. We do not discount any income, such as a social welfare payment.

Where will I find that SUSI letter?

It should be on your initial offer letter from SUSI, or you can contact SUSI for another copy of the letter that shows the household income.

What is a Statement of Liability (formerly P21)?

A Statement of Liability is a statement of total income, tax credit and tax paid for a particular tax year.

How can I get my Statement of Liability (P21)?

There are several ways to get a Statement of Liability, you can:
Complete and return a Form 12 (pdf) to your district tax office.
Complete the online eForm 12 return in Revenue's myAccount Service.

How long does it take to get a Statement of Liability (P21)?

A Statement of Liability requested from PAYE Anytime will be issued immediately and should be received within 4 to 5 days. A statement requested in writing, by phone or by calling into a local office will be sent to you as soon as possible.

How do I get confirmation of Social Welfare

Please contact your local Social Welare Department and they will provide you with Confirmation of Social Welfare.

My parents are self-employed, what documents are required?

You need a Notice of Assessment certificate, which is provided by Revenue once your accounts have been submitted and tax has been paid. Your accountant will be able to provide the relevant information.

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?

A SUSI letter showing the "Assessed Reckonable Income" and a copy of the page showing your name and address from SUSI 
A copy of the Statement of Liability for household income from 2020 
A letter from Social Welfare showing payments for 2020 
A copy of business accounts for year ended 2020 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 am a student in the Professional Master in Education /Mháistir Gairmiúil san Oideachas.   Is there any fund I can apply to?

Yes. You should apply to the Means Test Financial Aid Fund or the Hardship/Emergency Fund.

General FAQ's:

When does the application to the fund open?

Applications will reopen in Semester 1 2021/22.

Where can I get help and advice about the Financial Aid Fund?

Students who require assistance in completing their application are advised to contact us in the Accommodation & Welfare Office.  Contact details are available here.

How do I apply?

Complete the online application form when it becomes available. 

What are typical errors that occur when filling in an application?

If you are not a registered student of NUI Galway , you may not be able to access the FAF application forms. 
You must complete all questions in the application form.  If any question is not complete it will not save.   Once it has been completed successfully you will receive an automated email. 

If you do not get a confirmation email (the email may have gone into your spam folder) please check the following and resubmit:

Make sure that you complete all questions in the application form. Do not leave any questions blank. If any question is not complete it will not save.  
“Household Income (annual)”, please choose one of the three options in the Means Tested Fund e.g.   €0-€24,000;   €24,001-€31,000 or €31,000-€39,875. Do not put in your actual income or the form will not save
“Year of Study” Choose the year of your course that you are registered for e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4 etc Please do not put 2020. 
Questions not answered and left blank. Scroll back-up through your form after entering submit - are there any incomplete questions showing read text?
When you have saved you application successfully, you will receive an automated email advising you that your application has been received.   Please check your spam email address if you have not received this email

The above errors will result in your application not being submitted and not being recorded.

You will receive an email from Student Services staff advising you of the outcome of your application.

Can I appeal the decision?

You must complete the Financial Aid Fund - Decision Appeal form which you will find in the forms section when you login to Accommodation & Welfare Connect.  

There are two grounds for appeal:

  • That you believe there was an “administrative error in assessment” i.e. that you think a mistake was made when your application was being reviewed that lead to you not being awarded funding or 
  • that you believe “insufficient weight was given to an aspect of your application” i.e. that all your circumstances were not taken into account when your application was being reviewed and/or that something important was not considered about your personal Please complete the form in full and outline your reasons for appealing this decision.   For example, please state why you believe insufficient weight was given to your application.

Having completed the online appeals form you will be contacted by staff in the Accommodation and Welfare Office and invited for an interview to discuss your appeal

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

If you are still having difficulties please contact us, our contact details can be found here.

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 one of the Hardship/Emergency Funds.  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 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.

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. 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  Latest 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 paying my fees, can I use these funds to assist with this?

No, the Financial Aid Fund 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