Additional Financial Supports to Assist Students in Higher Education With the Cost of Living
Minister Harris announces additional financial supports of €1.3 million to assist students in higher education with the cost of living
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris T.D has today announced additional funding of €1.3 million to students in higher education who are experiencing financial difficulties.
The monies will be distributed through the Student Assistance Fund in higher education colleges that are funded through the Higher Education Authority across the country.
Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “I am delighted to be in a position to allocate this additional once off funding to support students who find themselves in need of financial supports due to the COVID pandemic.
“I have listened to the voice of students, who have clearly articulated that COVID and the increased cost of living is having a major impact on the financial situation of students and their families.
“If you are a higher education student and you are having difficulties in paying bills, buying food or books or other classroom materials, or even having difficulties in covering the cost of childcare as you return to campus, I suggest that you talk to the Access office in your higher education institution.
“They will work with you to see if you can be supported financially through the Student Assistance Fund in meeting the costs associated with your day-to-day participation in higher education.”
This additional funding secured by Minister Harris allows for a total of €18.5m being made available to students who find themselves in financial need during the 2021/2022 academic year.
The fund is allocated to higher education institutions and has a dual focus: it is designed to support students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds with ongoing needs for financial support, and provide emergency financial assistance for other students.
In all cases, HEIs are responsible for targeting the available resources at those students most in need.
- The Student Assistance Fund (SAF) is managed by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (DFHERIS). The SAF is allocated to higher education institutions (HEIs). The SAF has a dual focus and is designed to support students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds with ongoing needs for financial support and provide emergency financial assistance for other students. In all cases, HEIs are responsible for targeting the available resources at those students most in need.
What are the eligible costs?
- The SAF 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 material that are required to enable students to continue and participate in teaching and learning and/or complete examinations
- rent, heating and lighting bills and other utility bills e.g., mobile phone data plans, that are required to enable students to continue and participate in teaching and learning and/or complete examinations
- essential travel
- childcare costs
- medical costs
- family difficulties e.g., bereavement
The above list is not exhaustive, eligible costs are decided on a case by case basis by the access office in line with the scheme guidelines.
How does a student apply for the SAF?
- A student who is attending a course that leads to a higher education award from level 6 – 10 of the NFQ in one of the eligible higher education institutions listed below applies through the Access Office in the institution attended.
- Dublin City University
- University College Cork
- University College Dublin
- National University of Ireland, Galway (including Shannon College)
- Maynooth University
- Trinity College Dublin
- University of Limerick
- Technological University Dublin
- Technological University of the Shannon
- Institute of Technology Carlow
- Munster Technological University
- Dundalk Institute of Technology
- Institute of Art, Design and Technology Dún Laoghaire
- Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
- Letterkenny Institute of Technology
- Institute of Technology Sligo
- Waterford Institute of Technology
- Marino Institute of Education
- National College of Art & Design
- National College of Ireland
- Mary Immaculate College
- St Angela's College
- St. Patrick’s College Pontifical University of Maynooth
- Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, University of Medicine and Health Services (RCSI)