Student Assistance Fund

The Student Assistance Fund is now closed. 

Should you need to discuss your financial situation, please email us at 




Student Support & Development operate the Student Assistance Fund (SAF) providing financial support to students who are experiencing short or long-term financial difficulties while attending higher education.  The Higher Education Authority (HEA) manages it on behalf of the Department of Further & Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Science.  

The fund is open to full-time and part-time students aimed at tackling educational disadvantage by providing financial support to those who may require additional financial support to enable them to benefit fully from their higher education.

Students can only apply once within an academic year

2022 November - Applications are open to DCU registered students in November for a period of three weeks   

February - Applications are open again in February for three weeks to students who have not applied in the November cycle

The fund is not open to late applications

Emergency applications – Emergency applications outside the above dates (November/ February), by first time or previous applicants within an academic year, can be made should a student encounter sudden serious adverse financial circumstances during the year. The student can contact us to arrange a meeting to discuss their change of circumstances.

A SAF award is a once off payment unless a further emergency award is successful.


  1. Students (Registered on higher education programmes of not less than one year in duration) –
  • Full time students on courses that lead to a higher education award at level 6 to 10 of the National Framework of Qualifications - NFQ         
  • Part-time students on courses that lead to a higher education award at level 6 to 10 of the national framework of qualifications (as above) – Blended/Distance learning programmes
  • Students on Springboard/Human Capital Initiative courses
  • PhD students Year 1-4.  Students who have completed four years of their studies, on a case-by-case basis, may also be given consideration for support.
  1. Students with a previous higher education qualification/period of attendance can be considered for support.
  2. The DCU Student Assistance Fund is in the first instance, a means tested fund.  The eligibility income is up to €72,000 (total family income).  For students under 23, this will be the parents/guardians and any income the student, he/she, may have.  For students over 23, who are dependent on their parents/guardians, this will be the parents/guardians income along with any income the student, he/she, may have.  For students over 23, not dependent on parents/guardian, this will be the student’s income plus partner/spouse’s income where applicable. 
  3. Income is less than expenditure
  4. Online application is completed and submitted ('Submit' button must be clicked)
  5. Required supporting documentation is uploaded to application
  6. Students do not have to be in receipt of a SUSI grant to be eligible to apply
  7. Students qualified for protection under Section 60 of the International Protection Act 2015 (including Ukrainian students who are currently registered as Higher Education Students, on approved courses or authorised transition arrangements in approved publicly funded institutions in Ireland) To qualify, the student must have been granted permission to reside in the State by the Minister for Justice pursuant to section 60 of the International Protection Act 2015). The student must be present, and residing at an address in the State, and attending, or intending to pursue, an approved course in the 2022-23 academic year.
  8. Irish Nationals who were attending a Higher Education Institution in Ukraine during the 2021/2022 academic year; and have now returned to Ireland due to the conflict, are now residing at an address in the State and enrolled on an authorised transition programme during 2022/2023.
  9. Students who are non-EU nationals, but who are eligible for free or reduced fees in line with the criteria for the Free Fees Initiative may be considered for the SAF subject to meeting the criteria outlined above.  (


Applications to the SAF are not open to International/non-EU fee-paying students.

Students who do not meet the above eligibility.

Students must choose one category when seeking financial assistance towards costs associated with day-to-day participation in higher education such as –

Rent   /   Living expenses   /   Books + College Materials   /   Essential Travel   /   Medical   /   Childcare (Afterschool care is not included)

Assistance can also include family difficulties e.g. Family Breakdown / Bereavement

The above list is not exhaustive

SAF funding is not available to assist students with the costs of tuition fees / registration fees / student loans.

PLEASE NOTE REQUIRED SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION HAS BEEN UPDATED FOR 2022/2023 APPLICAITONS (1/11/22).  All applications require supporting documentation and details of these are noted in the below link.  Applications in November and February are open for three weeks giving ample time to obtain documents.

Students can complete their application and submit it whilst awaiting documents once they return to their application to upload them prior to the closing date.  Omitted documents lead to applications being unsuccessful.

Required Documents

Childcare applicants will be contacted for further documentation.

Completing Application Guide

4-6 Weeks

Assessment of November and February applications commence immediately after the closing dates.  Due to the very large number of applications, the assessment can take from four to six weeks.  Therefore, a student can receive the outcome of their application anywhere from the first week of assessment to the sixth week.  Once a student’s application is successful, the student will receive a confirmation email notifying them of their award together with a request to upload their bank details on Loop (See section on this page for uploading bank details).  From the date the student receives their award email, it can take one to two weeks for payment to reach their bank account as the process of payments is once a week by Finance.  If there are no bank details uploaded to Loop, there will be no award payment processed.

Average Award

Please note, each year the government SAF funding is separate from previous years therefore the average award can vary year-to-year e.g. €300 - €400 / €500.  We would advise that students plan their budget prior to commencement of their studies and note that, should they be successful in obtaining an award, it will not cover full expenses.  See link 'Financial Survival' link below.

Financial Survival in University

You can also visit 'DEVELOP' to find digital resources

As per successful applications, the assessment process can take from four to six weeks with the students receiving the outcome of their application anywhere from the first to sixth week from the closing date.

Not all applications are successful.  Each application is assessed individually and the following are some reasons for unsuccessful applications - Income exceeds expenditure   /   Sufficient funding in bank   /    Student on paid placement (dependent on placement period/income)   /   Incomplete applications (including omitted documents). 

Should an application be unsuccessful, the student can appeal the decision within a two-week period from the date notified of outcome by completing the below appeal form and emailing it to  Appeals will be considered within a four-week period of receipt and students contacted on the outcome by email. 


Appeal Form 

Should you not be in receipt of a SUSI Grant or Back to Education Allowance or Means Tested Social Welfare Payment, within the application, you will be required to project your income / expenditure for nine months of the academic year (September to May).

To assist you on working out your income and expenditure and noting them in your application, please see sample budgets below.  These budget templates are not to be uploaded to your application they are simply here to assist you prior to completing the income/expenditure sections.

Living Away from home

Living at Home

Blank Budget Template


In order for your application to be processed as quickly as possible and to avoid unnecessary time consuming, it is advisable to read the information on this fund including REQUIRED SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION which has been updated from 1st February 2023.  

Accessing the system

Students who applied for the SAF in the academic year 2021/2022 via the SAF application Portal, should log in using the ‘Sign in’ button on the top right hand corner of the Portal webpage.


Students who have not previously applied to the SAF in the academic year 2021/2022 via the SAF application Portal, will be required to go through the validation process below to register and gain access. 

1.       Click on the hyperlink Request Access to begin the process.

2.       Enter your DCU email (lower case only).

3.       Enter your DCU Student ID number.

4.       Click the button ‘Request Access Code’ to retrieve your unique code.

5.       When your Invitation code appears, click on the ‘Copy Invitation Code’ button to copy your              code.

6.       Click on the word ‘link’ on the ‘Request Access’ page to activate your invitation Code.

7.       Paste the copied code into the Invitation Code box (right click paste, ctrl+v   PC,           Command + V MAC) and click Register.

8.       You will then be prompted to sign in using the AZURE button.

9.       Enter your DCU Email and password.

10.      If you are using a Laptop, when you have logged on, your name will appear in the top right-hand corner of the Portal.  You will also see a link to the Student Assistance Fund in the header section.  Click the ‘Student Assistance Fund’ tab to make an application.

11.      If you are using a mobile device, once logged in you will see 3 parallel lines in the top right-hand corner of your screen. Click on the lines to retrieve the ‘Student Assistance Fund’ tab.

12.   Once your application is completed, click on ‘Save’ – this will allow you to make any changes at a later date (prior to the closing date).  Once you are satisfied that your application is complete, ensure you click on the ‘Submit’ button.  To access your application again, please note you only need to sign in (top right-hand corner). 


<Link>> SAF is now closed

Click on Student APPS which is at the bottom of the DCU home page

         Then click on ‘My Details’ and this will ask you to input your User Name and password This will bring on to your own student APP page

         You will be able to insert bank details under the Student Bank Account details

         Bank account must be in your own name

         Your IBAN number is made up of your bank account number and local branch sort code

         Note that your bank account number is NOT the number on your bank card, you will be able to get the bank account number from a bank statement 

         Only click the submit button once as if click twice this will cancel out the account details and you will need to do it again

If you have attempted to upload them before

On uploading them again, please note the system is sensitive to too many attempts at uploading.  Please can you follow the following procedure for uploading your bank details - 

·  Upload once and click on Submit

·  You will receive a 'Successful' message

·  Do not go log back in to check them and do not click on submit a second time 


If you are still experiencing a problem, please contact the Fees Office who will assist you -

Data Protection Notice

The personal data provided by you as part of your application to the Student Assistance Fund "SAF" is obtained, processed and retained by Student Support & Development (SS&D  - a unit within Dublin City University  'Data Controller') for the purposes that are directly connected with the administration and operation of the SAF and will be treated in accordance with the DCU Data Privacy Policy which can be accessed at 
Some of the data you provide may be shared with third parties such as the HEA or Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science for the purposes of coordinating, monitoring and evaluating the operation of the SAF.    

Your personal data will be retained by SS&D until the end of the Operational Programme. If you wish to obtain further information about data protection please visit, or   If you are not satisfied with the response from DCU in relation to data protection queries, you may contact the Data Protection Commission via

RAG is a student run volunteering society on campus. They aim to support as many people as possible within the local community, including students. They offer a weekly foodbank service to DCU students who are struggling to buy food.  To avail of this completely confidential service,  The general email is  

Should you have any queries, please email -


Phone - 00 353 1 700 60 55

Office - CG78 Ground Floor     

            Dublin City University

            Henry Grattan Building

            Glasnevin Campus

            Dublin 9