The Student Assistance Fund (SAF) provides financial assistance to students experiencing financial difficulties while attending third level. Students can be assisted towards the rent, childcare costs, transport costs and books/class materials.
The core allocation in 2018/2019 was €8.1 million. An additional €1m was added to the Fund in 2017 which is specifically ring-fenced for part-time students who are lone-parents or members of the other access target groups. Prior to that the fund supported full-time students only. There are no plans at present to change this.
In December 2018 specifically for the 2018/19 academic year, a further €1 million was added to the Fund for students attending Professional Masters of Education courses, who are experiencing financial difficulty.
The total 2018/2019 allocation for the SAF was €10.1 million.