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Know Your Rights: Financial supports for students




The Student Grant Scheme is the main financial support scheme for students but there are other supports available, including:

* The Student Assistance Fund
* The Fund for Students with Disabilities

Student Assistance Fund

The Student Assistance Fund (SAF) provides financial support to full-time or part-time students in higher education who are experiencing financial difficulties. The SAF is available to help students with the following costs:

* Books and class materials
* Rent, heating and lighting bills
* Food
* Essential travel
* Childcare costs for students that are parents
* Medical costs
* Family difficulties, for example bereavement.

The SAF is designed to provide financial support in addition to the student grant. Tuition fees, registration fees, student loan repayments or any costs borne by your college are not covered by the SAF. Universities, Institutes of Technology and other approved colleges participate in the SAF scheme but the SAF is not available to students in further education or post-Leaving Certificate colleges.

Qualifying for the Student Assistance Fund

To qualify for the SAF, you must be a full-time or part-time student in a university, Institute of Technology or other approved college. You must be on a course leading to a higher education award (National Framework of Qualifications Level 6-10).


Funding amounts vary and will be decided by your college following an assessment process.

How to Apply

Students must apply for the SAF directly to the individual colleges. If you are in financial difficulty you should contact the Access or Student Services section in your college for more information on how to apply for the SAF. It is important to apply for funding as soon as you can. Some colleges have a closing date for applications. You should check with the Access Service or Student Services section of your college to find out when this is.

Your college will advise you on the documentation needed to support your application to the SAF. This may include proof of your own or your parents’ income and receipts for costs such as rent, bills or childcare. Applications are assessed by individual colleges and final decisions on awards may be taken by a small committee, including the Access Officer and Student Welfare Officer.

Fund for Students with Disabilities

The Fund for Students with Disabilities (FSD) is one of the main funding sources for students with disabilities. The fund ensures eligible students have the necessary help and equipment so that they can participate on an equal basis with other students. You may be entitled to support under the FSD even if you did not access college through the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE scheme).

The FSD Covers the Following Supports:

* Assistive technology equipment and software
* Non-medical helpers (for example, personal assistants or note takers)
* Academic or learning support
* Deaf supports including Sign Language Interpreters and Speedtext
* Transport support

Participating Colleges

The FSD is available to full-time or part-time students in universities, Institutes of Technology and other colleges, including UK and EU colleges. The FSD is also available to students in further education or Post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) colleges. Funding is allocated to the college to support a student’s needs as decided by a Needs Assessment. The college is responsible for managing the funding and has full discretion on how the FSD is allocated.

Qualifying for the Fund for Students with Disabilities

To qualify for the FSD, you must fulfil the following conditions:

* Have a disability in one or more of the categories outlined below
* Meet the nationality and residency criteria outlined below
* Be a full-time or part-time student
* Have a verified need for specific supports in order to attend your chosen course.

Qualifying Disabilities

Disabilities that qualify under the FSD are:

* Autistic Spectrum Disorder
* Attention Deficit Disorder
* Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
* Blind or vision impaired
* Deaf or hard of hearing
* Developmental co-ordination disorder (dyspraxia/dysgraphia)
* Mental health condition (for example bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, clinical depression, severe anxiety, severe phobias, OCD, severe eating disorders and psychosis)
* Neurological condition
* Significant ongoing illness
* Physical or mobility
* Specific learning difficulties (dyslexia or dyscalculia)


You must have been resident in the State for three of the previous five years before your approved course commences to qualify for support under the FSD. If you do not qualify at the beginning of your course, it is still possible to meet this requirement during the course of your studies. This should be reviewed at the beginning of an academic year.

Nationality and Immigration Status

In order to get the FSD you must be a national of an EEA Member State or Switzerland, or have immigration status or leave to remain. You can read more detail on the nationality and residency criteria.

How to Apply

You cannot apply directly to the FSD, applications should be made on your behalf by your college.
You must register with the Disability Support Services in your college. You will need to show medical verification of your disability (for example, a consultant’s report). The college will then carry out a needs assessment to identify the appropriate supports required. You should contact the student services or disability office in your college for more information.

Other Financial Supports

Other financial supports for students include the Bursary for Care Experienced Young People is available, if you have had care experience of at least six months before your 18th birthday.

The 1916 Bursary Fund provides funding to encourage participation and success by students from disadvantaged backgrounds that are significantly under-represented in higher education.

The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (DFHERIS) runs a number of scholarship schemes including, the Ernest Walton STEM bursary, the Professor William C Campbell Bursary Scheme, the All Ireland Scholarship Scheme and the European University Institute Scheme.

If you need further information you can call a member of the local Citizens Information Service in Kerry on 0818 07 7860. They will be happy to assist you and if necessary arrange an appointment for you. Kerry HELPLINE 0818 07 7860, Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Alternatively you can email on or log on to The National Phone Service is available on 0818 07 4000 Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm.

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Sunflower day fundraiser for Killarney on Friday

Killarney Branch, Kerry Hospice Foundation are hoping the sun will shine for their Sunflower Day fundraiser which takes place on Friday, June 10. There will be collections at various locations […]




Killarney Branch, Kerry Hospice Foundation are hoping the sun will shine for their Sunflower Day fundraiser which takes place on Friday, June 10.

There will be collections at various locations in and around town as well as Foley’s Spar Shop, Fossa and Hegarty’s Spar Shop, Muckross.

“This is our first Sunflower Day collection since 2019. It is one of our main annual fundraising events and is always well supported by the local community” says Cathal Walshe, PRO., Killarney Hospice Branch.

The services provided by Kerry Hospice Foundation for people with life limiting illnesses at it’s 15 bed inpatient unit and “Suaimhneas” Day Care Centre at University Hospital Kerry have been well documented in recent years. Also highlighted is the fact that it costs in the region of €10,000 weekly to provide these services.
Kerry Hospice Foundation has plans for further expansion of its services into the future. An outreach clinic has already been set up at Killarney Community Hospital where patients can meet with a Palliative Care Specialist. This service along with the existing services would not be possible were it not for the generous support Kerry Hospice gets from the people of Kerry.

People can find out more about the work of Kerry Hospice Foundation at, on Facebook or on Twitter @kerryhospice.


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Ted Healy Properties wins DNG Small Branch of the Year

A Killarney estate agents has received a national award at the DNG National Conference and Awards, which took place at The Curragh Racecourse last week. Killarney estate agent DNG Ted […]




A Killarney estate agents has received a national award at the DNG National Conference and Awards, which took place at The Curragh Racecourse last week.

Killarney estate agent DNG Ted Healy Properties was named the ‘Small Branch of the year’ at the awards sponsored by the Irish Examiner.

The Conference and Awards ceremony was attended by more than 150 delegates from offices across Ireland where a range of topics from Ireland’s property market outlook to DNG’s recent partner affiliation with Hampton International and the role of DNG in the residential and commercial sectors, were discussed.
Delegates were entertained by guest speaker Ireland Rugby legend and La Rochelle coach Ronan O’Gara.

The judging panel of industry experts, included Peter Dargan of Irish Times, Adrian Bushnell of Pan Research, Ross Killeen of Media Pro and Keith Lowe, CEO of DNG.
The panel praised DNG Ted Healy for the high standard of service to customers and the team’s use of Social Media to enhance their business.

A native of Killarney, Ted Healy officially opened his estate agency practice in March 2006 and has gone from strength to strength ever since providing a highly professional and competent residential and commercial estate agency service to the people of Killarney and its surrounds.

“We are so grateful to be recognised as the DNG Small Branch of the year. The whole team at DNG Ted Healy has strived towards excellent for the last 12 months, and this only motivates us to continue exceeding expectations and delivering excellence to our clients,” said Ted Healy.

The awards celebrate the hard work carried out across the DNG Network and recognise the successes of individuals within the organisation, rewarding the high standards of service, business acumen and professionalism that are demonstrated in each DNG branch.

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