The cost of college is set to increase to up to €14,000 for students living away from home, the Irish Independent has reported.
This includes the €3,000 student contribution charge, as well as rising food prices and the cost of rent.
Many students will have saved money over the past year by living at home due to lockdown, but the Student Cost of Living Guide, published in today’s Independent, estimates that students moving to Dublin will need €1,539 a month to cover all costs, or €13,827 for the full academic year.
The cost of college for the 2019/20 academic year was over €1,000 lower at €12,171. Most students spent the entire 2020/21 academic year attending college remotely.
The cost of living guide is compiled annually by TU Dublin. Rent costs quoted are based on prices in the capital.
This year’s guide puts the average monthly rent for students in Dublin at €585, based on prices in the private market.
However, a bed in private, purpose-built student accommodation can be significantly higher.
Food costs an average of €1,980 annually, or €220 per month.
Travel costs €972 per year on average, or €108 monthly.
Students living at home can expect to pay €6,636 annually, according to the guide.
The President of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) Clare Austick said in a press statement today: “We know going to college is extremely expensive in Ireland, with us having the highest fees in the EU, and these costs have been left to rise and rise in recent years. It was a huge challenge before COVID and now it is a crisis for many students and families.”
“The figures published today are completely untenable”, Austick said. “We cannot expect students or families to find this kind of money for three of four years in a row. Many students have lost part-time and full-time jobs over the summer months and throughout the year because of the pandemic. Additional stress and pressure will be placed on an already very demanding college experience.”
Last month, the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) called on the government to include provisions for colleges to provide their own student accommodation instead of relying on private, college-affiliated accommodation.