Tuesday 25 October 2016

Parents struggle with student costs

Published 13/08/2014 | 00:15

The cost of putting children through college is a major financial worry for parents.
The cost of putting children through college is a major financial worry for parents.

Most parents will struggle to pay the rising costs of their children going to college and university in the coming weeks, new research shows.

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Eight in 10 students need financial support from their family to get through their third-level courses, seeking on average 428 euro (£340) a month during term time, the study reveals.

The Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) report found 64% of parents will struggle to find this money and more than half of all students will have to take on part-time jobs to get through their studies.

Those who take on a job can expect to work around 19 hours a week to pay their way through college.

Almost four in every 10 parents surveyed described the financial burden as really hard on them, while nearly a fifth said they will not be able to manage the extra costs at all.

Most rely on years of savings to fund their children's third-level education.

The average family now saves for eight years to put one child through college, while others turn to credit union loans, credit cards and bank loans.

A small number are even forced to seek borrowings from a money lender, the poll found.

And more than seven in 10 parents said they have been badly hit by the third level registration fee - up to 3,000 euro (£2,400).

There has been a three-fold increase this year in the number saying they simply can't afford the levy and their children will have to drop out of their studies as a result.

A major drain on finances for those heading off to college in the coming weeks will be rental accommodation.

The study shows 44% of students now choose to live away from home - up considerably from 32% last year.

Average rents cost around 346 euro (£270); however, students going to live in Dublin - where there is a huge shortage of accommodation - can expect to pay much more.

Last week, the Union of Students in Ireland appealed to home-owners in the capital city to rent out rooms to college-goers during term time over fears many are being priced out of the market.

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