Different channels for funding those college years
There are a number of different types of funding students can apply for when going to third level, the most widely accessed source of which is the student grant.
In the case of students who may need extra financial support to assist them attending third level with a disability, they may apply for assistance through the Fund for Students with Disabilities.
This money is channelled through to the disability office of the college, so students who think they can benefit from this type of support should contact the disability office at the institution they will be attending.
Meanwhile, another fund, known as the Student Assistance Fund, is available at all publicly funded third level institutions and it is intended to support students who find themselves in financial difficulties during their studies.
Money from this fund can be accessed through the institution the student is attending and can be used to help with costs such as rent, food, travel, and other expenses. A student must be already registered in the college before you can apply for this funding.
Many financial institutions offer lower rate loans for third level education. Banks and credit unions are offering loans for both parents and students which will allow them to spread the cost over the duration of the course or hold repayments until their study is completed.
According to a recent survey from the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU), 79pc of parents support their children with college-related costs, by contributing an average of €428 per month per child.
In terms of how parents cover the costs, the survey found savings were now the most common way. In 2014, 47pc of parents say they will use savings, 46pc monthly income and 29pc credit union loans. It found that 42pc of students receive a grant, including small ones like the Erasmus mobility grant, but 79pc of parents believe the grant is not sufficient.