DOZENS of third-level students saddled with thousands of euros of debt are unable to graduate every year.
As the price of attending college grows, students are finding it increasingly difficult to pay all their fees in time to graduate. University College Dublin (UCD) recently completed a tender process for the services of a debt collector to collect outstanding fees.
The university would not disclose how much they are owed, however, approximately 228 out of 38,000 students who have completed their programme at the university over the past five years have not yet been awarded their degree due to outstanding fees.
Dublin City University (DCU) is owed €460,000 by graduates. A spokesperson said that all students experiencing difficulties are encouraged to engage with the processes and supports available within the university. "Students who fail to so engage are not allowed to graduate with outstanding fees," she said.
She said the amount who cannot graduate every year because of outstanding fees "would be very low single figures and is a last resort".
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) is owed €463,000 in fees; €318,000 of that debt is from the academic year 2012/2013 and €145,000 is from 2011/12.
In the past two years, seven students have been unable to graduate because they are in debt with the college.
Some 4,300 students graduate from Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) each year. On average, about 25 to 30 students may not graduate because of outstanding fees but may graduate subsequently, a spokesperson said. They did not disclose the amount owed in back fees.