Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald has urged colleges to take a "humane" approach when hiring debt collectors to chase student fees.
It came after the Irish Independent revealed that University of Limerick has already used a debt collecting agency.
Ms Fitzgerald said it was a challenging time for universities and they had obviously decided to use debt collectors to manage their finances.
But she urged the universities to take the personal circumstances of each student into account.
"Clearly every case is individual and needs to be considered very carefully from a humane point of view and the personal situation," she said.
Ms Fitzgerald was speaking at the launch of a review into an early learning support programme for poorer children in Dublin's Docklands. It found that it had increased the scores in English and Maths among children in the area compared to those in other disadvantaged areas where the scheme is not operating.