TWO-thirds of college students work part time, but still find it difficult to make ends meet.
The cost of going to college has recently been estimated at €8,403 for a student living away from home, and €3,861 for a student living at home.
The costs, including food, travel, books and materials, mobile phones, social expenses, clothes, medical expenses, utilities and accommodation for those away from home, were estimated by the Dublin Institute of Technology.
Now a survey of 384 current students and graduates shows that: l Some 71pc of students struggle to make ends meet coming up to pay day, despite the fact that 68pc have a part-time job. And 60pc don't receive a monthly allowance from their parents.
- Almost half (45pc) have been overdrawn on their account at some point. Of these, 69pc are overdrawn by up to €200 per month.
- Over half (56pc) have borrowed from a financial institution, with an average borrowing of €9,592.
- Just over half (51pc) of students live away from home.
- Some 75pc of students use online banking, but 50pc do not know whether their account pays credit interest or not.
"Our research shows that students find it difficult to manage their income right through the month. With many using overdrafts or loans despite working part-time, it's important for students to effectively manage their spending," said David Slattery, of National Irish Bank which carried out the research.
Sinn Fein education spokesman Pearse Doherty said last night that recent reports on the cost of education in Ireland -- even without third-level fees -- had finally put the myth of free education in this country to bed.
"One study has shown that the cost of educating a child up to third level is €61,000, while another shows that many parents are taking on debt to fund their children's education."
Meanwhile, Professor Terri Scott has been named the new president of the Institute of Technology, Sligo. A native of Derry city, she has a distinguished academic background with a career that has spanned more than 20 years.
Prof Scott was the dean and head of the School of Computing and Mathematics at the University of Ulster. She also held visiting positions at Carnegie Mellon University and MIT in the United States and has extensive experience of developing partnerships and collaboration with institutions across Europe and Asia.