Half of parents have no money put aside for third-level education costs
Half of parents say they have no money put aside to meet the cost of third-level education for their children.
Parents expect to have to fork out more than €5,000 over a year to send a child to college or university.
But if the student has to move away from home, the expense of renting means the cost doubles to just over €10,000.
A third of parents are positive about the idea of student loans, according to the survey commissioned by investment and insurance giant Aviva.
Parents feel the repayments for such a scheme should be based on the income earned when the student graduates.
A quarter thought it was a great idea, while 2pc said it was the only way their children could afford to go to college or university.
Just over a fifth of parents were opposed to the idea.
Opposition was higher among students. A third of them opposed the idea, but a clear majority of 59pc of them felt it was an option worth exploring.
One in four students thought it was a great idea.
Student loans with repayments based on the earnings of graduates was one of the options outlined by the expert group on future funding for higher education earlier this year, chaired by former trade union leader Peter Cassells.
The Aviva survey found a quarter of parents were saving for their children's education.
Most families have made some provision for the cost of primary and secondary school.
But putting money aside for college education continues to be a financially daunting prospect for the majority of parents.
The head of individual life and pensions at Aviva, Ann O'Keeffe, said four in 10 parents were paying or intending to pay for their children to go to college or university.