Students are being asked to pay up to €2,000 a month just to get a room in an apartment as the accommodation crisis continues.
An Irish Independent survey of prices and availability uncovered some eye-watering rates being asked for accommodation as demand far outstrips supply.
It also found that most universities only have enough campus accommodation to house 10 to 20pc of their students.
But students' unions say there is no need to panic, as it is hoped more places will become available in the coming weeks.
Our survey found rooms close to Trinity College in Dublin ranged from €500 to as much as €2,000 a month.
Rents for rooms near Dublin Institute of Technology started at €500 and went up to €1,600.
Prices per month ranged from €550 to €800 for a room close to University College Dublin.
On the city's northside, a student could expect to pay anything from €320 to €975 a month for one room.
Outside of the capital, the highest asking price was €575 a month for a room in Cork and €563 in Galway.
Prices went as high as €450 in Limerick and €364 in Waterford.
The poll was carried out last week and gathered quotes from landlords offering student accommodation in each university city. The prices per month exclude bills.
The findings confirm the hike in prices for rented accommodation, as noted by the latest Daft.ie rental report last week.
The Irish Independent also found that on-campus accommodation can generally take a fraction of students in each college. Some colleges do not offer on-campus housing at all.
UCD students' union president Marcus O'Halloran said this year's rents were well above what he paid in 2011-12.
"We paid €325 each. At the time we thought it was extremely expensive," he said.
Mr O'Halloran also said some students had dropped out because they could not find a place to live.
"People are afraid to accept CAO offers because they may not get accommodation."
DCU welfare officer Domh- naill Harkin said his office had been inundated.
"We have had queues outside the office," he said.
In Cork, CIT president Shane Falvey said many students coming to him had been very concerned about availability of affordable accommodation in the city.
However, price is not the only issue that can jeopardise a student's search for accommodation. Many students' unions have hit out at the number of landlords on rental websites who will not accept students.
TCD students' union welfare officer Conor Clancy said intentionally not renting to students amounted to "discrimination", adding: "It's really endemic. Students are normal people and have similar needs."
A Department of Education and Skills spokeswoman said a forthcoming HEA report would consider actions to support accommodation for students.