Student Alanna Hyland has finally found a room to rent in Donnycarney, north Dublin - but will be paying €560 per month, excluding bills.
The 20-year-old from Celbridge, Co Kildare, who is about to start her final year in law at DCU, said finding a place to live was almost impossible.
She had been searching since April and only recently secured a place.
"I didn't apply to landlords that didn't have students in their list," she said. Alanna says there is no point in trying with landlords who specify they will only take professionals.
Her search was made even more challenging because she needed a place to stay seven days a week as she also works in Dublin city. This ruled out most digs options, which usually only offer a Monday to Friday service.
"I need a seven-day term; I can't be doing Monday to Friday because I work in Dublin at the weekends as well. So I was happy to pay a bit more, simply because the location was perfect for me."
However, the cost of renting is a huge challenge for Alanna. As the cost of attending third-level education gets higher all the time (student fees this year are €3,000) she is worried about the effect it could have on other students.
fortunate "It is definitely challenging. I'm very fortunate not to be on some minimum wage job. I have a decent amount coming in, and because I work in sales I get a certain amount of commission as well. But if I didn't get that, I just wouldn't be able to support myself because I don't get a grant. It's all entirely on me."
For many students returning to college, finding a place to rent before the CAO offers is essential.
A total of 52,289 students were offered places on third-level courses across the country yesterday.
Alanna's advice is for first years to go and speak to their colleges for help in the accommodation search.
"Get the college's backing," she said. She also reminded students that a lot of colleges have Facebook pages dedicated to helping their students secure accommodation.