The Real Cost of Sending Your Child To Third Level

By Seamus Whelehan

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Parents sending their kids to third level are facing an annual bill on average of €7,000 per child.
After putting your child through primary and secondary school the next obstacle for many parents is the cost of putting their children through university or college.
The release of leaving cert results later this month, will make the opportunity for most a reality, but what are the costs associated for parents.
Most colleges / universities charge a student contribution fee of €3,000.
Outside of these registration costs a survey carried out by the league of credit unions of Ireland says 87% of parents supporting their children financially through college, contribute almost €4,000 per annum per child to cover ancillary third level costs.
The survey that asked questions regarding living costs including food, travel, internet, mobile bills and study material found parents are saving for an average of 8 years to put their child (children) through college.
73% say the family budgets have been adversely affected by the third level registration fee.
62% of parents said they will just about be able to manage to pay it.
A further 15% say they can’t afford to pay it and are worried that their child will have to drop out of college as a result.
Only 27% say the increased costs will have no impact on them.
35% of students are now living away from home paying on average €376 in rent.
68% of students have to work throughout the academic year to fund their college education, working on average 17 hours per week.
Once college life is finished a parents greatest worry for their child is that they won’t find a job after they finish their course.
According to Colm Geary of Youghal Credit Union the society offer a special education loan rate of 6.08% APR for students who are completing a course in college.
The course can be full time, part time or post graduate. The repayments are scheduled to suit the student means.
The loans can be borrowed for fess, accommodation, computer purchase or other educational purposes. Loans can also be borrowed to bridge the gap a student may face before their grant is issued.
Proof that the member has been accepted for a course is required.
In cases the loan may be guaranteed by a parent or guardian the member is asked to complete a budget, to work out how much they expect to spend on a weekly basis and base the loan on this.

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