Date Uploaded: 28/07/2014
Third level students are being advised to look at hostels for accommodation in Dublin City because of the accommodation shortage.
Trinity College has pointed students at the hostels as it has nothing left to offer them on campus.
The Accommodation Office in Trinity circulated an email to students this week which listed 24 hostels in Dublin.
However, it is unclear whether the hostels are intended to be for temporary lodgings or for use during the whole academic term.
The email stated that they have hundreds of students on a waiting list for campus accommodation but there are only 15 places left to be allocated.
While places in Trinity Hall, which are usually reserved for incoming first year students, have yet to be allocated; all 3,000 places in purpose-built student accommodation have been filled.
With the Central Applications Office (CAO) first round of offers now only a month away, both current and prospective students are already encountering difficulties in sourcing accommodation.
Rooms at the National College of Ireland (NCI) and rooms at the IFSC were booked up within two hours of applications opening.
The cost of student accommodation has also increased by as much as 13pc for the year ahead.
UCD will have the highest increase after they commissioned an estate agent to value the accommodation on the basis of current property prices.
President of the Union of Students in Ireland Laura Harmon warned that a combination of a shortfall of purpose-built student accommodation and the current state of the private rental sector will lead to students having to drop out of college.
"There is already growing evidence of students commuting daily to Dublin from extremely long distances. If you're fortunate enough to find somewhere to live, the likelihood is that it's costing more, at a time when student finances are already past breaking point.
"Some opt to spend multiple nights sleeping on couches or in hostels every week, others aren't even able to attain that. There is a danger this will impact on retention rates and it requires immediate attention," she said.
Meanwhile, the Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI), who administers student grants, has urged students to submit applications before the August 1 deadline.
Spokesperson Graham Doyle said, "We are expecting more than 100,000 applications for the 2014/2015 academic year.
"We have received 75,000 applications to-date and we would urge students to apply before the deadline of August 1, to ensure their applications receive priority," he added.
Journalist: Elaine McCahill