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Educational News - Parents spend 450 monthly 'supporting' students

Date Uploaded: 18/08/2016

Irish League of Credit Unions data shows 87% will back children financially while in college

The vast majority of students attending third level institutions will be financially supported by their parents over the next year with the average parent spending €447 each month, a survey has found.


According to a piece of research published by the Irish League of Credit Unions this morning 87 per cent of parents will financially support their children through the academic year with 60 per cent getting into debt to do so.


The research asked both parents and students about how they meet the costs of third level education and the financial challenges facing families. The results highlight the impact of sending children to college (in financial terms) has on spending and budgets as well as the challenges and concerns parents have in relation to finance, debt, accommodation, course choice and job prospects.


All told just under three quarters of parents polled said they would struggle to cover the cost of their child’s third level education. The average amount of debt parents will accrue is put at €4,300 down from €4,670 in 2015.


The piece of research also found that parents save for an average of eight years to cover third level costs for their children and manage to accumulate on average €8,150 over that period.



The survey also asked parents what they worried about as their children headed off to college. Employment prospects after graduation was the biggest concern for parents with 32 per cent saying it was the thing which worried them the most. Passing exams was in second place with 17 per cent highlight that while concerns over the misuse of drink and drugs has jumped sharply to 17 per cent up from 10 per cent last year.


It is not only parents who have worries ahead of the new term. The poll suggests that just over two thirds of students who need to live away from their family home are “extremely worried” about finding suitable accommodation for the academic year.


Concerns about the availability and affordability of accommodation could be behind a slight increase in the number of students who say they will live at home over the course of the next academic year. The survey says that 65 per cent of students will be living at home compared to 62 per cent in 2015.


The cost of living away from home is laid bare in the study with students living outside the home saying they will spend €1,048 euro per month while those living at home will spend €530 per month.


Just over two thirds of students work throughout the academic year to fund third level education working an average of 17 hours per week getting paid an average of €12 per hour.


The survey by iReach was carried out in July using 1,000 responses from over-18s across Ireland. 


Journalist: Conor Pope