THE AVERAGE STUDENT’S disposable income has fallen by over a third in the last two years, according to new research commissioned by AIB.
The study, carried out by market research agency W5, showed that the average student had a disposable income of €55 per week this year, down from €86 per week just two years ago.
The research also found that students’ parents continued to be their main source of financing, with 35 per cent of a student’s income coming from their parents, while government grants were also forming larger parts fund their studies.
Gary Redmond of the Union of Students in Ireland said students were also finding it more difficult to pick up part-time work – something which would only cause them to become more reliant on their parents and grants in future.
“In this current recession, thousands of families are struggling financially, and as a result students have little money to cover college costs, and the cost of every day living,” he said.
“The recent cuts in the grants are forcing students to abandon their studies, and join the dole queues, as they simply cannot survive on the reduced rates.”
Redmond said his union was calling on the government to reduce planned cuts to the college grant system, which is set to see some grants cut by over 60 per cent.
USI last month secured leave to challenge the reform of the grant system; its case will be heard at the High Court in October.