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€12k a year: Slight drop in cost of living for students living away from home

Just 36% of students expect to gain part-time work compared with 63% in 2019.

Image: Shutterstock/Axel Bueckert

THERE HAS BEEN a slight reduction in the annual cost of living for students living away from home but Covid-19 will mean more financial hardship is on the way for those in third-level education. a new survey has found. 

The report found that just 36% of students expect to gain part-time work compared with 63% in 2019.

The survey by Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) found the projected cost of living has dropped for the first time in a decade from €12,171 to €11,948.25 for students living away from home. 

The study found this marginal decrease is due to lower mobile phone costs, and the end of social activities due to Covid-19. 

Anxiety about infection and social distancing was the most cited concern expressed by students, with financial concerns a close second. 

The survey showed that while 63% of students had part-time work last year, only 36% expect to have a job in the coming semester while 12% of part-time students were also concerned about their finances.

The lack of work over the summer will also have a serious impact on finances for many, according to TU Dublin. The survey also revealed that the uncertainty and worry about the pandemic have significantly impacted students’ mental health.

Dr Brian Gormley, Head, Campus Life at TU Dublin, said the coming year will be difficult financially for many families. 

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“If you are experiencing financial hardship, contact the Student Assistance Fund in your college, and they will do their best to provide advice and support. To respond to the challenges faced by students during Covid-19, TU Dublin is launching a campaign to raise funds to provide additional support for our students.” 

Since the last guide was issued, average rental prices for students have increased by 6.4%, but are expected to drop in the coming year.  Last year, the average national monthly rent for students was €469 while this year, the average figure has increased to €499.  In Dublin, the average figure is projected to be €596, compared with €574 last year.

There will be increased availability of spaces for students this year due to new student accommodation blocks opening; a decrease in the numbers of international students; and short-term lets returning to the long-term rental market.  

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