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class of 2014

Parents are saving for 8 years to put their kids through college

Some people are even having to start saving when their kids are babies.

PARENTS ARE HAVING to save money for an average of 8 years to put a child through college, a new survey has found.

Some are starting even earlier: more than one fifth start saving almost as soon as their child is born to be able to pay for third-level, according to the survey by the Irish League of Credit Unions.

The vast majority of parents (79%) support their children financially through college, having to pay an average of €428 per month towards rent, books, food, and socialising. This means that parents are having to fork out almost €4,000 per academic year if they have a child at third level.

Unsurprisingly, almost two-thirds of respondents (64%) said that they struggled with the costs involved, with many having to raid their savings to be able to pay for third-level.

The survey also found that there has been an increase in students who can afford to live away from home, with 44% now living away from their family, compared to 32% one year ago.

When asked about their greatest worries concerning their children in college, almost half of parents (42%) said it was their child not getting a job upon completing their studies.

Misuse of alcohol and drugs was a distant second at 14%, followed by money issues (13%) and difficulty passing exams (12%).

One thousand people were surveyed for the tracker results which was carried out by market research company iReach during the month of July.

Read: In numbers – The Leaving Certificate results > 

Read: The results are out: How students got on with the Leaving Certificate > 

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