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return to campus Cost of college will jump to €14k this year for students living away from home

High rents and rising food prices are key contributors to the projected hike in living costs

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Economist Ronan Lyons

Economist Ronan Lyons

Economist Ronan Lyons

The cost of college will jump to up to €14,000 this year for students living away from home.

After a year of studying from home, which kept a lid on outgoings, the return to campus next month will punch a hole in family finances.

High rents and rising food prices are key contributors to the projected hike in living costs.

The Student Cost of Living Guide estimates that students moving to Dublin will need €1,539 a month, or €13,827 for the full academic year.

The figure includes the €3,000-a-year contribution charged by publicly-funded third-level colleges, although most SUSI grant-holders are exempt, or partially exempt, from this fee.

The total cost of up to €14,000 represents a sharp rise on the €12,171 students were expected to pay going into the 2019-2020 academic year.

This was the last time students were heading to college under 'normal' circumstances, before the pandemic caused chaos and sparked many months of remote learning.

While many families saved money as a result of the Covid lockdown, many others who lost employment have been struggling on the PUP welfare payment and will have little or no reserves.

Students who have been claiming the PUP support have been told their final payment will be made on September 7.

The guide is compiled annually by Technological University (TU) Dublin and rent costs quoted are based on prices in the capital itself.

This year's cost of living guide puts the average monthly rent for students in the Dublin at €585, based on prices in the private market.

However, in the so-called student-hubs - purpose-built student residences located close to campuses - rents can be as high as €940 a month.

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Economist Ronan Lyons, of Trinity College, said the increase in rents was down to a lack of supply and warned of implications for students seeking accommodation.

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