'Going to college is now prohibitively expensive', says Offaly TD
Independent TD for Laois Offaly and member of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Higher Education, Carol Nolan, has said that the latest data on the costs facing prospective third level students is making it impossible for many of them to even consider attending any of the Dublin based colleges.
Deputy Nolan was speaking after Technological University (TU) Dublin released its annual cost of living guide which includes calculations of rent costs currently being faced by students:
“As a member of the Oireachtas Education Committee I am very aware of the scale of the challenges facing students who would like to progress to third level; but having said that it is still disheartening to see the massive costs that students from Offaly and Laois are facing, especially if they want to attend a Dublin based college or university.
"As I understand it from the report published by TU, it is being estimated that students moving to Dublin will incur costs of €1,539 a month. That amounts to a staggering €13,827 for the full academic year.
"I am aware that some of this is inclusive of the €3,000 fees that may be covered by SUSI, but that still leaves many students and indeed their families facing enormous and unsustainable costs, particularly in light of the cap on student earnings.
"I raised this issue with the Steering Group Review on Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) last year, when I strongly urged them to re-evaluate the cap of €4,500 before deductions and eligibility criteria kick in.
"I am awaiting confirmation of positive changes on this issue.
"The fact of the matter is this; many families will not be able to afford the escalating costs, which are largely rent based, and that in turn will generate an educational crisis for thousands of rural-based students in particular.
"Government must work to immediately deliver genuinely affordable third level accommodation.
"As it is, a lot of private digs are simply not available this year as parents who may have had free rooms are now faced with the return of their own adult children who are unable to find anywhere to live,” concluded Deputy Nolan.
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