Cost of going to college in Dublin? €12,495 a year with rent

DIT guide says staying at home is more than €5,000 cheaper than living in rented housing

Students coming from outside Dublin who plan to live in rented accommodation in the capital should budget for €12,495 to cover the cost of their academic year, according to a new survey.

For students living away from home in other parts of Ireland, the cost will be €11,766, the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) Cost of Living Guide survey estimates.

The annual survey, which has been updated for 2017-18, shows that living at home is cheaper for students – at €6,789 on average for the academic year.

Dr Brian Gormley, head of campus life at DIT, said there was an increased number of students commuting long distances to university due to being unable to secure affordable accommodation.


"Increasingly, what we're seeing is that people are commuting very long distances. One of the students that I work with commutes from Wexford every day into Dublin.

"We've students commuting from Tipperary, from Westmeath, from Athlone," Dr Gormley said.

“Generally, we would find [with] students commuting a longer distance – they can’t get socially engaged in campus life, so that means that it’s harder for them to develop a network of friends who can support them in college or who they can do group work with. From the point of view of engagement, it’s a real problem.”

Dr Gormley added that DIT would strongly encourage students to look into staying with a host family for their first year. “Surveys show that students who stay in ‘digs’ are more satisfied with their living accommodation than students in on-campus accommodation.”

Biggest cost

The guide shows rent is the biggest cost for students, with the national monthly average for students at €427. In Dublin, the monthly average rises to €508.

It says rent in Dublin can vary from less than €300 per month for a shared room to up to €1,600 or more a month for a one-bedroom unit.

For students living in rented accommodation, the cost of food for the year works out at €1,503, in comparison with €549 for those living at home. Both students who rent and those who remain at home will spend €1,215 on travel.

The guide states that, on average, students living in rented accommodation will spend €675 on socialising during the academic year, while those living at home will spend €630.

It says students living away from home will spend €630 on books and class materials during the academic year, while those living at home will spend €495.

The guide also factored the student contribution fee of €3,000 into its analysis.

On average, 40 per cent of students receive higher-education grants.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times