The projected cost of living for students away from home has dropped for the first time in a decade to just under €12,000, according to a survey by Technological University Dublin.
The marginal decrease from €12,171 to €11,948.25 is primarily down to lower mobile costs and the curtailment of social activities due to Covid-19. The survey of over 1,500 students was completed last month.
Anxiety about infection/social distancing was the most cited concern expressed by students who took the survey, with financial concerns a close second.
The survey shows that while 63 per cent of students had part-time work last year, only 36 per cent expect to have a job in the coming semester while 12 per cent of part-time students were also concerned about their finances.
Dr Brian Gormley, head of campus life at TU Dublin, said the coming academic year will be "difficult financially for many families".
“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,” he said.
“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.”
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,” the survey says.
“According to the Daft.ie rental report 2020, rents dropped by 2.1 per cent in April. With a 40 per cent increase in supply in the private rental market for students, rents are expected to fall more this year.”
Other annual expenses for students living away from home include utilities (€342), food (€1,530), travel (€1,114), books (€666), clothes (€351), social life (€338) and the student charge (€3,000).
The projected cost of living for students staying at home this year is €6,305.25. Annual costs include contribution to utilities (€279), food (€549), travel (€1,114), books (€522), clothes (€387), social life (€338) and the student charge (€3,000).