Third Level Education
it cost to be a college student in Ireland?
It cost €1,200 per month for my eldest daughter living in a shared house in Galway. She lived frugally (she says). Her rent has varied from €70 to €110 per week. She was taking an art course, so materials are a major expense - about €100 or more per month. All EU residents in place for three years before the student enters college pay a once a year registration fee of
around €1,000 but no other tuition.
In 2010, my younger daughter has been living in a shared house in Cork for about €1,000 per month. Her monthly rent including gas and electric comes to about €400 per month. Basic living expenses come to another €100 per week and the other €200 per month gets eaten up by travel expenses and books and assorted frills like doctor visits and her share of pizza. But, then you throw in things like archaeology field trips and choir overseas performances and it all worked out to the same €1,200 per month.
If you haven't lived and
paid taxes in an EU country over the last three years, then you don't get
free tuition. If you have lived in the EU, then tuition is free. For those
under the age of 23 who aren't self supporting, the residence of the parents
is what counts. And this is based on your residence before starting the course. For more, see below.
In the Irish system there
are very few scholarships. Those who can prove need based on very low family
income can get Local Authority Grants. Where such grants once covered all
basic student expenses, these days they barely cover the rent. Thats
about it in the way of help.
Which means students had
better have jobs, rich parents, a hefty bank loan or all of the above. The
other common solution is to live at home. Nearly 70% of Dublin students live
at home, at least during their first years. A high percentage of students work their way through college, putting in weekends and evenings on the job.
and Foreign Students
In order to qualify for
- you must be an Irish
national or a national of another EU member state and
- you must have been living
in the EU for at least 3 of the 5 years before starting your course.
- you must be undertaking
an undergraduate course of at least 2 years duration and
- you must not have a previous
qualification to the same level and
- you must not be repeating
Note that second rule.
Before starting your course, you must have been living in the EU! So attending
Irish university for 3 years will not qualify for further free fees. You will
continue to pay through the nose.
Hard Done By - A Cautionary
Here is one person's story:
"We were under the
impression that after my inital degree they would consider me a full Irish
student and I would be exempt from the thousands and thousands of dollars
I was spending. This however was not the case. When I got there they said
there would be nothing of the sort. Initally they wouldnt take the check we
presented because it wasn't drawn on the right bank. Then when they finally
told us that I would never ger a reduction in my fees they had miraculously
It's amazing how fast
creaking bureaucracy's can move when there's cash on the table.
Costs for Overseas Students
If you then have to pay
tuition at the country's biggest university, UCD, the cheapest tuition is
9,500 per year for an arts degree and heads north from there. It costs 19,500
euro for a veterinary degree. Add to that living expenses, books, miscellaneous
student fees and the like and it cost at least another 6,700 euro per year
Postgrad courses are cheaper,
with tuition in most non-commerce courses coming in around 5,500 euro per
year. Commerce studies are much more expensive.
site is a good place to start. Click on International Students to the
left, then Applying to UCD.
Most other colleges, universities
will have similar fee structures.
For more information contact:
- The International Education
65 Fitzwilliam Square,
Tel. 00-353-1-6612085 Fax. 00-353-1-6768623
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