Soaring rent prices and travel expenses cause student living costs to rise

The average cost of college for Dublin students living away from home will rise next year to €11,838.


The average cost of college for Dublin students living away from home will rise next year to €11,838, an increase of over €270 since last year’s figure.

This is according to DIT Campus Life’s annual Cost of Living Guide, which attributes the rise to an increase in rent prices and travel costs and a higher student contribution charge. The average cost of living in Dublin is over €800 more than the national average.

Students in Dublin can expect to pay around €418 monthly for a single room, which is an increase of nearly €50 per month. Rent levels in Dublin have increased by 9.6% since this time last year, compared to a 6.5% increase nationally. Additionally, annual average travel costs for students will rise from €1,071 to €1,215.

Students will also pay a higher annual contribution in the 2015-16 year, with the charge rising from €2,750 to €3,000. This growth marks the final step in the government’s plan to steadily increase the contribution charge from €2,000 to €3,000 over a period of four years.

On the other hand, student spending on social life or miscellaneous costs is expected to drop by nearly half, from €1,188 to €639. Campus Life’s manager, Brian Gormley, suspects the decline could be because of fewer students having part-time jobs, as well as a change in students’ drinking and smoking patterns. The amount spent on books and class materials is also expected to fall by €170, however, this is an average and costs vary greatly depending on course. Since rent accounts for a large portion of the overall increase in living costs, students who remain at home are expected to see a decrease in their cost of living of nearly €200. The total projected difference in expense between a student living at home and a student living away from home is just over €4,000.

As the cost of renting continues to rise, students are being encouraged to seek “digs-style accommodation”, especially if they are first years. In response to the challenges facing students seeking to rent, College announced its intention to build 2,000 extra accommodation places for students at the launch of its €600m five-year strategic plan last October. These plans include converting Pearse Street’s Oisin House— previously an office for the Department of Social Protection— into student accommodation.