Your Budget

Your Budget

If you are thinking about going to college, then it is important to think about your budget and how you are going to manage through your higher education journey. In this section we are going to give you some advice and links that could support you in your budget planning.

Tuition Fee, the Student Contribution and the Student Levy

The major cost associated with attending college for most students will be fees. Fees are made up of the Tuition fee, the Student Contribution and the Student Levy.

You do not have to pay tuition fees if you are:

  • An undergraduate student,
  • Attending a publicly funded third-level course, and
  • Entitled to the Free Fees Initiative.

All other students must pay tuition fees.

The Student Contribution for 2018-2019 is €3,000. This must be paid by all students unless they are receiving a Higher Education Grant, awarded by SUSI (which may cover all or part of this charge).

All students must pay the Student Levy. The levy varies in each college but it is never more than €200.

Living expenses

It is useful as part of your financial planning to know the costs of living while attending college, whether you are living at or away from home. Everyone’s expectations of college are different, but there are some similarities. Check out the three living expense budget plans that follow.

The following are estimated figures but should help with your planning. Your individual expenses will depend on where you are living and the cost of accommodation.

Living on Campus

Academic Year
Monthly Yearly
Essential cost
Rent €633 €5,700
Utilities €42 €380
Food €220 €1,980
Travel €50 €450
Books , Materials & Printing €60 €540
Sub Total €1,005 €9,050
Clothes & Medical €75 €675
Mobile Phone €35 €315
Social Life/Misc €128 €1,152
Total €1,238 €11,192

Living off campus

Monthly Academic Year
Essential cost
Rent €500 €4500
Utilities €60 €540
Food €220 €1,980
Travel €50 €450
Books , Materials & Printing €60 €540
Sub Total €890 €8010
Clothes & Medical €75 €675
Mobile Phone €35 €315
Social Life/Misc €128 €1,152
Total €1,128 €10,152

Living at home

Monthly Academic Year
Essential cost
Rent €0 €0
Utilities €0 €0
Food €160 €1260
Travel €120 €450
Books , Materials & Printing €60 €540
Sub Total €340 €2,250
Clothes & Medical €75 €675
Mobile Phone €35 €315
Social Life/Misc €128 1152
Total €578 €10,152

Course-related costs

Books and stationery

College is not the same a school – you do not need every book for every subject! Don’t rush into it. Wait and see what core books you need. Use the library and online or printing options if it is just specific chapters you need. There are always ways to buy books second hand – through social media groups or from other students who will be putting up ads around campus. Don’t rule out eBooks or purchasing your essential texts online – just be sure they are the right edition. You can also group together to buy your books and share with your friends.

Photocopying and printing

Be careful when you are printing or photocopying things like notes. Every page you produce is costing you money so only print what you actually need and where possible, print ‘both sides of the page as this is cheaper. You will be surprised at how much money you lose when you over print.

Laptops

You may feel that now you are a third level student, it is ESSENTIAL you have a laptop – it is not! Most colleges have great computer lab facilities with hundreds of available computers, and they are open for long periods of the day so chances are, you will find a computer!

Course-related costs

There can be costs associated with some courses that you need to include in your budget. These could include:

  • the cost of specific equipment
  • field trips
  • the cost of a year studying abroad.

You should get this information from your academic department as soon as possible.