One Third of Students in Ireland Rely on Parents for College Fee Contribution

Bank of Ireland launches student offers to assist with complicated college life

  • 3rd level students in Ireland have an average disposable income of €258 per month, or €9.20 per day
  • 2 in 3 live at home while studying, with a third living in private rented accommodation
  • Almost 2 in 3 work at least part-time to support themselves while they study
  • 80% are saving for student life expenses such as college fees, cars and summer holidays

The beginning of a new college year is a hugely formative milestone, but the reality of being a third level student in Ireland today is complicated. New research[1] commissioned by Bank of Ireland as part of its Financial Wellbeing programme uncovers the financial complications facing Ireland’s third level students.

It’s Complicated

Almost two in three (65%) students are living at home whilst in third level education according to the Bank of Ireland study. Receiving rent-free board at home is the most-common financial support offered by parents (53%).

More than a third of students (36%) say their parents either pay in full or contribute to their education and tuition fees while almost 1 in 4 (24%) have their travel expenses or commuter tickets paid for by the Bank of Mum and Dad.

But despite help from home, the Financial Wellbeing research revealed that Irish students have an average disposable income of just €9.20 a day (€258 a month), with the majority (35%)claiming they have a disposable income of less than €100 per month.

Paying their Way

In addition to working on their studies, 63% of Bank of Ireland survey respondents are working elsewhere at least part-time, with 8% of these working full time, throughout the term.

A savvy 80% of students say they make the effort to save throughout the year, with €164 being the average amount saved per month. Most of those actively saving are working towards summer travels (34%), with others putting it towards the cost of buying a car (25%) and contributing to their own college fees (24%).

Sacrificing on social life is the one thing that Irish students won’t do (30%), with 19% admitting to having skipped meals to pay for college nights out. Subscription services are the other big must-have items, with 82% saying they access them regularly for music and entertainment, but half of these admit they borrow the login details from a friend or family member, with their consent.

Renters Reality

Of those students living in private rented accommodation throughout college, almost a quarter (23%) receive financial help from family to pay for rent and 22% have parents paying for, or contributing to, the cost of their utility bills. A third (33%) admit to bringing their laundry home and 28% say they raid the cupboards for food to bring back to their rented accommodation.

Living away from home can be complicated for students. More than a quarter (27%) of those living away from home find it tough being without their family, while a similar amount (23%) struggle with cooking their own meals for the first time.

More than half of students sharing accommodation (51%) are doing so with 3 to 4 other people. Of those living in shared accommodation with others, 50% are living with people they have never met before. According to students, this leads to conflicts about keeping the kitchen tidy (47%), keeping common areas tidy (43%) and doing the washing up after meals (39%).

Commenting on the research, Rory Carty, Head of Youth Banking at Bank of Ireland, said:

“College life is complicated. From finding affordable accommodation to making time for studies, students in Ireland are working part time and trying to enjoy their social life too. Bank of Ireland’s Financial Wellbeing programme helps inform and educate students on spending and saving in a way that suits their needs, as we understand that this is a time when they can feel under financial pressure.

“To make the transition a little easier we are rewarding all our Bank of Ireland student customers with cashback offers that have been designed by students for students, such as free NOW TV passes, 30% cashback on every Just Eat order and €5 cashback on a €20 spend in Maxol, offering value throughout the college year.”

To help ease the growing pains and make student life that bit less complicated, Bank of Ireland is proud to provide students with exclusive tailored rewards from partners such as Just Eat and NOW TV. To access these rewards and many more, student simply need to register their Visa Debit Card with Bank of Ireland’s Live Life Rewards programme at In addition the bank will run a series of Financial Wellbeing Workshops and Seminars on campuses across Ireland over the coming months.

For further information on Bank of Ireland’s 3rd level current account visit

For further information on Financial Wellbeing visit