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Before World Mental Health Day on the 10th October, the Union of Students in Ireland have released new survey results which show that 73.1% of students said the high cost of college causes them anxiety or stress.

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#LetsTalk and Chats for Change campaign (2013) launch

95.3% of students think the cost of college is too high at €11,000 per year, and 72% of students are struggling financially to stay in college.

“73% is an alarming percentage of students who are experiencing depression and anxiety because of the high cost of college.” USI president, Kevin Donoghue, said, “€ 11,000 a year for a college course or €33,000 – €77,000 for a degree is an enormous cost for a young person. We are calling on the government to raise grants, reduce the registration fee of €3,000 and address the student accommodation crisis. This will improve the mental health of students by reducing the anxiety and depression rates caused by the cost of education.”

15.2% of those living below the poverty line in Ireland are students (NERI, 2015) while rent has risen by 8.2% nationally over the last twelve months. If fees go up, 63% of students said they won’t be able to attend college.

Jill O’ Herlihy from Mental Health Ireland said “Financial struggles affect everybody, especially students. We need to be mindful that when these issues arise, we act upon it instead of sweeping them under the carpet. The most important thing to review is how you’re handling this stress, to make sure everything else in your life reduces it, such as sleeping for 8 hours, eating healthy and exercising”.

 

Full survey results

  • 95.3% of students think the cost of college is too high
  • 73.1% of students said the high cost of college causes them anxiety or stress
  • 72% of students are struggling financially to stay in college
  • 40% are on a maintenance grant
  • If fees go up, 63% of students said they won’t be able to attend college

Which part of college fees do you struggle the most with?

  • Rent (23.6%)
  • Books, equipment and stationary (7.1%)
  • Registration fee of €3,000 (41%)
  • Laptop/ Printer (1.4%)
  • Food, drink and living costs (17%)
  • Transport (10.4%)

How do you pay for your college fees?

  • My parents pay (35.4%)
  • I’m on a loan (7.5%)
  • Grants (30%)
  • I have a job (27.4%)

Of those who answered ‘I have a job’, 73% said it impacts negatively on their study time

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