87% of students fear having to drop out of college because of cost of education, according to new research released today by the Union of Students in Ireland who had more than 870 responses to a national survey of students. 74.3% of students have thought about dropping out because of the cost of education and 75.4% have worked leading up to and/ or during exams.
When asked ‘have you missed lectures because of work?’ 63% answered ‘yes’, while 67.3% said their work negatively affected their academic success. 61.6% said they had worked to the point of burnout to pay for college. USI said the registration fee of €3,000, which is already the second highest in Europe, should be reduced to make college affordable for every young person who wants to progress to third level education, and to make funding college less stressful.
“It’s extremely worrying that so many students are working to the point of burnout, during exams and missing lectures to pay for college.” Kevin Donoghue, President of the Union of Students in Ireland, said. “The cost of education is pushing students to breaking point. It’s unaffordable and the compromises so many students have to make to stay in college, such as working to the point of burnout, ironically restrict their academic success.”
USI stressed that the dropout rate and the rate of students who fear having to drop out of college is directly linked with the cost of education, and are calling on Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton to put more financial support in place for students such as increasing the maintenance grant, reducing the registration fee and working with Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Simon Coveney to address the student accommodation crisis.
Full answer responses:
Which of the following things, if any, have you had to do to stay in college?
878 responses – please note: some questions were optional
Have you ever feared having to drop out of college because of the cost of education?
The cost of education includes fees, accommodation, transport, food, laptop, books, bills etc.
- Yes – 87.0%
- No – 13%
Have you ever thought about dropping out of college because of the cost of education? The cost of education includes fees, accommodation, transport, food, laptop, books, bills etc.
- Yes – 74.3%
- No – 25.7%
Have you ever worked more than hours fifteen hours a week to pay for college?
- Yes – 75%
- No – 25%
Have you ever worked to the point of burnout to pay for college?
- Yes – 61.6%
- No – 38.4%
Have you ever worked leading up to and/ or during exams?
- Yes – 75.4%
- No – 24.6%
Have you missed lectures because of work?
- Yes – 63%
- No – 37%
Has your work negatively affected your academic success?
- Yes – 67.3%
- No – 32.7%
Note: population of USI members: 354,000
Survey confidence level: 95%
Survey margin for error: 3.4%