With students due to receive their first round CAO offers for college places on Monday, a new survey of existing third level students has found that their biggest concerns are financial - 40% of them are worried about being able to afford college life.
After financial worries students’ other main concerns are the stress of exams (26%) and not liking their course (22%). A further 10% worry about not making friends.
Three quarters of those surveyed said they lived on less than €100 a week with just under half (48%) working part-time.
The survey of over 1,500 students was carried out by leading property website MyHome.ie between July 26th and August 13th.
Despite the effects of the current recession 78% of respondents expressed a preference for living off campus while 92% said they drink alcohol. While just over a third of students say they drink one day a week, 37% say they drink two days a week while 19% say they drink three days a week. Excluding rent or commuting, alcohol also ranks as the highest item of expenditure after food.
One finding which will be of concern to those who would like to see alcohol consumption levels reduced is the fact that forty three per cent of respondents said they started drinking before they were 16. Eight per cent said they started drinking when they were under fourteen.
While 80% of respondents said they didn’t smoke, almost half of students said they had taken drugs. Thirteen per cent said they did drugs on a regular basis. Fifty six per cent admitted having a one night stand.
The Managing Director of MyHome.ie Angela Keegan said the findings provided plenty of food for thought for current and prospective students alike.
Turning to the perennial issue of student accommodation she said the survey showed over 80% of students looked for properties online.
“Once students know where they are going or have accepted a place it’s very important to secure suitable accommodation as quickly as possible given the demand. Rent is likely to be the largest monthly item of expenditure with prices varying greatly depending on the type of accommodation chosen and the location of the college,” Keegan said.
“As you’d expect Dublin is the most expensive with students on the south side paying around €500 while those on the north side pay €450. In Cork it’s around €350 while in Galway it's €380. Limerick appears to offer the best value at €300. If you share a room prices will be cheaper again,” Keegan said.
The survey showed students have a generally optimistic view of their employment prospects. While just under half said they were hopeful of getting a job a further 29% said they were very confident. However 18% said they were not very confident while 3% said they had no hope.
Seventy per cent said they would consider moving abroad after their studies but 13% said this was not an option.
The survey found 51% students checked their Facebook page several times a day while a further 29% checked it every day.
Students can search for college accommodation in our new dedicated section at www.myhome.ie/colleges