Colleges charge registration fees which all students must pay. It is also known as a student contribution and it covers student services and examinations. The amount of the contribution varies from one institution to another. In Budget 2013 it was announced that the student contribution would increase to €3,000 for 2015-16.
Students eligible for grants may qualify for maintenance / fee grant. Students can check if they are eligible at www.studentfinance.ie
If eligible for a grant students will apply through the new SUSI Grant Application. SUSI stands for Student Universal Support Ireland. See a quick guide to how SUSI operates
Private colleges charge the larger amount of full tuition fees. For exact figures check out college websites. If your son or daughter is likely to be living away from home, on-campus accommodation, student villages or halls of residence are often the choice for 1st year students, offering a comfortable bridge between home and the independence of living in a flat or apartment.
Once fees and accommodation are paid for, you will then need to budget for weekly living expenses, academic costs of books, laptop, course related travel & field trips, Erasmus year or internship abroad. Check out the budget calculator from the National Consumer Agency.
Parents that have been through the process suggest it’s a good idea to expect a few unexpected expenses along the way. Again talking through the finances as you judge appropriate for your family is helpful in working out a realistic budget for the coming months and years.
Some colleges are now offering student loan systems eg TCD which are designed to ease the burden of payment for the student contribution charge.