Student loan scheme could cost €40 a week

Findings from Cassells report on proposed “study now, pay later” approach...

Student loan scheme could cost €40 a week

Photocall file photo

Irish students could join the workforce facing debt payments of up to €40 a week if a new national loan scheme goes ahead as planned.

They would not pay anything whilst in education, but instead repay fees once their incomes reached a level of €26,000 a year. That could mean a weekly cost of between €25 and €40 over 15 years.

The calculations were made as part of the Cassells report on the scheme, due in December but pushed back to give a more detailed account. Overall, it found that loans could work to solve the problem of tuition fees.

To work out what that would mean in reality for the average student, calculations were based on total debts of €12,000, €16,000 and €20,000, based on current rates for a four-year degree.

Peter Cassells, chair of the Working Group of Higher Education Funding, told the Royal Irish Academy in September that the current situation is “unsustainable” and also dismissed talk of the introduction of a graduate tax.