Going to college

Thinking of going to college

You may be planning to go to college when you leave school or after your Leaving Certificate. Some people work for a number of years and then go to college as mature students.

The Qualifax website has a wide range of information about higher and further education courses, from university degrees to certificates and diplomas in further education colleges and institutes of technology. You can find more information about further and higher education qualifications which are all included in the National Framework of Qualifications.

Applying to college

You should check the application procedures for third-level college as soon as possible. If you are thinking of studying in the UK or abroad you will need to find out what is involved and you may wish to visit a college before you apply. If you have a disability or you are a school-leaver from a socially disadvantaged background, there are supports to help you to access third-level education.

Paying for college

You should check whether you have to pay fees for your college course. Most students doing undergraduate courses do not have to pay the fees. If you do have to pay fees you may claim tax relief on the fees for most third-level courses.

There are means-tested maintenance grants for students doing third-level courses. The website studentfinance.ie has information about the full range of grants and supports available.

Finding somewhere to live

Many students live at home while at college but you may live too far away to travel there every day. Many colleges have residences for some students but you may have to rent accommodation near the college. You may be looking for a house or flat to rent and, if you find one, you should be aware of your rights as a tenant.

Further information

When you are choosing a college course, it is important to find out as much information about the course and the college you wish to attend. There is a list of higher education institutions on the Higher Education Authority's website.

Page edited: 13 January 2022