More than half of students skip lectures to earn money, and the number has increased by a third since 2017, it has emerged.
More than two-thirds struggle financially at college and three-quarters get jobs to cope with costs.
Most students (58%) blame money worries for spoiling their college years, research from the Irish League of Credit Unions reveals. Two-thirds worry they will be forced to accept a job they do not like to cover bills.
Students living outside of home spend €1,047 per month, while those living at home spend €738.
The iReach Insights survey, based on 445 interviews with college students, found 40% split their time between paid work and lectures, with no time for anything else.
More than one in five (22%) have no money to do anything outside attending lectures and 18% are stressed out by financial worries and that their mental health is affected. Most students (42%) rely on their parents and family to fund their third-level education.
Almost 30% rely on the government grant and 13% rely on paid employment.
Only 6% of students can fund their education from their savings according to the survey conducted in April and May this year. Just over half receive a monthly allowance from their parents or family.
The average monthly allowance is €202 but almost half (45%) found this was not enough.
One in four said they would never ask for more money but almost one in five (19%) said they had to ask for more money constantly.
Almost two-thirds of students (65%) saved money to help cover their college education. Students saved for just over a year and a half and the average amount was €1,833.
Most (58%) said the importance of saving for college was not adequately conveyed to them in secondary school.
Half of the students (49%) would turn to their parents or family if needed for financial help, with more than one in five (22%) saying they would turn to their local credit union.
Just over one in ten (12%) would turn to their bank and just 6% would go to their college or student’s union.
Over a third (34%) expect that they or their families will be in debt after they graduate.
Not surprisingly, 43% of students want third-level fees abolished and a return to state-funded education.
However, over a quarter (26%) believe fees should be paid by the student and/or their families but want them reduced.
Paul Bailey of the Irish League of Credit Unions urged cash-strapped students to go to their local credit union to get one-to-one budgeting advice.
Mr Bailey said credit unions could offer flexible repayment options to students who needed to borrow to help them through college.
Despite the fact that such a large portion of students struggle financially and complain that financial worries are having a negative impact, most admit to having no monthly budget.
More than half (57%) admitted they did not have a financial plan or a budget to help manage third level costs.
Of those with no financial plan, three in 10 said they needed one but just had not got around to it.
More than one in five (22%) did not even know where to start.