A survey from the Irish League of Credit Unions has revealed that 60% of parents will get into debt to cover the cost of their child's third-level education.

The Cost of Third Level Education survey shows that nearly three-quarters of parents struggle to cover costs and are spending €447 a month putting a child through college.

However, the survey also shows the level of debt incurred by parents has come down from €4,670 in 2015 to €4,300 this year.

Students living away from home are spending almost twice as much as those living at home.

On average those living away from home are spending €1,048 per month on rent, transport, living and college related expenses.

Students living at home are spending on average €530, up from €474 in 2015.

The survey found that 68% of students will work through the college term, working an average of 17 hours per week and being paid an average of €12 per hour.

Male students are working longer hours at 21 hours per week compared to females who are working an average of 15 hours per week.

Male students earn an average of €252 per week, (down from €336 in 2015) and female students earn an average of €180 per week, down significantly from €262 per week in 2015.

The survey also found that 23% of students skip lectures to work during the college term (down from 33% in 2015) and more female students - 25% - than male students - 19% - do so.

ILCU spokesperson Sinead Butler said the survey found that 7% of people are using credit cards and 4% are turning to money lenders to fund the costs of college for their children.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, she said while there has been a welcome drop in the amount that parents have to borrow to cover college costs, and a slight drop in the monthly contribution they would have to make to college costs for their children, many parents will still struggle with the costs.