Pupils in fee-paying secondary schools are more likely to progress straight to third level, a Government report has found.
New figures from the Department of Education has found that 66% of students who attended fee-paying schools go directly to college, compared to 47% from non-fee paying schools.
Some 42% of students from comprehensive schools, 38% from community schools and 34% from the vocational sector progressed directly to higher education.
In terms of students attending DEIS schools, some 24% went on to higher education compared to 49% overall from non-DEIS status schools.
More than 57% of pupils attending all-Irish schools also enrolled in higher education courses.
The 'School Completers - What’s Next?' study shows the majority of the 54,824 students who completed the Leaving Certificate in 2010 went on to higher and further education and training, with 55% of early leavers availing of further education, training or PLC courses.
Some 44% went on to study for a higher education course in a HEA-funded Institution.
Another 20% enrolled in PLC courses. An estimated 4% enrolled in colleges abroad, predominantly in the UK, including the North and just over 2% were estimated to have enrolled in a non-HEA funded Institution.
Approximately 5% repeated the Leaving Certificate.
Education Minister Ruairi Quinn welcomed the new data, saying it will provide a baseline for tracking school leavers in the years ahead.
Pat King, from the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland, said that it is a very good reflection on our education system.
"Students are staying on, so they're voting with their feet," he said.
"Parents and students obviously see the value of remaining on in second-level schools all the way to Leaving Cert.
"I suppose that's a judgement on the value and quality of education they're receiving and on the commitment of their teachers."