The President of Maynooth University is warning that colleges are using the CAO system as a marketing tool to fuel the points race.
Professor Philip Nolan says changes to reduce the massive number of college courses are happening too slowly.
There's more than 1,300 CAO courses available to students, who will get their leaving cert results later this week.
Michael Moriarty from Education and Training Boards Ireland says sometimes college is not the best place for a student, and other options should also be looked at: "As a nation we have a fixation of third level as a badge of honour, that irrespective of the aptitude of our young people, that third level is the ultimate Holy Grail.
"Currently, up to 69% of people who transfer from the leaving cert go to third level, which is considerably ahead of the EU average and to me, it’s a distortion in Irish context."