Fewer Leaving Certificate students than last year received college offers last week, despite nearly 800 more school leavers applying for places than in 2015.
As close to 17,300 people who sought entry to third-level this year still await a first offer from the Central Applications Office (CAO) tomorrow, official figures show 38,840 people who were offered a place a week ago sat the Leaving Certificate in June.
They were among 52,288 people to be offered a course by the CAO nine days ago which was 260 more than at the same Round 1 offer stage a year ago. But, at the same time in 2015, 38,890 of those offered a place were among that year’s Leaving Certificate students.
The difference of 50 is quite small, and the CAO said they do not reflect applicants who may yet inform them of 2016 Leaving Certificate results.
While their numbers may be slightly down on last year, current-year Leaving Certificate students still represent just under three-quarters all of those offered a place last week. The 47,143 of this year’s CAO applicants who received Leaving Certificate results earlier this month is nearly 800 more than a year ago.
Just like last year, they make up 61% of all those who submitted details of courses they wished to study on at over 40 colleges which select undergraduate students through the CAO. This year, over 77,500 people did so, although another 3,319 registered with CAO but did not list any courses.
In two preliminary rounds, 9,600 people received offers in July and also earlier this month, including overseas applicants, and some mature students or people with further education qualifications. Many applicants in these categories, however, also compete directly with Leaving Certificate students for places on some of the 1,400-plus courses filled through the CAO.
Up to Monday evening’s deadline for Round 1 offers to be taken, 39,307 had been accepted, in addition to the nearly 7,200 already filled in the earlier rounds.
With 46,176 places now filled, there are 300 fewer places taken than this time year ago, suggesting a possible reduction in the number of students who might be accommodated this year. In 2015, only 1,750 additional places were filled in subsequent offer rounds from the CAO, which will continue until mid-October after the results of Leaving Certificate appeals have been issued.
However, many students already offered a place could yet receive another if places have become available on courses higher up the order of preference in their applications.
Students who have applied to view their exam answer-books, in order to decide if they will appeal a grade to the State Examinations Commission, will have the chance to do so at schools on Friday and Saturday.
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