More than 3,000 students are being offered third-level college places by the Central Applications Office (CAO) today.
The offers are being issued to 3,087 applicants, up from 2,446 at the same stage last year, and can be accepted up to next Wednesday evening.
With nearly 60% of places offered 10 days ago on honours (level 8) degrees in teaching, engineering, and technology being the recipients’ first-choice courses, there were offers today for only limited numbers of courses in these categories.
Around three-quarters of the 800-plus level 8 degrees in the CAO system this year appear to have been already filled, with 1,991 places now being offered on just over 200 level 8 courses.
Around a dozen saw CAO points fall between 50 and 100 since last week’s CAO Round 1 offers, but most were courses that had to re-open for applications due to a shortage of applicants.
At the other end of the scale, more than 50 level 8 courses are accepting students with between one and four points fewer than the Round 1 cut-off, demonstrating the effects of this year’s new CAO points scales.
At Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, for example, entry to primary teaching is being offered with 465 points, one less than last week.
There is a similar minimal drop in points from 319 to 318 for Cork Institute of Technology’s level 8 accounting degree.
A higher proportion of ordinary degree and higher certificates (level 7 and 6 courses) still had vacancies after last week, with nearly 160 out of 460 offering 1,317 places to some of the remaining applicants today.
After Monday’s deadline to accept last week’s Round 1 offers, more than 46,400 places were filled at 39 colleges. Nearly 39,000 of them were filled over the past week, with over 7,500 taken in preliminary offer rounds in July and early August to students who were not awaiting Leaving Certificate results.
After this morning’s offers, nearly 62,100 people have been given a chance to attend a higher education course so far this year.
This is over 800 more than this time last year, but it still leaves 18,800 who have not received an offer yet.
CAO general manager Joseph O’Grady said it is important to note that most offers for 2017 have now been made, and those getting their first offer today might not receive any further offers in the coming weeks.
Of those who will find an offer in their email or by logging into their CAO account this morning, 1,150 — or just over one-third — are being offered a college course for the first time this year.
“They can choose to accept this offer and this will not prevent them from receiving a higher preference course in a later offer round if they are deemed eligible,” Mr O’Grady said.
Existing or new applicants can still apply to over 200 courses from a list on the CAO’s website which still had places available last night.
Fresh applications through this facility were considered in the deciding of offers that have issued today.
Last year, less than 2,000 more offers were made through the remainder of the CAO season, and under 600 people got an offer for the first time after Round 2.
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