Almost 1,000 win in second round of college offers

ALMOST 1,000 people are being offered a college place for the first time by the Central Applications Office (CAO) this morning.

With most places on around 600 degree courses already filled in the CAO’s first round of offers, places in less than 180 such courses are being offered this time around.

However, around 170 of the 300 diploma and certificate courses still have vacancies, with points requirements dropping significantly in cases where there was a very poor acceptance rate of first-round offers.

While 957 more applicants have been offered a degree, diploma or certificate course for the first time, around 12,200 of this year’s 63,289 hopefuls have been left disappointed.

However, vacant places in around 150 courses are still being offered through the CAO website at institutes of technology, universities and private colleges.

The second round of college offers shows that most nursing degree courses have already been filled, after a surge in the points needed compared to last year. The points fell in only about 10 of around 40 nursing degrees available to school leavers through the CAO, and in most of those cases the fall was minimal.

Likewise with top-of-the-scale health science courses such as medicine and dentistry, there was little or no drop in points requirements, which remain well above 550 in most cases.

The deadline for receipt of acceptances is Wednesday evening, September 8.

While there may be disappointment for some people this morning, the Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) said students there were alternative routes to higher education.

More than 2,000 places are available on around 350 third level courses under the Higher Education Links Scheme (HELS), for students who take further education or Post Leaving Certificate courses.

“The scheme prepares students for third level and the workforce by providing them with skills and knowledge in their area of interest, in addition to invaluable personal development and life skills,” said FETAC chief executive Stan McHugh.

The cut-off points for CAO Round 2 are published on pages 20 and 21 of today’s Irish Examiner.

A CAO spokesperson said courses for which points appear to have risen have had vacant places offered through the CAO website, effectively creating a new competition and therefore different entry requirements. However, where no points are listed under the Round 2 column, it is possible admissions officers at those colleges might still decide to offer vacant places through the CAO website (www.cao.ie).

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