Students receiving their first-round offers from the Central Applications Office (CAO) tomorrow should give consideration to all their options before making a final decision, according to advice from experts.
First-round offers will be issued tomorrow to thousands of students nationwide with candidates set to receive notification of their prospective place from the CAO at 2pm.
Many students will receive two CAO offers for both level 8 courses and for level 6/7 courses, according to Dr Jim Murray of the Technological Higher Education Association (THEA).
“Research into graduate outcomes published by the Higher Education Authority earlier this year points to extremely positive outcomes for levels 6 and 7 graduates,” Dr Murray said.
“Progression rates into either employment or further study for level 6 and level 7 graduates are exceptionally high at 96%. Students who are career-focussed and are specifically seeking to enter a higher education programme in order to prepare them for the workplace should seriously consider their level 6 or 7 offers."
Progression and employment rates are also high at higher education institutions outside of the main cities, he added.
For those for whom their CAO offers are not what they expected or are not in a field where they feel they can excel, there are other educational options open to them, including apprenticeship programmes.
"These programmes are developed in direct response to the needs of industry, allow the learner to earn while learning with the full support of academic staff and employers, and lead to an internationally recognised qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).”
This year, the deadline for students to submit an application to view scripts is earlier than in previous years.
Students have until Friday, August 16 at 5pm to submit an application to view their scripts next Tuesday and Wednesday. This application must be made online via the candidate self-service portal on the CAO website.
The deadline for submitting an application to appeal a grade is also earlier this year. Appeals must be with the State Examinations Commission (SEC) by Thursday, August 22 at 5pm.
There are strict deadlines in place this year and late appeals will not be accepted under any circumstances, the SEC has warned.