Trinity College doesn’t feel the need to offer points concessions to attract elite performers, but does support such students through coaching, physiotherapy, medical services etc, after a normal CAO application. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill.

Some offer financial support, others are based on academic or sporting prowess

The availability of places in continental Europe has seen a growing number of Irish students going there to study after doing the Leaving Cert. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

College Choice: More and more students are broadening their horizons and pursuing courses abroad

A mature student open evening is being held at UCD on Tuesday from 5pm-7pm. Photograph: Frank Miller.

There are also challenges for over-23s applying for and attending university

Supports include:  orientation programmes, extra tuition, exam support, access to assistive technology and training, one-to-one meetings with support staff, mentoring and organised social gatherings.

Comprehensive supports are available in most third-level colleges for students with disabilities or at disadvantage

Post-Leaving Cert courses can provide an alternative route to university or college. Photograph: Eric Luke

Huge opportunities are available to progress to third level through further education

If you don’t get your preferred level 8 course offer there are numerous level 6/7 programmes that link directly into degrees but require an additional year’s study for the qualification. Photograph: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Explore level 6, 7 and 8 courses on CAO to maximise your chances of a suitable offer

UCD Open Day: Deciding what you want to do with the rest of your life at 18 is a totally false dilemma. Photograph: Jason Clarke

Don’t have a clue what to do after the Leaving? Don’t panic, you don’t have to decide on the rest of your life just the next few y(...)

If you are interested in going to an Irish university like UCC (above), institute of technology, teacher training college, or private college, offered through the CAO application process, go to by January 20th

Given the high entry requirements for many disciplines in Ireland, students should also look at some of the 800 courses offered th(...)

In the Netherlands most courses are €1,850 a year and there are grants and loans from the Dutch government.

Low fees, no CAO and an international experience

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