Points needed for college unlikely to change much this year
The number seeking places in arts and science degrees is unchanged
Newly conferred graduates on the front square at Trinity College Dublin. A small increase in third-level applicants is expected to mean there will be little impact on points requirements. Photograph: Frank Miller
The points requirements for college places under the Central Applications Office system are expected to change little from last year, based on a detailed analysis of students’ first preferences.
The deadline for students to indicate their final choices to the CAO was July 1st. The overall number of applicants this year is similar to last, with 67,249 seeking a level 8 higher degree place, up slightly from 67,172. At levels 7 and 6, ordinary degree/higher certificate applicant numbers are down from 49,593 to 48,680.
The small increase in applicants is expected to mean there will be little impact on the points requirements, although there have been a few notable exceptions. These include an increase in demand for business places and a general but minor fall in the numbers of first-preference choices for healthcare courses.
Meanwhile, the first round of CAO offers to this year’s mature student applicants is now complete, with 5,384 third-level college places in 43 institutions having been accepted by the closing date last Friday. These acceptances were based on offers through the CAO made on behalf of colleges, with 8,576 places offered to more than 7,225 applicants on July 5th.
Theses applicants, aged over 23, were predominantly classified as “mature” by the CAO. They completed the application process in February and presented their cases for receiving an offer in their desired course both in writing and, in many cases, through follow-up interview.
Their performance in past examinations, eg Leaving Cert, was not an impediment to receiving an offer. Applicants who sought a deferral of a place during last year’s offer season also received offers in the recently completed round.
The next round will take place on July 31st, when those students seeking places based on Fetac level 5 awards, among others, will receive their offers.
They will have a week to consider them before the offers lapse. Offers are available online and will also be posted to correspondence addresses.
Students at third-level institutions who have failed exams or who have decided their current course is not for them have until Monday next, July 22nd, to submit a new application to the CAO, stamped by the current institution, for inclusion in the main body of college place offers.
These will be made on Monday, August 19th, following the publication of this year’s Leaving Cert results on August 14th. Applications can be made at cao.ie
The pattern of applications to the 17 course groupings as classified by the CAO have changed marginally since 2012, which should result in only small movements in entry points requirements.