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College crisis CAO points shoot up amid record number of college offers

More than 20 courses have broken the 600 points mark, compared with seven last year and just one in 2019.

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Dozens of courses will see students who received the required number of points not offered places (Ben Birchall/PA)

Dozens of courses will see students who received the required number of points not offered places (Ben Birchall/PA)

Dozens of courses will see students who received the required number of points not offered places (Ben Birchall/PA)

There has been a significant rise in the points required to land third level courses this year, amid a record number of offers made.

Dozens of courses will see students who received the required number of points not offered places, with allocation being made by random selection.

Four courses have reached the maximum points threshold of 625 – dentistry at University College Cork (UCC), management science and information systems studies at Trinity, dental science at Trinity and economics and finance at University College Dublin (UCD).

More than 20 courses have broken the 600 points mark, compared with seven last year, and just one in 2019.

Further Education Minister Simon Harris has offered his “sincere congratulations” to all those who received offers.

He wrote on Twitter: “Record number of college offers issued this year. 96,492 offers so far through this year’s CAO process compared to 91,424 last year.

“That’s more than 5000 extra college offers. Sincere congratulations to every student receiving an offer today.

“Almost 80% of students who have received a level 8 offer have received one of their top 3 choices.

“This is in line with previous years and is a real positive when we consider the impact of Covid pressures this year.”

He added: “Please also remember there will be further offers made in Round 2 on the 20th September. I would also encouraging students to consider all their options across further & higher education.”

On Tuesday, 82,175 “Round One” offers were made to 55,221 students who applied through the Central Applications Offices (CAO) system.

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These offers consist of 49,358 Level 8 course offers and 32,817 Level 7/6 course offers.

It follows 7,918 “Round A” offers made in July to deferred applicants, mature students, those attending via access courses and those needing to make visa arrangements.

On August 4, 6,163 “Round Zero” offers were made, largely to those attending through further education and training (FET) courses.

The CAO says that so far this year, 96,492 offers have been made compared with 91,424 in 2020, an increase of 5,068.

Those who have received an offer in this round should also consider the current offer carefully as it may be the only one they will receive Eileen Keleghan, CAO

CAO communications officer Eileen Keleghan has advised applicants to carefully consider any offers received in this round.

She said: “One of the common queries that we receive at the offers stage is around order of preference.

“Applicants who receive a lower preference offer can accept this offer and it will not prevent them from receiving an offer of a course higher up on their courses list in a later round, should a place become available and they are deemed eligible.

“Those who have received an offer in this round should also consider the current offer carefully as it may be the only one they will receive.”

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