Battle begins for college places as early offers are snapped up
The race for a college place has begun in earnest, even before the Leaving Cert results are issued on Wednesday.
A record 7,280 applicants have already accepted places, a significant rise on the 5,568 acceptances for the same period last year.
These early offers and acceptances are for mature applicants, those who deferred for a year, and overseas students.
The first round of college offers for Leaving Cert students will be published by the Central Applications Office (CAO) next Monday. Overall applications are up exactly 3,000 on last year, to 77,628 for 1,279 courses. Ten years ago there were 63,451 applicants for 761 courses.
This year, 14,691 over 23 years old applied, compared with 12,593 last year.
Around 55,000 students sat the Leaving Certificate this year -- the highest number since 2002 -- with a further 3,400 doing the Leaving Cert Applied.
The National Parents Council Post Primary will run its annual Exam Helpline to offer advice on all third-level courses, the points system, rechecks, repeats, CAO procedures, apprenticeships and further training.
Sponsored by Eircom, the Irish Independent and the Department of Education and Science, this year's Exam Helpline opens at 8am on Wednesday, and will be staffed by members of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors.
Meanwhile, Leaving Cert students in Co Mayo will receive a letter asking them to pledge to drive on the roads safely when they get their results.
Mayo County Council road safety officer Noel Gibbons said the scheme was aimed at reminding young people of the need for safety.