At this time of the academic year, some first year college students receive welcome news. A number of universities recognise the school Leaving Certificate examination achievements of their new entrants with a series of awards.
Last week, Trinity College reported that a total of 763 first year students were awarded special Entrance Exhibitioners Awards. Each student had each achieved 560 points or higher.
The number of entrance exhibitioners this year represents a huge increase on the numbers typically receiving such an award from Trinity.
The increase is undoubtedly a result of the effect of the bonus scores for Leaving Cert Higher Level maths which came into effect in 2012. Up to this year 600 points was the maximum score possible from six A1s, but the 25 bonus points for any pass grade in higher level maths brought the possible maximum score up to 625.
Earlier this week, the University of Limerick presented more than 80 scholarships, 40 each to undergraduate and postgraduate students, to mark the occasion of its 40th anniversary this year. The €2,000 entrance scholarships were presented to students who began their undergraduate and postgraduate studies at UL in the autumn semester.
Some weeks ago, 65 students were awarded NUI Galway annual Excellence Scholarships, with each student receiving €2,000 each.
NUI Galway Excellence Scholarships are awarded to new entrants who reached a minimum of 560 points.
UCD operates a number of student scholarship or award schemes, through its Ad Astra Academy programmes. The UCD Ad Astra programmes recognise exceptional high-achieving students in the academic, the elite athletic, and the performing arts areas.
Dublin City University (DCU) offers a number of award schemes, including academic and sports scholarships, and it prides itself on its sport development programmes, elite athlete development programmes and its Sports Academy.
UCC also operates an Elite Sports Scholarships scheme, as does the Dublin Institute of Technology. Space does not permit a comprehensive listing of all schemes, but details are available on HEI websites.
Open days Tomorrow, the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) hosts its annual Open Day with a session for undergraduate courses from 9.30am- 3pm, and postgraduate courses from 4pm-7pm. Also tomorrow, NUI Galway hosts one of its Information Evenings in the Abbey Hotel Roscommon, from 7pm On Tuesday next Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) hosts its main open day from 10am-2pm. Also on Tuesday next, Waterford College of Further Education, hosts its open day from 9am- 3pm.