Every parent wants what is best for their child. Many will look at the cost of sending their sons and daughters to a fee-paying school and wonder if it is worth the added financial sacrifice.
For some, it is seen as a worthy investment that will stand to their children later in life. Some will consider the fact that attending third level institutions is still relatively cheap in Ireland compared to other countries and so will make the investment at second level.
Other parents will not have the luxury of being able to afford to send their child to a fee-paying school. But they can be assured that non fee-paying schools also hold a strong record of sending pupils on to study at third level.
The Sunday Independent figures show a small rise in the percentage of students who go on to third level from both types of school.
The research into where students were placed after the Leaving Cert shows that three-quarters of students in non fee-paying schools went on to third level. However, fee-paying schools still lead the way in terms of throughput to college.
Data outlining where every student sat their Leaving Cert since 2009 and what they went on to do afterwards shows one quarter of students in non fee-paying schools were not placed in third level after sitting the Leaving Cert. This compares to just 7pc for students from a fee-paying background.
While a higher percentage of students from fee-paying schools go on to third level, there is also a higher ratio of these students going on to universities in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
At 63pc, this university rate is almost double that for students who previously attended non fee-paying schools, where 35pc of pupils go on to university.
The breakdown of where students from the two school types end up also shows that students from a non fee-paying background are more likely to move on to an institute of technology when making the transition to third level.
Four out of every 10 non fee-paying students go on to institutes of technology. This compares to three out of 10 students from a fee-paying background.