The CAO points system for college entry is generally characterised as being blunt but fair.
At its most blunt, it will separate students by a meagre one point out of a potential 625 and the thud is often felt by high achievers who, despite their ability and hard work, miss out on a place in their college course of choice.
Its fairness has often come into question. While lauded for the transparency it offers as a selection mechanism for college entry - with points linked to the grades anonymously awarded in the Leaving Cert - some students are better placed to notch up those scores.
The points race can only be seen as fair if it gives everyone an equal chance of performing to the best of their abilities. But there are entrenched inequities around social class and disability.
Evidence abounds about how pupils from fee-paying, Irish-speaking, and grind schools are overly represented in the lead pack.
That gives them first dibs on college choices and many follow through to the most elite courses, leading to high-earning professional careers.
Money can buy advantage, in the form of additional resources associated with grind and fee-paying schools.
The second-level system generally has been faulted for too much reliance on rote-learning and additional resources, where available, are often devoted to even more learning to the test to ensure students are primed to answer any question.
Leaving Cert candidates in Irish-speaking schools are awarded a bonus of up to 10pc extra marks for each paper, because they sat the exam as Gaeilge, which happens to be their language of tuition.
We know certain students have a greater chance of getting to college and hogging elite courses. This latest study adds a further twist, telling us that having garnered the points and beaten off the competition, students from grind schools and Irish-speaking schools are more likely not to finish and, if they do, are less likely to achieve a 1st or a 2:1.
Professor Paul Devereux suggests that for grind school students, points attainment may "overstate their preparedness for college", while anyone sitting a Leaving Cert paper in Irish has the benefit of a bonus.
Every student is entitled to pursue their life and career dreams and aim for whatever college course they want. If it doesn't work out, or not as well as they had hoped, that will be a disappointment, regardless of their socio-economic background, what school their parents sent them to, or how many CAO points they achieved. At least they got the chance.
It is doubly disappointing and deeply unfair for the student who never got the chance because they were less advantaged or, perhaps, had to turn to another country to achieve their college dream.
The problems for the education system thrown up by Covid-19, including the replacement of the scheduled Leaving Cert with calculated grades, has thrown a spotlight on inequities.
Lessons learned from the experience will feed into the Leaving Cert review currently under way and presumably, so too will these new findings.
It's not just the Leaving Cert that is gone for the class of 2020. The end-of-year rituals - from the school Mass to the teary graduations - have all had to go, leaving sixth-years with a sense of loss.