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Going to College 2020 podcast: Large increase in college points but you still have choices

Episode 2 of our four-part podcast series on Leaving Cert results, CAO, and college

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Going to College is a four-part podcast series, presented by Sinead Ryan, that will help you prepare for some nerve-wracking - and exciting - weeks ahead.

The CAO offers are out and this second episode of the Going to College podcast series is looking at what’s gone up, what’s gone down, and the overall effect that the calculated grades had on the points for this year’s college courses.

Joining Sinead Ryan were Guidance Counsellor, Aoife Walsh, the Irish Independent’s Education columnist, John Walshe, and QQI’s Awards and Certification Manager, Colette Harrison to discuss the overall trends as well as outlining what your options are if you didn't get what you were hoping for.

John Walsh detailed the main courses that have seen increases, including six courses that now require more than 600 points, up from the one course last year.

“However, it is important to remember,” he tells Sinead. “Of those who got their level 8 offers, four out of five got their top three choices.”

“Everyone is still reeling from the large increases in some quarters so pause and take your time – you have until Wednesday to make a decision,” advises Aoife Walsh. “Make sure you’re accepting something you really want.”

Even if you didn’t get offered a place on the course you were hoping for, there are still other options available.

“There are lots of routes to where you want to go even if you didn’t get the points,” Colette explains. “What else is around the corner? There are many routes to get to your goal in the end.”

Parents & Students' Helpline

As the Leaving Cert results are released on Monday, the annual National Parents Council Helpline 1800 265 165 will be open to offer advice and support to students and parents.

It will be staffed by members of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, who will provide a one-to-one service to callers.

The helpline, which will run until Wednesday 16th September, is sponsored by the Department of Education and the Irish Independent/Independent.ie and is supported by Susi and the GAA.

Going to College is a four-part podcast series, presented by Sinead Ryan, that will help you prepare for some nerve-wracking - and exciting - weeks ahead.

From the Leaving Cert results to CAO offers and then going to college in a time of Covid, it’s stressful and life-changing, but this series will help with practical advice, tips and insights from experts in the area.

Don’t forget to listen and subscribe to the entire series on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Independent.ie.

The Going to College series is in association with QQI.

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