There was drama yesterday (Monday) as hundreds of students in Mayo received their first round offers. While the postman was previously the traditional bearer of CAO offers in Mayo, students are now checking online and being sent text messages to confirm their places.
Rice College student Colin McDonagh received a text message yesterday to confirm he had been offered his first choice Arts degree in NUI Galway. Speaking to The Mayo News he said, “Well to be honest it came as a slight surprise when I saw a new message appear from the CAO on the mobile. I do remember signing up to something or other but when I did receive the message I was surprised to say the least.”
McDonagh said he has been keeping his options open with regards to third level. Differential course choices and a possible year out have all been considered. He said he will discuss all options with his parents over the next few days. “Well even now I still haven’t even made my mind up. I had Arts in Galway down as my number one and I’ve been offered a place in NUI but I’ve kept my options open and I still haven’t really decided what I will do come September.
He added: “I’l have to sit down now and discuss it all with Mam and Dad and see what the story is. I wont rush into any rash decision but at the same time a place in university will be hard to turn down, so we’ll wait and see.”
The Central Applications Office confirmed that there has been a decline in applications this year, however more than 1,000 extra candidates did receive their first choices yesterday (Monday).
In excess of 75,000 students nationwide applied for places via the CAO system and a further 47,821 applicants were fortunate to receive a third-level offer.
Science and computer courses have increased in popularity due to the perceived more secure jobs environment while the points required for arts and business related courses has fallen. NUI Galway and UCD both confirmed that the points required for Science has increased by a respective 20 points this year.
In 2006 the accrued points total for Science at UCD was 300 points, but this has now increased by more than 50 per cent to a significant 455 points.
The points for teaching courses have decreased marginally, while agriculture and medicine are up on last year. Bernie Ruane, the president of the National Teachers Union of Ireland advised applicants who receive an offer to accept it. Students are required to accept their offer by next Monday August 29.
Ms Ruane added that the second round of offers will be available on September 1 and this will provide further opportunities to students who may not have attained their first choice.