By Cillian Doyle.
It's expected CAO points for medical and paramedical college courses will sore this year, as more people apply for third-level places.
700 students who sat the written Leaving Cert in November 2020 were awarded higher-point courses yesterday than they were offered by the CAO last year.
This group is one of the reasons behind an 8.5% increase in applications.
But guidance counselor Gemma Lawlor, from Tyndall College Carlow, says only some courses will be affected by the increased demand:
"In Arts, they might have taken 500 last year, they could be able to take 600 places this year."
"That's because they don't need clinical or laboratory space for that - but when you're looking at dentistry, medicine or veterinary - they have to have clinical placements or laboratory spaces - so can not just say 'look, we'll take another 25%'".
Meanwhile, a Wexford Guidance Consultant says the pandemic has made a big impact on medicine college courses.
Seamus Whitney in Enniscorthy says its no surprise medicine is a popular choice this year:
"We were supersaturated with images from the TV for the past 18 months - particularly with nurses and doctors."
"And rather than turn people away from those careers - it has had the effect of motivating people to go into those careers."