The college points race looks like it will be highly competitive once again this year.
The CAO's confirmed the number of applications for places is slightly up on last year.
By the CAO's February 1st closing date 78,025 applications had been received.
That's an increase of 13 applicants on the previous year.
The CAO data includes Change of Course Choices which closed on March the first.
The office says there was a total of 5,904 applications from people over 23, but that's dropped by almost 700 in a year.
The data is subject to change when late applications are taken into account and when the Change of Mind facility closes in July.
Meanwhile, Maynooth University recorded its highest ever number first preference applications.