MUMBAI: The cut-offs for the first merit list for junior college admissions have reached stratospheric heights. The cut-offs have shot up by at least 5% this year, thanks to higher pass percentages and overall scores rising across boards.
At most colleges they are above 80%, with the premier institutions raising the bar over the 90% mark.
At Ruparel College, for instance, the cut-off for arts has risen by 13% to 80% while it has gone up by 7% to 90.75% for commerce and 5% to 96.54% for science. At KC College, the cut-off for commerce has risen by 10% to 88%.
At Mithibai College, cut-offs have increased by 4.56% to 5%. This year’s cut-off for science is 94%, 91.07% for commerce, and 96.41% for vocational.
The only saving grace here is arts, which has a first cut-off of 75%.
The cut-offs are up by 5.85% for commerce and 5.22% for science at Sathaye College, and vary between 4 and 6% at Ruia. At St Xavier’s, the cut-offs have jumped by 4-5% to reach 91% for science and 90% for arts. The increase at Hinduja College for Commerce is 7% (82.43%).
“Trends have been impressive this year,” said Raheja College principal MB Madlani. “We have received a good number of applications with very high percentages.” Hence, cut-offs at Raheja have increased by 9.46% to 84.46% for commerce and a huge 12% in arts to 72%.
“More students have got over 90% this year, so cut-offs will rise,” said Sathaye College principal K Rege. The downside, said Madlani, is that those with lower scores may not find seats in good colleges or get streams of their choice.
Despite the high cut-offs, students of the state board have not lost out to their counterparts from the ICSE and CBSE. Thanks to the new ‘marks equalisation’ system, which purports to put students from different boards on the same level, more SSC students figure at the top of the list despite scoring less than students from other boards.
“The top level is dominated by SSC students,” said Ruparel College principal Pradeep Kulkarni. “In the first 10, for instance, there is just one ICSE student.” In contrast, last year, the first state board student came in at number 24 (science) in Ruparel’s first list.
“They (SSC students) may not fully dominate the first list, but equalisation has definitely put them at par with other boards,” said Mithibai College principal Kiran Mangaonkar.
“Earlier, owing to a 4-5% difference, SSC students would figure below 100 or even 200 in the first list. Now, they have gained at least 1.5% over the others.”
Sathaye’s Rege agreed that SSC students are dominating but said they are also much more in number.
At Ruparel, for instance, SSC students opting for science have benefited by 3.75% in comparison to 2.12% for ICSE and 2.18% for CBSE. Thus, while the cut-off at the college is 96.54%, the corresponding cut-off for SSC students under the equalisation formula works out to 92.80%, 94.43% for ICSE, and 94.37% for CBSE.
Likewise, SSC students opting for arts at Ruparel have gained a benefit of 3.1%, while ICSE students have gained by 1.76% and CBSE students by 1.81%. Much the same situation prevails at all the colleges in the city.
While colleges have generally hailed the new system, some have said it may cause confusion among students who may not fully understand it since it “was implemented hastily, just prior to the first list”.
“Also, it was only on Wednesday evening that colleges were informed that the sports quota has been increased to 5% from 2%,” said a principal. “The board must change this habit of last-minute modifications.”