In an indication that cutoffs for junior college seats could fall this year, St Xavier’s College, Fort, closed its first merit list in the science stream for minority students at 76.80% on Tuesday — nearly 6% lower than last year.
This is the lowest cut-off for science at the college in the past five years. This is also the first time in two years the science cutoff — the minimum marks needed for admissions — in the college dropped below 80%. This was unexpected, as colleges predicted higher limits owing to many state board students scoring 100%.
The admissions for minority and in-house seats began in colleges on Tuesday. With a Christian religious minority status, the institute has a 50% quota for students from that community.
Admissions to arts, meanwhile, closed at 83.20%. Last year, the institute’s arts cut-off was 85.17%.
D’souza Errol Kenn had the highest score of 98% among the arts applicants, according to the first list uploaded on the website.
Chettiar Jayden Joseph has the highest score, 97%, in science.
“We have no clue why the cutoffs dropped so much this year. I don’t remember the last time Xavier’s recorded such a low cutoff in the first merit list,” said Agnello Menezes, the principal .
Other institutes have not yet released their lists, but principals said Xavier’s is usually the trendsetter. They blamed the fall in cut-offs on students choosing integrated courses after Class 10, which coach them to crack entrance tests for medical or engineering colleges.
Some institutes are expecting their cut-offs to be higher than Xavier’s. “There won’t be a major dip in the minority cut-off this year as we have limited seats,” said Parag Thakkar, vice-principal of HR College, Churchgate. “Minority students with more than 75% can take admission through a walk-in process.” Merit lists in many colleges are delayed as traffic has slowed down the portal. “The school is having problems printing out the students’ online form as the website is not working properly. So we extended the admissions date,” said Kavita Rege, principal, Sathaye College, Vile Parle.