Admission to the College is normally made at age 11 or 12. This is to Form Primary (the equivalent of sixth class in a primary school in the Republic of Ireland or the first year of secondary schooling in the UK) or to Form I (the equivalent of Form II or Year 8 in the UK).

Pupils are also admitted into Form II, normally from Preparatory Schools, into Form IV (the Transition Year) and Form V (the start of the 2-year Leaving Certificate, equivalent to 'A' Levels).

Those joining Form Primary and Form I are normally invited to sit assessments in the month of October prior to the year of entry. The assessments are in literacy (reading comprehension, spelling), English and mathematics. Candidates for entry are often interviewed by the Warden also.

Boys and girls joining Form II normally do so by means of the Common Entrance Examination to Public Schools which is taken in their Prep. School.

Those joining in Forms IV and V are usually interviewed by the Warden or Sub-Warden and past reports are sought from their current school.

Anyone seeking entry to the College at any stage must register their interest in doing so formally by completing the registration form and paying the appropriate fee. This commits neither the applicant nor the College to anything other than an expression of interest.

Places in the College are normally awarded in the course of the Michaelmas Term (i.e. between September and December of the year prior to entry) but applicants should not be dissuaded from contacting us outside these dates as there are often cancellations and/or deferrals of offered places.

The College normally accepts a maximum of 15 boys and girls into Form Primary (i.e. one class) and a further 30 into Form I, thus making three classes at this stage of 15 pupils in each.

Year-group sizes rise by about 15, to 60, in Forms IV and V. Class size at this stage depends on particular subject choices.

The average class size in the Junior cycle (i.e. Forms Primary to III) is 15.

The average class size in the Senior cycle (i.e. Forms IV to VI) is 10.

The College has bed space for about 235 boarders and usually awards approximately 75 day places.


A number of awards is made each year on the basis of academic performance and an assessment of potential.

Those who do best in the entrance assessments to Form I are normally invited to sit for a junior scholarship the following May (i.e. a few months prior to entry). They are usually joined by those pupils who have shown promise in the course of our Form Primary.

These awards ' the number given out is dependent on the quality of the applicants ' are tenable for three years (the duration of the Junior cycle) and are normally to the value of one sixth of the annual fees.

Scholarship examinations are held in the College in May of Form III. All who have held awards until this point ' and other current pupils who display potential ' sit these examinations in six subjects.

Applications for the above awards are by invitation.

The major award ' the Pennefather Scholarship ' is tenable for the final three years of a pupil's school career (i.e. Forms IV'VI) and is worth one third of the annual fees. Exhibitions may also be awarded at this point, also tenable for three years and amounting to one sixth of the annual fees.

Scholarship is also recognised in Form V, when the outstanding performer in the Michaelmas Term examinations who is not already in receipt of an award is given one for the final two years of their career. This is also worth one sixth of the total annual fees.

From time to time, the Warden may make additional awards to those specified above, based on a particular talent (e.g. sport) or an all-round ability to contribute significantly to the life of a boarding school.

Senior and Junior Todd Scholarships, worth Euro 1,000 and Euro 500 respectively, are awarded to the candidates achieving the best points total in the annual Leaving Certificate examinations. An award is also made to the best foreign linguist.


The Old Columban Society (the association of past pupils) makes an annual award to the best performer in an examination who is the son or daughter of an Old Columban.

The Crichton Award is made to any boy or girl seeking to enter the College in Form Primary or Form 1 who is from a Church of Ireland (or Anglican) background and who may have difficulty paying the full fees.

The children of Church of Ireland clergy are entitled to a discount of 50% of the annual fees through the Norman Scholarship fund.

Children one of whose parents is a past pupil are entitled to a discount of 10% on the annual fees.

Parents with two or more children attending the College at the same time will be entitled to a reduction of 10% on the annual fees for each child after the first.

The sons and daughters of Church of Ireland clergy may apply for funds from the Norman Scholarship to help them through their Third Level education. In recent years, these have been awarded to all applicants and have been to the values of between Euro 3,500 and Euro 5,500 per annum.

Parents who experience difficulty in paying fees are urged to contact the College about the matter. Bursaries, which are means tested, may sometimes be made.

A registration form and our current fees can be found on our useful information page.