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Why You May Not Be Eligible for Admission to Higher Institutions in Nigeria (5 Reasons)

Admission processing in Nigeria has become increasingly competitive in recent years, with JAMB introducing new policies and schools implementing new guidelines on a regular basis. This year, 2023 admissions started with an increment in both school fees and application fees, which highlights the dynamicity of the admission landscape in Nigeria. In this blog post, I will walk you through five major reasons why you may not be eligible for admission into higher institutions in Nigeria. Make sure to read till the fifth reason, as it affects hundreds of thousands of applicants each year.

1. Wrong Subject Combination

Subject combination (especially JAMB subject combination) for degree courses are very important aspect in seeking admission into higher institutions in Nigeria, for example, you can’t say you want to study Nursing with combinations like Government, Literature and Religious studies (GLR) which is meant to study Law or its related courses. Another example is in Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) admissions, over the years we have seen candidates applying to OAU, to study accounting or its related faculty of administration courses with Commerce, Government and Economics (EGC) without writing Mathematics which is a major requirement of that faculty in JAMB, leading to them being automatically disqualified even if they scored 40/40 in OAU post-UTME and met the cutoff marks because the combination of Economics, Government, and MATHEMATICS (EGM) would have been suitable to study accounting in OAU.

These measures are in place to ensure candidates have prerequisite knowledge about the degree course they want to study

A detailed requirement of each institution, that processes their admission via JAMB can be found on the JAMB IBASS syllabus website. Which you can navigate based on the institution you’re applying to.

2. Not Applying for Post UTME or DE Form

A while ago, a candidate messaged me that his school refused to offer him admission, although he had a very nice JAMB UTME score, upon further inquiry, I discovered this candidate thought there’s no need to collect Post UTME form from the school again, and he’ll automatically be offered admission since his score is good. Many direct entry (DE) applicants also thought this, and they forgot to get the school DE form after having applied for the JAMB DE form making them get screened out when the admission processing begins.

It is important that admission seekers apply for the school’s Post UTME or Post DE form online, and confirm whether there is a screening test to write (exam) (e.g. OAU, UI, OAUTHC, UNILESA) or the school only screens their results for admission(e.g. FUOYE, EKSU, UNIOSUN, BOUESTI). This applies to DE candidates too, as some schools require them to write exams, and should also submit their academic transcript to the school’s admission office.

3. Not Meeting the Cutoff Marks of the Institution

Immediately after JAMB results are released, the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board will release the institution cutoff marks for Higher institutions (Colleges, Polytechnics, Universities, etc) in Nigeria, however, these Schools also have the autonomy to decide their admission cutoff mark. Let me make it clear, for example, JAMB announced that University cutoff mark is 140 for 2023, yet schools like OAU, UNILAG, and UI has their cutoff as a minimum of 200 which means if you had 199 in UTME and you chose these schools, you’re automatically disqualified already, you will need to consider other schools. Also, schools may decide to set different JAMB cutoffs for each course they offer, an example is seen in FUOYE admissions cutoff marks. FUOYE general cutoff is 160 but Medicine is 240, Nursing is 220, etc. You could also see this in FUHSI admissions, apart from that, the cutoffs may not remain the same each year, they may change – for example, the OAUTHC College of Nursing JAMB cutoff was 150 in 2022, in 2023 it rose to 180 and note that more schools of Nursing will soon start using JAMB from 2024. To conclude, just because the general cutoff for OAU is 200 doesn’t mean you can study Medicine in OAU with 210.

Now, enough with JAMB cutoffs, let’s talk about departmental cutoff marks – these are the cutoff marks usually released after candidates have been screened either through an exam or results screening (Post UTME), normally, schools will release these cutoff marks with 3 criteria (Merit, Catchment, and ELDS… please note that some schools don’t release their cutoff marks like FUOYE). Those who met these cutoff marks are offered admission into their respective department, and those who didn’t are automatically disqualified. However, in some cases, they may be considered for another department (e.g. in OAU) or allowed to change courses into the remaining available courses after those who qualified have been admitted (e.g. in DELSU), or many will not be offered admission at all.

Meeting the JAMB cutoff mark means you’re qualified to apply for the school’s post UTME/Screening while meeting the departmental or post UTME cutoff marks means you’re qualified to be offered admission into a particular course you applied for.

4. Not Uploading O’level to JAMB

You might have seen many educational consultants saying “No uploading, no admission” right? It’s a correct statement, if your school processes admission via JAMB CAPS, then not uploading your O’level or even A’level/DE Results (in case of applicants using JUPEB, ND, or NCE to apply) to JAMB portal will disqualify you for admission. The Central Admission Processing System by JAMB is designed to ensure JAMB is able to verify you meet necessary requirements and deserve the admission the school wants to offer you, and if JAMB couldn’t see the WAEC, NECO, NABTEB, or other results that you’re supposed to upload to their portal during the admission window of your school, then it becomes difficult to offer you admission via JAMB CAPS. Thankfully, this uploading can be done at any CBT center before your school admissions end, and you can also reach out to us to get it done for you without the need to leave your house. I added a link to check if your O’level has been uploaded to JAMB CAPs, find the link in the next paragraph.

Suggested: How to Check if Your O’level Result has been Uploaded to JAMB CAPs

5. Using Awaiting Results to Apply

I know your be surprised to hear this, but hundreds of thousands of applicants lose their admission each year due to using awaiting results, I will make this clear.

Applying for admission with awaiting results is like gambling, you may win or lose, in the sense that when these results are released, if you end up not having credit in a major subject like Mathematics, English, Government/Chemistry you’ll end up not meeting the O’level requirements for the course and be disqualified.

Apart from that, a statement accredited to Dr Fabian Benjamin of JAMB in Premium Times reads, “To ensure wider access, candidates are, at the point of registration, allowed to register with ‘‘Awaiting Result’ but such results being awaited must be uploaded before the commencement of admission by their chosen institution otherwise, they would be deemed unqualified,”

This means just as JAMB allowed you to apply with awaiting because they want to give more candidates opportunity, the schools also allow you to apply for Post UTME with awaiting (not all schools though – another form of disqualification), but the problem arises if the results are not released within the time the admission form is still available, even if the candidate is allowed to write the post-UTME test (in case of OAU), the candidates are automatically disqualified due to awaiting results because they couldn’t put their results on the admission portal before the portal closes.

OAU Red Card for Admission Showing a candidate is not eligible

In some cases, candidates who applied with awaiting will go on to upload the results to JAMB portal without uploading it to the school portal and wait for the admission that won’t come because the school already disqualified them.

It is important as aspirants to be wise and check all the boxes above to ensure your admission is smooth, we hope to make your admission journey easier via our articles and services.

READ ALSO: How to Check and Confirm Admission Status on JAMB CAPS

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This article was written by A. A. Badmus, an educational consultant in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, should in case a part of this article be taken for use somewhere else, kindly give credit to this website.

If there is any other thing I’ve not mentioned or a question you’d like to ask, kindly use the comment section, or send me a WhatsApp message below:


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A. A. Badmus

A. A. Badmus is a seasoned Educational Consultant that assist students in processing admission into schools in India and Nigeria. Currently studying Nursing at OAU Ile-Ife and passionate about serving accurate and timely information to admission seekers as well as students at large. I write about Education, Tech and Health.

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