Several top city junior colleges had between 10% and 50% of their seats in the general streams vacant on Wednesday, which was the last day for students who had been admitted to the first merit list of colleges to pay their fees and secure provisional admission.
The vacant seats in the top colleges have given hope to thousands of students who are counting on getting into a better college when the second merit list is announced on August 1.
The science stream in colleges had the most vacancies. At Ruia College, 40% of seats in science stream are still vacant, at Birla College around 42%, at Ruparel around 43% seats are still vacant, at SIES around 35% and at Jai Hind the figure is 53%.
“This is normal, because students also apply for the bifocal science seats and many might have already secured admission in that stream,” said Tushar Desai, principal of Ruparel College in Matunga.
Commerce seats are also vacant in several coveted colleges. At HR College, around 10% of the seats are still vacant, at Jai Hind around 21% and at St Andrew’s College around 46%.
Principals said that the response in the arts stream was overwhelming. At Jai Hind, SIES and Ruia College, the least number of seats were vacant in the arts stream. V Karandikar, professor, Ruia, said, “I hope the seats don’t get vacated after students exercise the betterment option.”
College officials anticipate that the cut-offs will drop marginally for the second list. “It will go down by around one or two percentage points,” said Jyoti Thakur, head of junior college at Jai Hind.
Several seats that were not allotted in the first general merit list because these were for certain reserved categories where there were not enough applicants will become open category seats.