How does JAMB's cutoff mark work?
The cutoff mark is simply the minimum UTME score a student is required to acquire before they can be admitted into a tertiary institution.
So, for example, with this academic year's cutoff set at 160 for federal universities, affected institutions cannot admit students who scored 159 and below.
Different benchmarks have also been set for private universities (currently 140), public polytechnics (120), private polytechnics (110), and colleges of education (100).
The cutoff marks, with the agreement of university administrators, represent the lowest bar below which institutions are not allowed to go. However, these institutions are allowed the freedom to raise their cutoff marks individually to fit their own criteria for admission.
"The admission process would be guided by the approved institutional/programmes cutoff marks and minimum UTME score, as submitted by the respective institutions," JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, said last week.
In fact, when the benchmark for admission into public universities was controversially set to 120 in 2017, institutions such as the Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Lagos, University of Benin, and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka set their own cutoff marks at 200. These marks rose even higher depending on the course of study a student applied to be admitted for, a practice that's commonplace.