Tomorrow thousands of CAO applicants will receive offers for places in the colleges and universities across the country. The process is fairly straightforward but here are a few pointers to help you on your way.
Round One Offers
In order to receive an offer you must have applied to CAO. Successful applicants will receive an offer both online and in the post on Monday 21st August. You can access this offer through the CAO website from 6:00 am, www.cao.ie You will need to have your CAO number and PIN to log in. If you have received an offer you have 3 choices: 1. Accept, 2. Reject, 3. Defer the offer. The deadline to reply to this offer is Monday 28th August at 5:15pm.
Some students will receive two offers; One level 8 offer and one offer from the level 6/7 list. You can only accept one offer.
When you receive an offer, all offers placed below this offer are removed from your application. For example, if you are offered the course that you placed as your 5th choice, the courses that you placed below this offer will be removed from your application. That is why it is so important to place your courses in genuine order of preference. You will never be offered or considered for any course ranked below the course you’ve been offered.
What happens in Round Two?
If you did not receive your first preference course in Round One you may get an offer in Round Two. Not all the places on courses are filled in the first round of offers as some candidates reject or defer their offer. As a result points can sometime drop slightly and candidates who did not qualify in Round One for an offer on a course may be offered the course on slightly lower points in Round Two. You can be offered a place in Round Two even if you have already accepted an offer in Round One. Round Two offers are made available online on 31st August at 6:00am (you will also receive offer in the post). The reply date for Round Two is 6th September by 5:15pm. If you receive an offer in Round Two you can choose to give up your accepted place from Round One and accept your Round Two offer, or you can stick with your Round One offer and reject the offer you received on Round Two. Provided the offer you received on Round Two wasn’t your first preference course you may still be in the running for an offer in the next round. There will continue to be CAO Rounds until all places on the courses have been filled but bear in mind that after Round One and Two the places remaining on courses are very limited.
I got the points but I didn’t get an offer.
Some students may have the necessary points for a course but they won’t receive an offer for the course. If this happens to you then it means that not everyone who got the points got an offer (this is unlikely to happen now because one of the main reasons the points system was revised was to make this unfortunate occurrence less regular) or you have not satisfied the basic requirements of the course. For example, if applicants for the course are required to have a H4 in Maths and you got a H5 in Maths, you will not receive an offer, even if you fulfilled the points requirement. If you narrowly missed out on a grade it might be worth your while to get a paper checked. For more information read, Want to appeal a Leaving Cert Grade?