Frequently Asked Questions
IMPORTANT: Please read this FAQ before sending an e-mail to CAO.
Please Note: Office contact hours are 09:30 to 17:00, Monday to Friday.The answer to your query may be included in the following list of frequently asked questions.
My points are incorrect.
Are you counting more than six subjects? Try using the points calculator on the CAO website. With regard to the treatment of Foundation Level Irish and Maths, consult the literature or the Admissions Office(s) of the relevant institution(s).
Why am I ineligible?
Usually because you have not met the minimum entry requirements e.g. 2 x Higher Level grade 5. Consult the literature or the Admissions Office(s) of the relevant institution(s).
How do I apply for deferral?
See CAO Handbook page 20. Send a request for a deferral to the Admissions Office of the institution, NOT to CAO.
Will I disqualify myself from other offers if I accept / refuse this one?
No, not at all. See CAO Handbook page 17. Accepting or not accepting an offer will not prevent you from receiving an offer of a course higher up on your course choices if you are deemed eligible.
I do not want the course I have been offered. Can I get a place in another course which is lower in my order of preference than the one offered, or in a course for which I have not applied at all?
Only if vacancies are advertised in those course(s) on the CAO website, www.cao.ie. See CAO Handbook page 20 or visit the ‘Available Places’ page on the CAO website.
My QQI FET, FETAC, NCVA, VCE / other qualification / was not taken into account.
Contact the appropriate Admissions Office(s).
I do not wish to accept the offer which I have been made.
Thank you. You need take no further action. Your name will remain on the waiting list for any course(s) higher in your order of preference than the one not required.
What are my chances of a further offer?
This is impossible to predict. You should consider the current offer as the last one which you will receive.
How do I get a Leaving Certificate grade rechecked ?
Consult your school principal.
What happens if a Leaving Certificate result is regraded on appeal ?
CAO would be notified automatically by the State Examinations Commission and you would be contacted about any new entitlement to a course.
Will there be more offers issued?
Rounds of offers issue on 5 July, 2 August, 20 August, 29 August and weekly thereafter until places are filled. Offers will be available on the CAO website from 6am on the above dates, offer notices will be posted and an email will be sent to those being offered a place (exception - Round Two on 29 August - offers will be available from 10am and notices will NOT be posted in this round).
Do I have to pay a fee when returning my acceptance to CAO ?
No payment is required when returning the acceptance for a place. Accounts for tuition fees, etc. will be sent separately. All enquiries about such fees should be directed to the Fees Office of the institution offering the place – not to CAO.
Can you give me information about grants?
CAO does not deal with grants. Refer to www.susi.ie, your local authority or VEC, or the Fees Office of the institution making the offer. See also the website www.studentfinance.ie.
Can you tell me about accommodation and/or course content?
Contact the Accommodation Office and/or the Admissions Office of the offering institution.
Have you received my online CAO application?
You may confirm your online CAO application by logging on to the "My Application" facility.
I need to change my personal details online.
You may change your personal details (apart from your name and date of birth) by logging in to your account. To change your name and/or date of birth you must make a request to CAO in writing. Once approved, it may take up to five working days to be updated.
I do not have my previous Leaving Certificate Exam number and so cannot enter it online now.
When you do obtain your previous Leaving Certificate exam number then log on to your account again and click on Modify Qualifications and Assessment Details. Exam numbers can be added any time up until the application closing date that applies to your application. Otherwise e-mail CAO with the correct LCE number and year of examination.
I omitted to tick one of the Qualification and Assessment sections relevant to my application. What should I do?
To add Qualifications and Assessment details to your application at this stage, please use the "Contact" page and inform CAO of the Qualifications and Assessment section you would like added to your account.
I get "Page not found" when I click on "Apply" or "My Application". The rest of the CAO web-site is working for me.
Your browser is not accepting CAO's secure certificate. Please try a different browser such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.
To check your client's (browser) certificate status go to www.howsmyssl.com.
In the mature section there is not enough space to complete my details. What can I do?
If the space available under the Mature section is insufficient, you may include the extra information with your postal documents.
When I log out of my application does that mean that the information that was sent to CAO cannot be added to/changed in my application at anytime in the future.
When you log out of your account all the information you added is saved on the CAO system. You may log back into your account at anytime up until the closing date and change/add information.
I was filling in details in the Qualification and Assessment page and the screen crashed and I lost all my information.
There is a time limit on this page and it can vary from browser to browser. Information should be saved at regular intervals when filling in details in this section. You may return to this section and add or modify information before the closing date on your application.
I filled out the Qualifications and Assessment Section, but I had not finished entering all the details. Now it won't let me update my Qualifications and Assessment details; it is asking me to add my course choices. What should I do?
You must first enter your course choices. Once you have finished entering your course choices, you will be able to modify and finish your Qualifications and Assessment Section.
I applied previously to CAO in a different year, can I still use my old number?
No, when you apply again you will receive a NEW CAO application number.
When I log in to my CAO account it won't let me enter my course choices, it keeps asking me for my Qualification and Assessment details
You must complete the qualification and assessment page before you enter your Course choices.
My account does not let me add or change courses
Course choices can only be added or changed at certain dates. Click here for instructions on Change of Mind dates.
I have not received all my e-mails from CAO.
You should check the e-mail address on your CAO account is correct. Also check the "Junk" or "Spam" folder in your e-mail account and mark CAO e-mails as "not junk" or "not spam".
I cannot add my exam number to my application.
Applicants cannot add exam number details to their online account after the application closing date. However, you may e-mail your exam number or post your exam number to CAO and CAO will record it for you. Please include the year of exam and the correct exam number.
I have e-mailed to CAO my exam number but my online account was not updated.
Online accounts are not immediately updated with exam number amendments that are e-mailed or posted to CAO. You should check your account at a later stage to check that the amendment is made.
I am applying for a course with subject choices, how do I enter my subject choices? Courses with subject choices include CK600 / CW018 / CW438 / CW908 / DN200 / DN250 / DN500 / DN501 / DN541 / DN600 / DN660 / DN670 / MH101 / MH109 / MH212 / MH304 / MH401 / MH404 / MH502 / MH601 / MH602 / MH803 / WD048 / WD200
Applicants applying for such courses should enter the appropriate course code when applying. Applicants can then choose to enter their subject preferences later by clicking on the "Subject Choices" facility which is available in their Level 8 Course list.
I have done GCE/GCSE exams previously, where do I enter my results?
You must post to CAO certified A4 photocopies (certified by school stamp) of the appropriate certificates for any GCE/GCSE examinations which you have already completed and for which a certificate has been issued - these will form part of your eligibility for consideration for entry to courses. Results printed on school headed paper will not suffice. It is not acceptable to fax or e-mail examination results.
I have also applied to UCAS. Where is the submit button on the CAO form?
Unlike the UCAS system in the UK, there is no need to "finalise" your application. The college will assess your application with the data available at the time of assessment.
How to cancel a CAO application
In order to cancel a CAO application you must write to CAO, either by post or e-mail, quoting your CAO application number, your date of birth and your name. You must state clearly that you wish to cancel your CAO application. You do not need to give a reason. Application fees are non-refundable. CAO contact details are available here: "Contact CAO"
How do I know if my documents have been received by CAO?
If you wish to receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your documents you must include a stamped-addressed postcard or envelope with your mailing. CAO will return this postcard/envelope on receipt but please note that CAO is not in a position to check supporting documents for correctness and completeness. CAO will scan your documents electronically and you will have an opportunity to view them online via the 'My Application' section of the CAO web site (during the first two weeks of April for documents received by mid-March and in the first two weeks of July for late applications).
When can I view my documents online?
If you have sent supporting documents to CAO you will have an opportunity to view these documents online via the 'My Application' facility of the CAO web site in the first two weeks of April (if you applied to CAO by 1st February and documents were received by mid-March) and the first two weeks of July (if you made a late application).
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