Frequently Asked Questions
Have you received my online CAO application?
You may confirm your online CAO application by logging on to the "My Application" facility.
I am not receiving emails from CAO.
You should check the email address on your CAO account is correct. Also check the "Junk" or "Spam" folder in your email account and mark CAO emails as "not junk" or "not spam".
All emails sent to you by CAO will be recorded in the correspondence section of your CAO Account.To check for emails from CAO, log in to your CAO account via My Application and go to 'View Communications History' in the Correspondence section.
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.
How can I obtain my Leaving Certificate examination number?
Leaving Certificate examination numbers can be obtained from your school or the State Examinations Commission (www.examinations.ie).
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 (this can be obtained from the State Examinations Commission), you should login to your account again and click on Modify Qualifications and Assessment Details. If you have difficulty entering your details, please contact CAO using the correspondence section of your application.
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.
Do I need an account password?
An account password is required for the security of your application.
Do I need an e-mail address?
An e-mail address is required. Acknowledgements and receipts will be sent by e-mail. You can also change your e-mail address in your application at any time. This can be done by the applicant.
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?
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 completed GCE/GCSE exams previously, where do I enter my results?
Please enter the details of your previously taken GCE/GCSE examinations under the GCE/GCSE section of the application in the table headed "2006-2022 GCE A/AS and/or GCSE Examination Details:". Further guidance on completing this table can be found at the link: GCE A/AS/GCSE Applicant Information
You MUST also 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 be required as part of meeting minimum entry requirements 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.
I have been displaced by the war in Ukraine and granted Temporary Protection in Ireland, how do I apply for higher education?
All applicants who have been displaced by the war in Ukraine and who have been granted Temporary Protection in Ireland, are eligible to apply via CAO . Whether you are presenting the Irish Leaving Certificate or other qualifications, you should refer to pages 8-11 of the CAO Handbook for further information. Please pay particular attention to section 5 ‘Other school leaving exams’. Documents not printed in English must be accompanied by an official translation by a professional translation service.
In addition to any documents you may be sending to CAO (e.g. your school leaving exam results or other qualifications), it is also necessary to provide a certified copy of your Temporary Protection document, which was issued to you by the Irish Department of Justice. This document should be sent no later than 12 days before the relevant offer round, but ideally before July 1st, 2023.
If you do not hold Temporary Protection in Ireland, you should contact the institution(s) to which you have applied, to get clarification on the correct application procedure.
Tuition Fees and Funding:
There is no update yet on fees and funding for 2023 entrants. However, you are encouraged to check on the following website periodically as any government decisions will be published here: www.gov.ie
For further information you should contact the HEIs to which you have applied. See the CAO website here for contact details: www.cao.ie/hei
How to cancel a CAO application
In order to cancel a CAO application you must download a Cancellation form. Ensure you have read and understand the form fully before sending your request to 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 (by the end 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 by the end 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).
I need evidence of my application to CAO.
As proof of application, you may use a copy of the acknowledgement recorded when you applied to CAO, entitled `CAO Application Account activated`. This is your receipt of application and can be found in the Correspondence section of your online CAO account.