As a CAO applicant you may experience one or more of the following restrictions based on your course choices, your category of application, or restrictions imposed by the HEIs that you wish to apply to. Please read the following sections carefully:
Submitting a late application – individual HEIs may have restrictions on late applications, for example, some HEIs may not consider late applications from certain categories of applicant. In particular, mature applicants, and those presenting qualifications other than recently taken EU school-leaving examinations should check the relevant HEI website before submitting a late application
Making changes to your course choices – there are a number of intervals when you can make changes to your CAO application. However, if you are applying for a restricted course or if you are a restricted-category applicant, you may not be able to use the free Change of Mind facility which opens in May and closes on the 1st July at 5:15pm. For more information about making changes to your application go to pages 14 and 15.
Applying for a restricted course – you must have applied to CAO by 1st February 2018 at 5:15pm if you wish to apply for a restricted course. The restricted course must be included on your course choices list by that date, or added to your application using the Change of Course Choices facility for a fee of €10 before 1st March at 5:15pm.
Restricted courses normally require additional assessment procedures, e.g. the submission of a portfolio, an oral assessment or interview, or a written assessment – restricted courses are identified in the handbook by the words “(Restricted - see page 3)” on the same line as the restricted course’s title. Please make sure to acquaint yourself with the additional requirements, if any, of the restricted course(s) that you have applied for and go to page 11 for more information about interviews and assessments.
Exception: If a restricted course shares the exact same assessment procedures with a course you had applied for by 1st February 2018, you may be permitted to introduce it on a Change of Mind. You should consult with the relevant HEI before introducing such a course.
Mature applicants – most HEIs will require mature applicants, who wish to be assessed on mature grounds, to have applied to CAO by 1st February 2018 at 5:15pm. (This restriction does not apply if the applicant wishes to be considered on the basis of school leaving qualifications only.) For more information about applying to CAO on the basis of mature years go to www.cao.ie/mature.
Applying for the HEAR and/or DARE schemes – to be considered for the HEAR and/or DARE schemes applicants must have registered on the CAO system by 1st February 2018 at 5:15pm and must have completed the HEAR/DARE application form by 1st March 2018 at 5:15pm – supporting documents must be sent to CAO offices before 1st April 2018 at 5:15pm.
- CAO Handbook
- Download CAO Handbook
- Important Changes to CAO Handbook
- Summary of Major Stages of the CAO Application Process
- Applying to CAO
- Application Dates and Fees
- Late Applications
- Reapplying to CAO
- Categories of Qualifications and Assessments
- Applying for HEAR and DARE
- Interviews and Assessments
- Sending Supporting Documents to CAO
- Applying for a Maintenance Fee Grant (SUSI)
- Introducing your Course Choices
- Statement of Application Record
- Change of Mind
- Exceptional Late Applications
- Changes to your Personal and Examination Information
- Important Correspondence
- Contacting CAO
- The Offer Stage
- The Offer Rounds
- Accepting an Offer
- The Point-Scoring System for Leaving Certificate Applicants
- Points Calculation for Other Examinations
- Deferring A Place
- Taking up a Deferral
- Available Places
- The Leaving Certificate Recheck Process
- Registration on your Accepted Course
- Applications to be made Direct to Higher Education Institutions
- General Principles
- Independent Appeals Commission
- Further Information - Online Resources