CAO Round 1 offers will released on the 7th September 2021
There are many important dates that you need to be aware of over the next few weeks – here is the link to CAO Key Dates – be familiar with them and keep an eye that nothing changes.
It would be a good idea, before Round One offers, to log in to your CAO account to check that you have the correct password and log in information to ensure the offer and acceptance process runs as smoothly as possible for you on the day.
CAO Offer Process
Applicant texts/ email will be sent (at intervals) from 1.00pm. Level 8 texts will be issued first, followed by Level 7/6 texts. Students may receive their offer at different times due to the large volume of notifications being issued, or because of phone connectivity problems, so don’t be concerned if you have not received a text and a friend has.
If you don’t receive an email or text, you should still log in to your account from 2.00pm to check if you have received an offer. Applicants who have not received an offer will receive a ‘Statement of Application’ e-mail.
Accepting an Offer
There will be no paper offer notices for any offer round this year. As per last year, applicants can expect heavy traffic and possible delays on the CAO website when trying to access their CAO account for a short period after 2:00pm on the 7th September 2021. Please remain patient and try again later. Applicants will have until 13th September at 3:00pm to accept Round 1 offer.
If you receive an offer and you choose to accept this offer, you must do so online. If you choose to accept your offer you must do so by the reply date indicated on the Offer Notice. If you receive an offer from both lists you must choose between them – you can only accept one offer, in any one round, from either the Level 8 or the Level 7/6 list.
When you accept an offer you will receive a confirmation email and you can check that your acceptance has been recorded online at www.cao.ie via the My Application facility.
More information on Accepting an Offer
Available College Places
If HEIs have any new courses that open for application after the Change of Mind deadline, or if any places remain unfilled in particular courses after all offers have been made and the waiting lists of applicants meeting minimum entry requirements have been exhausted, such vacancies will be advertised.
For more info: CAO Available Places. The CAO have produced a short video about the Available Places facility. You can watch it here: Video
Deferring a College Place
If you wish to defer an offer of a place you do not accept your offer. Instead, you must email or write to the Admissions Office of the appropriate HEI immediately. You must give your name as it appears on your CAO application, quote your CAO application number and the course code of the offer you wish to defer, and set out the reason(s) for the request. Applicants must mark “DEFERRED ENTRY” clearly on the envelope or in the subject line of the email. You can also check the website of the relevant HEI to see if they have a deferral policy available online that you can refer to.
The letter or email must arrive in the Admissions Office of the institution at least two days before the reply date shown on the Offer Notice. The HEI will communicate their decision to you directly. If the deferral is not granted, you may then accept the offer for the current year, providing you accept the offer by the reply date.
You must send all communications about deferrals to the appropriate Admissions Office and not to CAO.
Other Options to CAO
With all the talk of CAO and college places, it can be easy to forget that there are other routes to your chosen career.
Colleges of Further Education
Colleges of Further Education offer post leaving cert courses that are a mixture of academic, practical and work experience. These courses are a great option as they are designed as a step towards skilled employment and, as such, they are closely linked to industry and its needs. The courses are full-time and last for one to two years and you receive a QQI level 5 or 6. You apply directly to the individual colleges and entry is based on academic ability, life/ work experience and/ or interview.
Going to college can be expensive – there are fees, laptop, equipment, travel, accommodation to consider – however, there are a range of schemes to help you with the cost. The main one is the Student Grant Scheme (SUSI) but there are other financial supports available too.