Although there is a vast amount of information available regarding CAO offers and the related procedures, there may still be some confusion for students and parents about the processes involved.
Here are just some of the Questions that arose on CAO Round 1 Offers Day 2015 and their answers:
I missed the points requirement for my first choice by 20 points and did not get offered it in Round 1. Does this mean I can never be offered my first choice?
It does not mean you can never be offered your first choice, it simply means in round one you were not entitled to a place on the basis of your points but you may become entitled to an offer in round two (for example if the points go down) If you become entitled to a place in round two then you will be offered it regardless of what you did or did not accept your offer in round one.
I was offered my first choice but I'm no longer interested in this course. Can I apply for a course with vacant places even though I was offered my first choice?
Yes you can. Vacant college places are available online now and you must now list this as your 1st choice option in your application.
If I defer my second choice offer, will I still be offered my first choice if points come down in round two?
You will be offered your first choice in round two if points come down. Be sure to contact the admissions office of the college that offered you a place and request permission to postpone until next year. Outline your reason for seeking a deferral.
The college will then contact CAO on your behalf. You must reapply through CAO next year, listing just that one course in your application. If you list other courses other than your deferred place, you are then back in open competition with next year's applicants.
Should I repeat sixth year, or do a course which I am not too sure I will love and is not originally what I wanted?
Are you a good repeat candidate? What subjects could you improve on? By how much? Will course content be different in many of your subjects? These are the type of questions that you have to ask yourself. The answer to these questions will help you make a more informed decision. Maybe research this course a little bit more and visit the college. Speak with course lecturers. All this will help you finalise your decision.
Don't forget PLCs, these are courses available at Level 5 and Level 6 and can be used an alternative route to a undertaking a Level 8 degree programme. PLCs have the benefit of giving you a feel as to whether you want to invest three to four more years in that particular area. You apply directly to the Post-Leaving Cert college. Entry requirements tend to be five passes in the Leaving Cert.
If I accept my offer of law in Galway, what are the possibilities of being able to transfer to law in Trinity after my first year, which I missed due to points?
You would have to contact the HEI involved as each college has its own transfer policies.
It looks like my son won't get any other offers. If he accepts his current one, does it necessarily mean he has to go on that course until he weighs up some other options?
He is not obliged to accept it but accepting it would give him some breathing space to think this through. He could contact the college directly and also look for a deferral. A PLC course may also be another option. The Government will only pay for you to do first year once. Making a wrong choice can prove to be expensive.
If I accept my first choice for a Level 7 course in CIT, can I still get my first option for Level 8 offered to me in round two, if the points were to drop?
The answer is yes. Your level 6/7 will have no effect on your level 8 list.
My daughter got offered a place on physio course in UCD and had medicine as her first choice. Can she accept the offer and then later decline it?
Yes she can. If after having accepted the course she decides not to undertake it she should contact UCD and tell them that she is not taking up the place on the course.
I was offered a place in Trinity. I may need to defer. Do I accept the place first and then contact Trinity?
No, don't accept the offer.
You need to follow the procedure laid out on page 5 of the CAO handbook on cao.ie which are:
- Email immediately the admissions office of TCD with your name and CAO number and the course code you wish to defer.
- Say why you wish to defer.
- Put DEFERRED ENTRY in the subject field of the email.
- This email must arrive in the admissions office at least two days before the reply date.
- TCD will then communicate its decision to you.
Do the points tend to drop by much in the second round of offers?
The answer to this varies very much from course to course. In the high-demand courses you don't tend to get massive drops of points going from round to round, that is even if there is a second round for these courses. But in courses that are in lower demand you can get a drop in points.
These tend to be in the region of five or 10 points but, as always, there are exceptions. This very much depends on how many people do not take up an initial offer on the course and hence how many places down the course merit list the CAO have to go to fill the unfilled places.
See What Next? A Guide for Parents and Students with valuable information on life after Leaving Cert, CAO offers, going to college and much more.
For a full list of CAO 2015 Points click here
The CareersPortal Team