CAO Tips and Advice
Late applications can now be made to the CAO offices.
Before you fill out your CAO:
· Make an appointment with your Career Guidance teacher in the next two weeks and go through your choices and options. It is still not too late to ask for prospectuses for different colleges or call the college / university of your choice and ask them to talk to you about the course. You can usually download the university or college prospectus from the university website.
· Make sure to check the basic entry requirements for the courses you're interested in. This information will be in the prospectus. For example, the National University of Ireland has some language requirements and some courses require a certain results in Maths, as well as the necessary points.
· Take your personal self into consideration – would you be happy living away from home to complete your chosen course? If not, there may be a similar course at a nearer college / I.T. / university to your home.
When filling out the form:
1. Put aside an hour and concentrate solely on completing the form.
2. Applying online on www.CAO.ie is cheaper than the paper application and is less prone to errors. If you are applying online get someone to look over the application before you finalise it. But if you are applying offline, make a photocopy of each one and get a teacher / parent to check that everything is filled in properly before you post them off. The advantage of the online system is that it will flag a course code used in the wrong list or an invalid course code. It will also flag the common error of using the current year in the date of birth entry.
3. When filling in the CAO make sure to put the course you really want to do as first choice NOT what you think you'll have the results for. The order in which you fill in your choices is THE MOST IMPORTANT step in the process. Choose your course in the order of preference - put your dream course at the top and assume that you are going to get 600 points.
4. Make sure and include a low point’s course somewhere on the list as a fallback option.
5. Make sure to apply for the DARE and HEAR scheme, if eligible. (See www.accesscollege.ie) It’s worthwhile double checking what you've put on the form. Then you can treble check your course choices when you get the Statement of Record from the CAO which lists the courses you have put down on your application. It's worth remembering that you are not pinned down to the choices you list this month you can also use the change of mind facility up to 5.15pm on July 1.
If for any reason you need to contact the CAO Applications office it may be contacted between the hours of 9:30 - 13:00, and 14:00 to 17:15, Monday to Friday.
Central Applications Office,