Tuesday 25 October 2016

Going to College: Some boxes to tick over the next week or so

Aoife Walsh

Published 29/06/2016 | 02:30

Guidance counsellor at Malahide Community School, Co Dublin, Aoife Walsh. Photo: Damien Eagers.
Guidance counsellor at Malahide Community School, Co Dublin, Aoife Walsh. Photo: Damien Eagers.

The Leaving Cert exams are finally over and there are just a couple of jobs left before the whole process can be forgotten about and we can wait for the results to arrive.

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It is still possible to apply for the SUSI grant for anyone who has not yet done so. SUSI is encouraging applicants to apply early and July 8 is the deadline for applications that will receive priority processing. About 8,000 early-bird applicants have already received grant approval from SUSI. SUSI is confident that any applicant who completes the process by July 8 will have their decision in advance of starting college in September. The earlier the application the earlier a decision can be made, which will take a lot of pressure off many applicants, who can then immediately begin looking for accommodation, planning for enrolment, or any other task that may need to be completed at that time.

CAO applicants who have not already done so should tick the SUSI box on their CAO application form, which helps to speed up the processing of applications. While July 1 is the deadline for CAO Change of Mind, applicants can tick the SUSI box on their CAO form up until August 5.

To make an application, students should create an account on SUSI.ie. SUSI will require information on who lives in the household as well as all income. It is therefore advisable to complete the application in the company of a parent or guardian. If applicants come across a question they cannot answer, it is possible to save their work and return to the application at a later time.

2) Change of Mind

The deadline for making any changes to a CAO application is this Friday, July 1, at 5.15pm. Applicants who have not already done so should ensure they are completely happy with all courses they have listed, as well as the order in which they have been listed. Applicants should complete their CAO form in order of preference only, putting the course they want the most at the top of the list and the course they want next in the second box, etc. It is important to enter as many courses as possible as the CAO cannot offer applicants a place on a course for which they have not applied. It is, however, possible for applicants to turn down offers if they do not wish to accept them in August.

3) Apprenticeships

This year, a number of new apprenticeships are starting, in addition to an increase in the number of traditional apprenticeships. Among the new offerings is one from the Insurance Institute of Ireland. More information can be found at iii.ie/careers/apprentices. Apprenticeships will continue to be advertised over the summer months and it is worth keeping an eye out in the national media, websites such as careersportal.ie, local education and training boards (ETB) and other educational web and social media pages.

Aoife Walsh is guidance counsellor at Malahide Community School, Co Dublin

Irish Independent

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