Monday 26 September 2016

Choices: You have time to ponder your offer from CAO

Aoife Walsh

Published 22/08/2016 | 06:00

If a CAO applicant does not receive an offer today they will receive a statement of preferences in the post. If this is the case, there are still other options available to consider. Stock photo
If a CAO applicant does not receive an offer today they will receive a statement of preferences in the post. If this is the case, there are still other options available to consider. Stock photo

CAO applicants have until August 29 to make a decision on their offer, so there is no rush. There is no benefit to accepting early, so whatever the initial reaction to the offer may be, take time to let the news sink in.

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It is especially important to take time if the initial response is disappointment. Allow these first feelings to settle before making any decisions or confirming an acceptance. Some applicants may receive offers for both Level 8 and Level 7/6, or an offer that was not expected. It's better to take your time and consider all your options slowly and carefully.

If an applicant decides to accept their CAO offer, the process is the same for Level 8, and Level 7/6. An applicant with two offers, one at Level 8 and the other at Level 7/6, may accept only one. Offers can be accepted online or by post. To accept online, follow the instructions on screen ensuring that each page is worked through until the end of the process is reached. Then print a receipt. Applicants should ensure that they retain a copy of their acceptance.

All successful applicants will also receive a formal offer by post and you can accept it by following the instructions and returning your acceptance to the CAO office in Galway. If applicants chose to accept their offer in this way it is important to ensure that it is posted in good time and that a certificate of postage is requested which should be retained as evidence that the acceptance was returned in good time.

Once the CAO has received an acceptance they will send an acknowledgement. They will also send an email acknowledgement if an email address is supplied. If an offer is not accepted by 5:15pm on August 29, the CAO will presume the applicant has decided not to accept the offer and the placewill be passed on to the next candidate in the second round.

Some applicants may be hoping to receive a higher offer in the second round. Offers are made at Round Two only if there are places unfilled during Round One. This means that there is no guarantee that a hoped-for place will become available. All applicants should view their first round offer as the only offer they will receive and make their decision on this basis alone. If a place becomes available on a course which an applicant has listed as a higher preference, and the applicant is next in line, they will receive an offer regardless of whether or not they have accepted a place in Round One. The applicant may then choose to stay with their original offer or accept the new offer.

There is no fee for accepting a place. Once the applicant has accepted the place the CAO will inform the institution, which will contact the applicant with further information on registration, dates etc. and arrangements for beginning the course. An applicant accepting a CAO offer, who already has a place in a further education/ PLC course, should contact that institution so that it can be offered to another applicant.

If a CAO applicant does not receive an offer today they will receive a statement of preferences in the post. If this is the case, there are still other options available to consider.

Irish Independent

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