How to defer your place for a year
Some students who received an offer today may be considering deferring - where an applicant seeks permission from the college to take up the place next year, even if the points change.
Many young people may consider this option for a variety of reasons including study fatigue, financial reasons, or the opportunity to pursue other interests. Taking a year out can be very beneficial. While there are no numbers available for how many candidates sought deferrals in 2014, 1,432 applicants indicated to the CAO that they would be taking up a 2015 place that was deferred last year.
All colleges in the CAO will consider requests to defer although they are under no obligation to allow the deferral. LM101 (Graduate Medicine, University of Limerick) will only consider exemptions in very exceptional circumstances.
Any student considering a deferral should think carefully about their reasons and spend time discussing these with their family and with a guidance counsellor. While taking time to consider their options, they should also begin preparation immediately, so that if they decide to go ahead with the deferral they will already have begun the process.
Firstly, applicants should not accept their offer with the CAO. Instead contact the admissions office of the college immediately and in writing. Do this by email putting 'deferred entry' in the subject bar or by post, writing 'deferred entry' clearly on the envelope. Students also will need to provide them with name, CAO number and the CAO code for the course offered.
If the institution is willing to grant a deferral, they will let the applicant know what to do. If one of the applicant's higher preferences becomes available in a later round, they will still receive this offer even if they have deferred an earlier one. They are free to accept this higher offer or request a deferral of that place.
Some colleges do not look favourably on applications for deferral in order to pursue other courses or repeat the Leaving Certificate. As a deferral is a delayed acceptance it is not possible to hold a place in case the student does not like some other course they accept. If another CAO course is accepted, the deferred place will be offered to another candidate.
To take a place in 2016, applicants will be required to submit a new CAO application listing the deferred course only, and indicating this is a deferred applicant. If any other courses are listed, the applicant will lose the deferred place and will be included in the main competition with other CAO applicants.