Monday 24 October 2016

Last-minute questions and answers ahead of CAO deadline

Going to college...

Aoife Walsh

Published 28/01/2016 | 02:30

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

Advice from our guidance counsellor on making changes to your CAO application and interviews for PLC places.

  • Go To

Question: I heard you can still make changes to your CAO even when the February 1 deadline has passed. Is this true?

Aoife replies:  The main deadline for CAO applications is February 1, but students may make changes between February 5 and March 1 for a fee of €10. Most applicants will not need to take advantage of this option as changes can be made, free of charge, during the 'Change of Mind' period (May 5 to July 1).

One of the main reasons applicants choose to avail of the facility between February 5 and March 1 is because they forgot to enter a restricted entry course to their CAO application. Restricted entry courses are clearly marked in the CAO handbook. These courses require applicants to undergo early assessment procedures which may begin as early as February. For example, art courses will require applicants to submit a portfolio of work, a drama or music course may require an audition, and medicine will require students to take a suitability test. These courses should be included on the CAO by February 1 so applicants can be invited to attend tests and auditions or submit work. This facility allows students to rectify any mistakes or omissions made before February 1.

Mature applicants may also benefit from making use of this facility if they find they have made an error or submission or have entered their incorrect date of birth.

Question: What is a 'Statement of Choices' and should I be expecting one?

Aoife replies: If an applicant has submitted an online application they will, almost immediately, receive an email confirming which courses they have entered. If, however, an applicant has made a paper application they will receive a statement of course choices by post (along with their CAO number for the first time). The statement of course choices is due no later than February 15. Once received, applicants should carefully check all courses they have listed to ensure they appear on this statement in the way the applicant intended. If an applicant notices any problems with the courses listed or the order in which they were placed they can use the facility described above to make any changes they feel necessary.

Question: A lot of my friends have interviews for Post-Leaving Cert (PLC) colleges this week. Am I too late to apply?

Aoife replies: A number of PLC colleges are holding interviews this week, however the majority are still accepting applications. If you have not already applied there is still time to do so. First, visit the college website to research the courses they have on offer. Then make an application to the particular college through their website and they will notify you of upcoming interview dates. Even if a college has already begun their interviews they may still accept candidates for some courses. Contact the PLC college itself to find out if there are still places available on some courses.

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

Important Dates


Open Day - Ballsbridge College of FE

Open Day - Ballyfermot College of FE

Open Day Dunboyne -College of FE

Live Online Q&A - UCC


NUI Galway Information Evening - Clonmel

Postgraduate Open Day (two days)-RCSI

January 29

NUI Galway Information Evening - Clonmel

Deadline for Ad Astra Elite Athletes and Performing Arts Scholarships - UCD

February 1

CAO - Normal closing date for applicationsnGAMSAT Ireland -Registration Closes

HPAT Ireland - Late Registration Closes

February 2

Open Day - Inchicore CFE

Second level school visits welcomed to Maynooth University

Irish Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News