Saturday 22 October 2016

It's not too late to apply to the CAO... and it's not too soon to apply to SUSI

Going to college

Aoife Walsh

Published 22/04/2015 | 02:30

Candidates may submit a late CAO application until May 1.
Candidates may submit a late CAO application until May 1.

Advice from our career guidance teacher on your CAO application and SUSI grant.

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Question:  I was not planning to go college this year and therefore did not submit a CAO application. Is it too late to apply?

Aoife replies:  The normal closing date for applications to the CAO is February 1, however candidates may submit a late application until May 1. Submitting a late application will not influence whether or not a candidate receives a CAO offer as such candidates will be treated the same as those who submitted applications before February 1. Late applicants are, however, subject to some restrictions.

It is not possible to apply for a restricted entry course in a late application. Restricted entry courses require applicants to participate in some form of assessment in addition to Leaving Cert requirements. This may be a test, audition or the submission of a portfolio. As many of these assessments have already taken place it is too late to be considered for these courses for autumn 2015. Late application will be considered for all other courses. The late application fee is €80, which is higher than the fee charged in January. Applicants may still apply for up to 10 Level 8, and 10 level 6 and 7 courses and will receive their offer at the same time as other candidates.

It is possible to apply for mature student places at this time of year, however, some courses will insist that application be made before February 1. Mature applicants should check with their institution of choice. There are also a wide range of direct entry courses available for application.

Question:  I am self-employed and my son is hoping to go to third level this year. Is it possible to apply for a SUSI grant?

Aoife replies: The Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) grant is available to both PRSI workers and the self-employed. However, as income levels for grants are based on income levels in 2014, self-employed persons including farmers and taxi drivers must provide their accounts for that year as well as a notice for assessment for 2014 in order for SUSI to process their claim.

As many self-employed persons would not normally have these items available so early in the year, it is important that this process is started as soon as possible. More detailed information can be found on

Applications for grants open on April 23 at If successful, the applicant will be notified that they have been awarded a grant, provisionally. The money will be released once the institution has confirmed the student has registered on a course.

Copies of any correspondence with SUSI should be retained until payment is received. For this reason contacting SUSI through email can be very helpful.

Important dates


CIT CAO Information Evening, Cork Institute of Technology


CIT Experience Day for 4th Year Students, Cork Institute of Technology

Online Grant Application System Open for 2015/16 SUSI

April 24

Open Days (2 days), Cavan Institute

April 25

 IT Sligo Course Information DayInstitute of Technology Sligo

Spring Open Day 2015 (Saturday) Maynooth University

Open Day NUI Galway

Parents and Guardians Information Morning, Ulster University, Belfast

April 28

Open day, RACE

April 29

Pulse College Galway, Open Day Pulse College

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

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