Not ready yet? You can ask to defer place for a year
Published 18/08/2014 | 06:00
Students who have received an offer today may feel that they are not quite ready for college this year.
This could be for a number of reasons, such as study fatigue, financial reasons, or perhaps because they have received another opportunity that they wish to explore before settling into a course for a number of years.
Whatever the reason, it is possible for the college to hold a place for a student until next year, regardless of whether or not the points change.
All Irish universities and other third level institutions will consider requests from students to defer taking up their place for a year. The institution is under no obligation to allow the deferral, but most will consider such requests.
However, IADT Dun Laoghaire and LM101 (Graduate Medicine University of Limerick) will only consider exemptions in very exceptional circumstances.
If students are interested in deferring a place they should contact the admissions office of the college where they have been offered a place as soon as possible and before accepting an offer.
All communications regarding a deferral should go through the admissions office and not the CAO. This should be done in writing as soon as possible and at least two days before the deadline for accepting the offer.
Students should clearly mark 'deferred entry' on the envelope or subject line of the email. With any such request, students will need to provide their name, CAO number and the CAO code for the course they have been offered.
If the institution is willing to grant a deferral then they will let the applicant know what they need to do. It is important to follow these instructions exactly.
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 then free to accept this higher preference, remain with the first offer or request a deferral.
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 the course they accept. If another CAO course is accepted, the deferred place will be offered to another candidate in subsequent rounds.
When seeking to take up a deferred place in 2015, 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 on the application, the applicant will lose the deferred place and will be included in the main competition with other CAO applicants.
More information on deferring a place on a college course can be found on page 5 of the CAO handbook.