Thursday 23 February 2017

CAO late application deadlines

Q: My eldest son is a CAO applicant this year, and I hear people talking about CAO late application deadlines, and change-of-mind deadlines. I am a little confused about the difference between them, and worry that he may miss something.

A: Your son probably understands the system better than you do, but parents are understandably anxious, particularly if the student is the first one of their children to go through the system.

The deadline for late applications to CAO was May 1 -- in other words, if an individual has not applied so far to CAO, May 1 was the latest date for them to do so.

CAO's change-of-mind facility is available to any applicant in the CAO system. It operates from early May, and the closing date for any change of mind is 5.15pm on July 1. It is just coming into operation now -- in fact the online change-of-mind facility becomes available tomorrow, May 5.

Applicants may submit a change of mind to CAO free of charge. A copy of a paper change-of-mind form will be included with the statement of their application record which all applicants receive from CAO before the end of May, but CAO stresses that it is safer to record a change of mind online.

When applicants use the change-of-mind facility, they should remember that the same basic principle underlies the CAO application system.

Applicants should place their courses in order of genuine preference, regardless of what points they feel they may get.

A change-of-mind application cancels and supersedes all the original course choices made in the category in which changes are now being made.

Applicants can use the facility as many times as they want up to July 1. However, they may not introduce a restricted-application course to their list of course choices on a change of mind application.

There is an exception: If a restricted course shares the exact same assessment procedures with a course an applicant has already applied for, it may be permitted to introduce it on a change of mind. Applicants should consult with the relevant Higher Education Institution before introducing such a course.

Applicants may remove restricted-application courses from their list of course choices if they wish to.

Q If applicants made a careful choice of courses on their original application in February, why would they change their mind at this stage?

A Many applicants will not change their mind. But some applicants may have become more interested in a course they had not originally applied for, or realise now that a course they had applied for is not for them.

They may have seen a new course in CAO's Important Changes list, which they did not know was available, because these new courses received approval too late to be included in the CAO 2011 handbook. (Check for that list on CAO's website.)

It is entirely up to each applicant whether or not to use the facility in their own best interest, and it is a very valuable facility in CAO's application system.

Irish Independent

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