It is worthwhile reminding CAO applicants that they can save €15 if they apply online to CAO (at www.cao.ie) by 5.15pm on Sunday. A discounted CAO application fee of €25 applies up to that date, rather than the normal application fee of €40.
CAO offers the discounted fee to encourage students not to leave their application until the last few days before the normal closing date of February 1.
The normal CAO online or paper application fee of €40 applies from after 5.15pm on January 20 up to the normal closing date of February 1 at 5.15pm.
After that date, a late fee of €80 for a paper application or €50 for an online application applies until the late closing date of May 1 (at 5.15pm). Some important restrictions apply to late applications.
Q How do I pay the fee online if I do not have a laser card or credit card account?
A If you are applying from within the Republic of Ireland, you can use a fee payment form, which is available on request from CAO, and make the payment through a bank before you start the online application process.
You will be asked to enter details of your payment during the online process.
For applicants who do not have access to a credit card or laser card, there is another method of paying this year by means of a pre-paid Visa/ MasterCard, obtainable through registering online with www.3v.ie
CAO reports that in recent years the application fee payment form has been used by an ever-decreasing minority of applicants.
Each fee payment form is unique and must have security features which make the forms very expensive to produce. In 2012, credit and debit card transactions outnumbered fee payment form usage by more than 10 to one.
LIT's Limerick School of Art & Design (LSAD) holds a portfolio open day today from 10am-4pm at its campus in Clare St, Limerick. Applicants will receive advice on how to prepare and present an application portfolio, with sample portfolios from some of last year's successful applicants as well as an exhibition of current year one students' work. LIT Tipperary hosts an information evening in its Clonmel campus from 6pm-8pm tonight. Another institute of art, design and technology, IADT Dun Laoghaire, hosts an open evening from 4pm-7pm this evening for applicants to any of its courses, which include art and design courses, as well as degree programmes in applied psychology, English, media and cultural studies, multimedia systems with web engineering and a choice of business degrees. Guidance counsellors, parents and Fifth and Transition Year students are also welcome. Shannon College of Hotel Management, Shannon Co Clare hosts an information evening from 4.30pm-6.30pm today. Booking is required for large groups. Shannon College uses an interview as part of its selection procedures, for which up to 300 points may be awarded and added to the candidate's Leaving Certificate points. The college contacts all students directly by post after CAO closing dates to arrange their interview. Finally Senior College, Eblana Avenue, Dun Laoghaire holds an open day from 10am-4pm today. The college, which is a Further Education (FE) college, offers a range of courses in IT, Design, Beauty, Business, and Community, Emergency and Healthcare. FE colleges are not part of the CAO application system and students apply directly to them, usually later in the spring.