Sunday 18 August 2019

CAO offers: What to do if you want to hold off on going to college for a year

Girl power: From left is Ciara Rogerson, Aoife Swan and Saoirse Mangan with their results in Blackrock, Dublin. Photo: Collins
Girl power: From left is Ciara Rogerson, Aoife Swan and Saoirse Mangan with their results in Blackrock, Dublin. Photo: Collins
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

A CAO applicant who receives an offer may apply to defer the place until autumn 2020, regardless of any change in points or entry requirements that may occur.

Some may want to work and save for the year, or do something else before settling down to a four-year degree.

Many colleges do not look favourably on applications for deferral to allow the student to take up another course or to repeat the Leaving Cert. A deferral is a request to delay entry to a course so it is not possible to hold a place in case the applicant does not like another course.

Interactive guide to 2019 CAO first round points, click here

It is important to ensure that there is a genuine and productive reason for wanting to delay college entry and it is not being used as a way of postponing a sometimes difficult and scary transition to adult life.

No applicant is guaranteed a deferral, and granting it is at the discretion of the institution, however most colleges are fairly open to it. The University of Limerick will only consider exemptions in very exceptional circumstances for its LM101, Graduate Medicine.

Anyone even considering a deferral, should begin preparations immediately, so that if they decide to go ahead with the deferral they will already have begun the process.

First, they should not accept the CAO offer. Instead, they should contact the admissions office of the college immediately, and in writing. They should do this by email placing ‘DEFERRED ENTRY’ in the subject bar or by post writing ‘DEFERRED ENTRY’ clearly on the envelope. Students also 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, they will let the applicant know what they need to do. These instructions should be followed exactly and must be done in advance of the deadline for accepting offers.

If an applicant’s higher preferences becomes available in a later round, they will receive this offer even if they have deferred an earlier one. They are then free to accept this higher preference offer or request a deferral of that place.

To take up a deferred place in 2020, an applicant should fill out a CAO form, indicating they are a deferred applicant and only list the course on which they have saved a place. If they list another course, they will forfeit their reserved place and will compete for another place with candidates in the general pool.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News