Thursday 15 November 2018

Decision time: You have until Friday to decide on your offer

The NPCpp Exam Helpline (1800 265 165) is open from 8am until 7pm today and tomorrow, and 10am until 1pm on Wednesday
The NPCpp Exam Helpline (1800 265 165) is open from 8am until 7pm today and tomorrow, and 10am until 1pm on Wednesday

Aoife Walsh

Many students will have received two CAO offers today, one from their Level 8 list of preferences and one from the Level 7/6 list.

They must now make the decision as to which one of these courses to accept. A student can only accept one offer, so anyone receiving an offer from both lists must choose between them.

This will be an easy decision for many students - last year, more than half of acceptances were made online on the offer day. Over the season, 99pc of offers were accepted online, with the remainder using the postal option.

However, some applicants will need time, especially if they are disappointed that they didn't get the course they most wanted.

Applicants have until 5.15pm on Friday (August 24) to accept an offer. Previously, students were given seven days to decide on a Round 1 offer, but even though this period has been shortened, (to accommodate an earlier release of Round 2 offers and a trend in higher education to earlier term start dates), they still have plenty of time to consider it.

In order to accept an offer, applicants should log onto their CAO account and follow the instructions. If they decide not to accept an offer, there is no need to notify the CAO. If no action is taken by the applicant before Friday, the offer will be passed on to someone else in Round 2.

Hopefully, students will be happy with the offer they received and feel that all the hard work they have done this year has paid off. Most students will be looking forward to the next step in their education and life.

Receiving an offer of any place in higher education is a huge achievement and one that should be celebrated.

So, students can take some time to celebrate this with family and friends before considering the next step - and remember, there is no pressure to accept an offer today.

A common reaction to a disappointing offer is to hit the 'accept' button immediately without properly thinking through alternative routes and options.

If applicants find themselves in this situation, it can be very helpful to pause, do some research and seek some advice from a guidance counsellor, e.g. at the NPCpp Helpline (1800 265 165). With a little time and the right support, those who find themselves in the most confused and difficult of situations today are normally clear and happy in their decision by the time the deadline for acceptance comes around.

A student who accepts an offer in Round 1 may still receive an offer for a course placed higher on their CAO list, if a place becomes available for a later round. If this happens, acceptance of the new offer will automatically cancel the previous acceptance.

An applicant with an offer cannot be offered something lower down their CAO list, even if they meet the entry requirements for it. The only circumstances in which this can happen is if the course in which they are now interested appears on the CAO Available Places list, in which case they can submit a fresh application.

Irish Independent

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