Many of those who are likely to apply to CAO have probably done so by now, although there are still five days to go to the normal closing date of February 1.
Many school leavers will apply not only to third level/higher education institutions through CAO, but they will also apply to a college in the FE sector.
Most FE/PLC colleges offer courses at post-Leaving Certificate level, and they are classified as 'further' education (FE) rather than 'higher' education.
There is no central applications system for the FE sector. Applicants apply directly to each college. Application to all FE colleges will start shortly -- indeed in some instances it has started already.
Q Are points required for FE colleges?
A No. Most FE courses are open to applicants with a basic Leaving Certificate. Applicants to some courses may be asked to meet minimum entry requirements of specific Leaving Certificate results.
Colleges of further education usually conduct interviews for all courses.
Check your local VEC for further information about courses -- the larger VECs have the greatest range of courses.
The Further Education and Training Awards Council at www.fetac.ie is also a useful source.
NB A number of colleges in the further education (FE sector) hold open days today.
Three separate CDVEC colleges, Crumlin College, Pearse College and St. Kevin's College, are all located in the Crumlin area of Dublin, and they cooperate together to host their open days on the same day (today) from 10.00-4.00pm in each campus.
A complimentary bus service will take open day participants from college to college. Crumlin College offers full-time courses in Beauty, Hair and Fashion; Sport and Fitness; Tourism and Catering; IT and Multimedia Design; and Business.
Pearse College's courses include Business, Computing, Languages, Horticulture, Holistic Therapies, and University Access.
FE courses in St. Kevin's College, Crumlin fall into three main categories: Media; Science and Engineering; and Sports and Leisure.
The open day in another CDVEC college, Ballsbridge College of Further Education, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, is from 11.00am-3.00pm.
It offers courses in Auctioneering, Property Management, many aspects of Business; Health Sector Studies, Applied Psychology, Criminology and Social Studies, Computing and Multimedia and English as a foreign language.
Marino College of Further Education, North Strand Rd, Dublin 1, offers courses particularly in Nursing and Childcare, Secretarial and Administration, Creative Studies, and a course in Beauty & Sales Consultancy.
Its open day runs from 11am-4pm.
Dun Laoghaire College of Further Education, Cumberland St, Dun Laoghaire hosts an open day from 10am to 4pm.
Its courses include Design and Construction, Business and Administration, Computing and Technology, Media and Sound, Health and Sports, Arts and Humanities.
Dunboyne College of Further Education, Co Meath, hosts an open afternoon from 2pm-4pm.
Its courses include pre-apprenticeships, business courses; health care and community care; multimedia and computers; and pre-university courses in Arts, Science and Engineering.
Finally, HEAR/DARE Applicant Information sessions will be held in Ferrycarrig Hotel, Wexford and in Grand Hotel, Wicklow from 7.30pm this evening.