Applying to CAO -- the essentials
Applicants who register their applications on the CAO website by January 20 can avail of the reduced fee of €25. It is still possible to register up to February 1 for a fee of €40.
Having registered online, applicants can log in to their account before February 1 at 5:15pm to add or remove courses for no extra charge.
Applicants must register for the CAO by February 1 or they will be considered a late applicant.
It is also important that any restricted-entry courses applicants wish to be considered for be entered by this date. Restricted-entry courses are those that have additional entry requirements such as HPAT portfolios, interview or auditions.
The 'Late Application' facility closes on May 1, and as well as not being open for restricted courses, applicants also pay an increased fee of €50 for online or €80 for paper applications.
The Change of Course Choices facility is open from February 5 to March 1 for applicants who have applied to CAO by the February 1 deadline and allows an opportunity to introduce or remove courses for a fee of €10, including restricted courses.
The majority of applicants apply to CAO online, although paper application may also be made.
The CAO encourages all applicants to apply online as it allows greater flexibility for the applicant and helps to reduce the number of errors recorded.
There are a number of useful resources available on the CAO website including a Demo Application facility, the CAO Handbook, and CAO video guides.
Applicants with queries about their application are encouraged to review the CAO Handbook, the FAQs section of the CAO website, and if their question is not answered they can email CAO through the 'Contact Us' page at www.cao.ie.
A guide for parents and guardians is also available to download from the 'Information for Parents' section of the CAO website.