Friday 24 January 2020

CAO: late applications close today; change your mind from Sunday

Mary O'Donnell

As last week's column reminded readers, today, May 1, is the closing date for late applications to CAO.

Late application to CAO is not to be confused with CAO's Change of Mind facility, which comes into operation from 12 noon on Sunday.

All applicants may submit a Change of Mind to CAO free of charge, subject to certain restrictions. The closing date for submission of a change of mind is 5:15pm on July 1.

All applicants receive a paper copy of a Change of Mind form with their CAO statement of application record, but CAO stresses that it is safer to record a Change of Mind online (www.cao.ie). Do not use both.

When applicants use the change of mind facility, they should remember that the same basic principle underlies the CAO application system, whether they are applying for the first time or using the change of mind facility.

Applicants should place their courses in order of genuine preference, regardless of what points they feel they may get. Because they have up to 10 courses on the level 8 (honours degree) list of choices, and another ten on the level 7/6 (ordinary degree/higher certificate list of choices), they may spread their options.

In other words, they may aim as high as they like, because there is still plenty of room for them to apply for good courses that are usually less competitive, and therefore require less points.

Q If applicants made a careful choice of courses on their original application in February, why would they change their mind at this stage?

A Many applicants will not change their mind. But some applicants may have become more interested in a course they had not originally applied for, or realise now that a course they had applied for does not interest them.

They may have seen a new course in CAO's Important Changes list, which they did not know was available. This list is available on CAO's website, and all applicants receive a copy of it with their statement of application record and change of mind forms

Q May applicants use the change of mind facility more than once?

A Yes, they may. There is no limit to the number of changes of mind an applicant may make up to July 1. But it would be foolish to spend too much time thinking and rethinking your course choices. The best time to do it may be in a calm frame of mind after the exams are over.

Leave your courses in order of genuine preference. Do not remove choices from your list of course preferences because you are afraid you will not get, or have not got the points for them.

Information events this week: The Smart Futures STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Week runs this week from April 29 to May 3. SciFest, a series of one-day science fairs for second-level students hosted at local level in schools and at regional level in the Institutes of Technology, also takes place throughout this month. The aim of the project is to encourage a love of science through active, collaborative, inquiry-based learning and to provide a forum for students at local, regional and national level to present and display their scientific investigations. SciFest events are being held today, in the Institutes of Technology in Athlone, Limerick and Waterford; tomorrow in Carlow; and on Friday in Sligo. RACE, the Racing Academy and Centre of Education, holds an open day on Tuesday next, May 7. Further information is available from RACE, Curragh House, Dublin Road, Kildare.

Irish Independent

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