Fill out your CAO now or later, but applying now will save you money
As mentioned last week the CAO can be filled out online or in paper form. However, most students now apply online because this method has proved more convenient and reduces the possibility of mistakes.
The first step in filling out the form is to go to the apply section of the CAO website. Here personal details such as name, address, date of birth will be entered. Students will be asked to indicate what type of applicant they are. Options include Leaving Cert Exams 1985-2014 and most applicants will fall into this section, and will tick this box.
Applicants can also indicate if they are a mature student, hold a FETAC qualification, a third-level qualification, or a school-leaving qualification that is not the Irish Leaving Cert.
Next, applicants are required to pay the application fee in order to set up their account. If a student applies now there will be a fee of €25. This will remain the same until January 20. At this time the charge will increase to €40. This is to incentivise applicants to apply early.
The fee can be paid by credit or debit card or a bank giro. If a student would like to make payment by bank giro, the guidance counsellor can request one from the CAO on their behalf. Once this stage of the process is completed, the CAO number will be issued. It is important to keep a record of this as it must be quoted in all dealings with the CAO and it will be used to log into your CAO account to make changes.
Once this is completed, applicants can use the CAO number they have just been issued, their date of birth, and a password (if they choose) to log in and out of their account as many times as they wish. They can continue to make, and save changes as they go, until February 1 at 5.15pm. The CAO will not process any course applications until after this deadline so students are at no disadvantage if they apply early.
The next stage of the process is to fill out some educational information starting with the names and addresses of any second-level schools attended. Applicants must then indicate if they are taking the Leaving Cert this year or have ever taken it before. This section is extremely important.
A student who is repeating in 2014 may use grades from previous Leaving Certificates to satisfy entry requirements.
The CAO will base offers on the student's best performance. Such a student must therefore tick the Leaving Cert 2014 box and indicate which year they took the Leaving Cert and supply their exam number. This means the CAO will have access to past and new results.
Students who are taking the Leaving Cert for the first time in 2014 must simply tick this box for Leaving Cert 2014 and students who wish to apply based on a Leaving Cert they have already complete should just supply their exam number and year.
Important dates this week: Today Coláiste Dhúlaigh Campus day Open Day Letterkenny IT Open Day IT Tallaght Friday Open day Athlone IT (2 days) Open day DCU (2 days) Open day Galway Mayo IT (Castlebar) Open day IT Carlow (Carlow campus) Open day Tralee IT Saturday Open day St Patrick's College Drumcondra Mater Dei Institute of Education Marino Inst Education November 19 UCD Computer Science Open Evening