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How to apply for deferred places

Q I deferred two places through CAO last year, first an offer from UCD and then one from Trinity. How do I apply for them this year?

A If you received two offers last year, first from one college and then from another, (presumably in different rounds), you must have deferred one place first, and then deferred acceptance of the other.

However, just as an acceptance in a later round automatically cancels and supersedes any previous acceptance, your second deferred acceptance cancelled and superseded the first. So the deferred place to which you are entitled is the last place you deferred.

In order to take up a deferred place, you must re-apply through CAO in the succeeding year -- in other words, now -- and pay the appropriate application fee, placing the deferred course as your only preference on the application form.

When reapplying, you must complete an application fully. You must include again any documentation which you provided with the original application.

If you enter more than the single deferred course code on your application, you will forfeit your right to it. You may, if you wish, apply to other courses, and even include your deferred place amongst your choices.

Meanwhile, many school leavers will apply not only to third-level/higher education institutions through CAO, but also to a college in the FE sector. Most FE/PLC colleges offer courses at post leaving certificate (PLC) level, and they are classified as 'further' education (FE) rather than 'higher' education.

Many of them lead to awards from the Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC). In turn, students who have graduated with a FETAC qualification may apply to CAO on the basis of that qualification, under several different routes. See www.fetac.ie for information.

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. Applications will be accepted up to August.

Q Are points required for FE colleges?

A No. Most FE courses are open to applicants with a basic Leaving Cert. Applicants to some courses may be asked to meet minimum entry requirements of specific Leaving Cert results.

Colleges of further education usually conduct interviews for all courses, and applicants are given an opportunity to talk about themselves and to say why the course interests them.

Check your local VEC for further information about courses -- the larger VECs have the greatest range of courses, with CDVEC (City Of Dublin VEC) leading the list. The VECs in Cork City and County, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin, Limerick, Galway, and Monaghan are among other significant players in the sector.

Cavan Institute of Further Education, which has developed progression links with Athlone Institute of Technology, is one of the largest colleges of further education in the country.

Open days today: Marino College of Further Education, Marino, Dublin 3; Ballsbridge College of Further Education, Shelbourne Rd, Dublin 4; Dun Laoghaire College of Further Education, Cumberland St, Dun Laoghaire (10am -- 4pm) Rathmines College of Further Education, Rathmines, Dublin 6 (1pm -- 6pm) Dunboyne College of Further Education, Dunboyne Business Park, Dunboyne, Co Meath (1pm - 4pm) Also this evening, Trinity College, Dublin hosts an Information Evening on Disability Access Route to Education, at 6pm in Room 3074 of the Arts Building.

Irish Independent