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Late applications draw to a close as panels for science and maths open

It may be worthwhile reminding people that Wednesday next, May 1, is the closing date for late applications for CAO. The normal closing date each year is February 1, and the vast majority of applicants apply by then. CAO figures released in March show that 71,151 applications were made this year, as compared to 71,658 at the same time in 2012.

Normally just a few thousand applicants use the late application facility.

Late applicants may apply to almost any course, except those that are marked in the CAO handbook as being 'restricted application'. (Restricted application courses involve selection procedures in addition to the Leaving Certificate, and these procedures usually take place in advance of the Leaving Certificate.)

Not all categories of applicant may make a late application.

Many higher education institutions (HEIs) will not accept late applications from mature applicants, who may be looking to be accepted on grounds other than examination results. Interviews for such applicants may already be under way, or completed in many cases.

However, some HEIs will accept late applications from mature applicants through CAO. Check with the HEI in question.

NNUI Maynooth, for example, has extended its deadline for mature applicants until May 1, in respect of 19 courses.

Mature applicants are defined as those aged 23 years of age or over.

This year's CAO figures so far show 11,440 applicants over 23 years of age, which is 440 down from the same time last year.

The fee for a late application to CAO is €50 online, and €80 for a paper application.

Late application is not to be confused with the Change of Mind facility, which comes into operation for all applicants from early May and continues until July 1.

Meanwhile, many applicants will be interested in the Smart Futures STEM Week, which runs from Monday next, April 29 to Friday May 3.

The week focuses on careers in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM), and is aimed at second level students making final CAO choices, or Junior Cycle students making subject choices. The week also provides teachers, guidance counsellors, and parents a chance to get up-to-date about career opportunities in STEM in Ireland. Details are available on the website; www.SmartFutures.ie/STEMweek.

Students are invited to submit any career questions by tomorrow to industry experts within three panels (science/technology/engineering) either through a website form on http://smartfutures.ie/stemweek/ or by using the hash tag #smartfutures on Twitter.

STEM experts will answer questions in three separate panel discussions, which may be followed online, at 7pm on Monday April 29 for careers in the Sciences, on Wednesday next, May 1, for careers in technology, and on Thursday May 2 for careers in engineering.

Open days this coming week: Today, Griffith College holds open days from 5.30pm – 8pm in its campuses in South Circular rd, Dublin, and Sullivan Quay, Cork; and 10am – 7pm in its Limerick campus at Upper William St . Also today, the Irish College of Humanities and Social Sciences (ICHAS) holds an open evening from 5.30pm to 8pm on its campus at Castletroy, Limerick. ICHAS evolved from the National Counselling and Psychotherapy Institute, and some of its courses are applied for through CAO. On Saturday NUI Maynooth hosts its Spring University Day, which will include a series of talks on courses on offer in the university. Campus tours are scheduled on the half hour from 1pm – 3pm. Check www.nuim.ie for details. RACE, the Racing Academy and Centre of Education, holds an open day on Tuesday next, April 30, with further open days each Tuesday in May. Booking is required. Further information is available from RACE, Curragh House, Dublin Road, Kildare.

Irish Independent