Students and parents can get some expert tips on the CAO process, points queries and everything else to do with higher and further education.
The National Parents’ Council-Post Primary exam helpline handled 2,500 calls last year, answering more than 5,000 queries in the week of the Leaving Certificate and CAO round 1 offers.
Members of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors are on hand to offer advice on third-level entry, apprenticeships, grants, deferrals, Leaving Certificate appeals and various other issues that can cause confusion.
“Picking up the phone and speaking to a qualified guidance counsellor can really help clarify options for parents and students and relieve some of the stress,” said the group’s spokesperson Lynda O’Shea.
The helpline is open on 1800 265 165 from 8am to 7pm today and tomorrow, and again until 1pm on Wednesday.
Dates to note:
* August 22: Round 1 offers are online from 6am. They are also issued by post, email and SMS text.
Any applicants who have not received an offer will receive a Statement of Application Record.
* August 23: Candidates must return completed application forms regarding viewing of Leaving Cert scripts directly to their schools.
* August 24: Organising Superintendent must forward the appropriate forms pertaining to viewing of scripts to SEC (State Examination Commission).
* August 29: Round 1 Acceptances close at 5:15pm. And acknowledgement of acceptances posted within three working days.
* September 2: Round 2 offers available from 6am online.
* September 2 and 3: The LC/LCA viewing of scripts in schools.
* Early September: HEIs begin registration.
* September 7: Round 2 acceptances close at 5:15pm. And acknowledgement of acceptances posted within three working days.
* September 7: Closing date for receipt by the SEC of any LC/LCA appeals application.
* Mid October: If you don’t like the college course you accepted, it is possible to opt to leave without any financial implications for starting another college course the next year, as long as you inform the college well before the end of October. Each college has a different cut-off date.
* October 19: 5.15pm Offer Season ends.