Rush to make CAO changes as deadline looms

HUNDREDS of college hopefuls are making last-minute changes every day to their course choices ahead of tomorrow’s deadline.

The 67,801 people who have submitted lists of college courses to the Central Applications Office (CAO), have just until 5.15pm tomorrow to register change of mind.

Any applicant can reverse the order of preference on their course lists, add new courses to their list or remove programmes they are no longer interested in.

According to a CAO spokesman, more than 25,000 people had already submitted a change-of-mind on the service’s website by the end of last week.

There have been around 45,000 actual changes to date since the option was made available on May 1, with many applicants making more than one change.

While much of the activity happened in mid-May, the change-of-mind service has become much busier again in the past fortnight since students finished the Leaving Certificate.

“There are around 2,000 changes being made for the past few days, with most people revising the order of their courses,” a CAO spokesman said.

Guidance counsellor, Roisin Kelleher, advised applicants they should stick to the rule of listing courses in genuine order of preference.

“Even if someone thinks they didn’t do as well as they might need in the Leaving Certificate to get the points for a particular course, the points might drop or they might do better than they thought,” she said.

“While the change-of-mind option is available, students should make sure they fully research the courses and make sure they have the most up-to-date information from colleges, as many new courses have been added in the last few months,” Ms Kelleher said.

Almost 42,500 of this year’s CAO applicants — just under two-thirds — sat the Leaving Certificate this year, with 9,352 applying as mature students (anybody over the age of 23).

A further 8,300 have applied on the basis of having completed a further education (FETAC) or Post-Leaving Certificate course.

This year’s Leaving Certificate results will be issued on August 13 and the CAO will make the first large round of college place offers the following Monday, August 18.

However, around 4,000 to 5,000 people are likely to be offered places from early next month, mostly those seeking entry to mature nursing courses or hoping to travel to Ireland from outside the EU.

Some places may also be offered to FETAC graduates where vacancies on courses are set aside for that category, and they are not competing directly with those awaiting Leaving Certificate results.

* Visit www.cao.ie for course changes online or www.qualifax.ie for a full list of all third-level, further education and other courses available in Ireland.


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