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CAO round one offers are out - so what's next?

Thousands of students received offers for college places today.

Almost 59,000 Leaving Cert students received their results earlier this week.
Almost 59,000 Leaving Cert students received their results earlier this week.
Image: RollingNews.ie

Round One of the CAO offers are in: you can find all the points at each institution on our dedicated CAO site here.

ROUND ONE OF the CAO offers were released at 2pm today for tens of thousands of Leaving Certificate students. 

Almost 59,000 students received their grades on Tuesday and today, a large amount will have received an offer for a college course from the Central Applications Office (CAO). 

There were a total of 77,706 applications to the CAO this year, with 47,624 applicants  presenting Leaving Cert results from this year and 8,943 mature applicants (which is defined as over 23-years of age).

What is the offer process for the CAO?

There are three main rounds of CAO offers – round A, round zero and round one. 

Round one was released at 2pm today and students will have until 23 August at 5.15pm to accept these offers. 

Further offer rounds will also take place throughout August and September. 

  • Round two – released 28 August from 10am.
  • Round three – released 6 September from 6am
  • Round four – released 13 September from 6am
  • Round five – released 20 September from 6am

Round A offers were given earlier on 5 July for those who had deferred their application from a previous year, mature applicants, access course students and people who need to make visa arrangements before taking a place.

Round zero offers were released on 1 August. These were for people who were assessed on different criteria than points, such as FETAC students.

How do students check if they received an offer?

To check if they have received an offer, students can visit the ‘My Application’ section on the CAO website.

Those who were offered a course will also get an email and a text, if they chose this option when applying. 

If students applied for both Level 8 courses and Level 6/7 courses, they could receive an offer for each. 

If this happens, only one can be accepted.

Students can click the accept button on the website to choose an offer. 

Once they accept, an email will be sent to them from the CAO. People can also log on to their CAO account to see further details.

What if students aren’t happy with the offer they receive today? 

Students who didn’t receive the offer they wanted today can (and should) accept the offer in this round. They can still receive an offer of a higher preference course in a later round, if they become eligible. 

However, there’s no guarantee that this will happen, so this offer may be the only one they receive.

If the student accepts an offer in a later round, it will automatically cancel the course they previously accepted.

Students can’t move down their order of preference and can’t change the order of preference on their application lists at this point, unless there are available places in one of their lower ranked courses. 

If people want to defer their offer of a place to next year, they must write or email the admissions office of the Higher Education Institution (HEI) running their course. 

This letter or email must arrive to this office at least two days before the reply date deadline of their offer round. 

What if students didn’t get any offer today?

If they got no offer, students should receive a ‘statement of application’ email.

They should have a look for any errors on their applications and let the CAO know as soon as possible if any are spotted. 

Students should also double-check their points listed on the CAO website and check the requirements for their listed courses. 

In some cases, a student may have received the necessary points and requirements for their desired course but still not be given a place This is due to random number selection. 

In this instance, students are given a random number before being placed on a list for a certain course.

If there are five applicants with the same points score competing for one last place on the course, it will be offered to the candidate with the highest random number.

Certain courses may still have available places after all the offers have been made in September. 

Applications for these available places can be made online by current applicants from 20 August at 12pm.

Are the offers coming out a bit early this year?

They are.  

This is due to a High Court case brought forward by student Rebecca Carter last year. 

Her initial Leaving Cert results fell short of the necessary points for veterinary medicine in UCD, but rechecks increased her grades and made her eligible.

However, she could not have started the course that academic year because it had already begun. 

Carter argued that this was unfair and was successful in her case. 

In November 2018, Minister for Education Joe McHugh confirmed that rechecks would be announced three weeks earlier than previously to accommodate for a potential increases in points. 

As a result, everything has been released earlier, including the exam results this week. 

What if a student gets more points after exams are rechecked?

If a student requests to get an exam rechecked, receives more points and becomes eligible for a course they applied to, the decision to offer them a place is made by the HEI in question rather than the CAO.

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