CAO helpdesk: Second and third round offers

A selection of questions asked of our guidance counsellors Brian Howard and Deirdre Garrett

Once you have been offered your first choice, then that’s it you will not be offered anything lower in the next rounds.

Once you have been offered your first choice, then that’s it you will not be offered anything lower in the next rounds.

 

Expert guidance counsellors Brian Howard and Deirdre Garrett answering reader queries about CAO offers.

Here is a selection of the questions and answers on second and third round offers.

If I don’t accept my first choice is it possible that I will get offered my second choice in the second round of offers?
Once you have been offered your first choice, then that’s it you will not be offered anything lower in the next rounds. The reason for this is that the CAO system assumes that you have the course you most want (your first choice) and that you are happy to stick with this. You can always hope to move up your list of preferences but not down but in your case you can’t go any higher so you will not be offered anything else. So in this case think carefully about not accepting your first round offer.

Why would my son not have received any level 8 offer, only level 7? He had 365 points, would have met minimum requirements for GA783, CK101, GY101, DN500. Can he expect a round two offer on level 8?
Offers are made once a candidate meets the minimum entry requirements and the cut off points. Was there a subject requirement for these particular courses? Is he entitled to a language exemption? It sounds as if entry requirements are the problem here.

As my sister lost out in random selection, is there a chance she could be offered a place in the second round of offers? Also, what happens if you don’t accept a place?
The hope would be that the college will attempt in round two offers to clear all those on random selection. There is no way of knowing how many candidates are on the same points as you waiting to see if any places become available. Take a look at the random selection in the CAO handbook, at cao.ie.

If I take my third round offer will I be offered my high preference later?
I am assuming you are asking if you accept your third choice in round one will you be offered a higher preference in the next rounds. The answer is yes you could. You can always hope to move up in successive rounds but not down. Even if you accept your third choice now you will still remain in the running for a higher preference later and will be offered it if you become entitled to it.

My daughter got offered her fourth choice but my query is can she be offered her third choice from the second round offers as she’s only 8 points away from requirements if places are not filled.
Yes she can. If she becomes entitled to a place in her third choice (through some people who have been offered it already not taking the places) she will be offered it in the next round and it is up to her whether to take it or not. But there is no guarantee of a second offer so seriously consider accepting something in round one safe in the knowledge that it will not affect her chances of being offered a higher preference in successive rounds.

If someone accepts the top offer of a level 6/7 category does that exclude them from any offers in the higher level 8 category if something suitable becomes available?
No. They are separate from each other. However, in the event that you receive a level 6/7 and a level 8 offer the position is a little more complex. You can only accept one course, so you must choose between the two offers. Accepting a level 6/7 offer will have no effect on your level 8 offers for now and into the future.

My son got 520 points and got an offer this morning for BESS in Trinity. But he had wanted History and English in Trinity (TR262) and put that down on his CAO application. Do you know what the points for that are and his chances of a second round offer for it?
The 2017 points for History and English literature for this course is 520*. It looks like you missed out on an offer due to random selection. Random selection is outlined in the CAO handbook, at cao.ie. The college will attempt to clear all those on random selection in round two. There is no way of knowing how many candidates are on the same points as you waiting to see if places become available.

I missed Trinity Science by one point, I have an offer for DIT Biomedical Science, but how likely is it for me to get a second round offer?
It depends on whether many candidates accept, defer or reject their offer today. The number of interested candidates with the same score as you will also play a part in the likelihood of an offer being made to you. We don’t know any of this information. Therefore, we have to wait until round two offers come out next Monday.

I have a problem with my offers and I need advice on what I should do. I got offered LIT (my third choice) but I really would much prefer to do the Arts in UL or Mary I (my fourth choice) I never got to change my CAO in time, I got 356 points.
You will not get offered a lower course preference than today’s offer. All courses that lie below your third choice have now become obsolete. You need to keep an eye on vacant places on the CAO website. This is also known as available places. You can apply for any of the courses that appear on this facility providing that you meet the requirements. If your preferred course doesn’t appear under available places then you will have to reapply to CAO 2018.

If I take my third round offer will I be offered my high preference later?
I am assuming you are asking if you accept your third choice in round one will you be offered a higher preference in the next rounds. The answer is yes you could. You can always hope to move up in successive rounds but not down. Even if you accept your third choice now you will still remain in the running for a higher preference later and will be offered it if you become entitled to it.

Son is one point short of International Commerce in UCD but has been offered International Commerce in NUIG. His thinking is to accept NUIG and keep his fingers crossed for UCD coming good next round. Sound? Do points naturally fall if places are unfilled?
Yes, he is perfectly right in his approach. This way he has NUIG banked and he still remains in the running for a place in UCD if he becomes entitled to it. It’s a long shot on a popular course like this but it does happen that second round offers are made.

Can you accept a sixth choice, turn down your fifth choice if you get an offer in second round and still be eligible for higher choices in later rounds?
Yes you can and you will still be eligible for higher choices in future rounds.