College first round offers out Monday
Students can check CAO website from 6am to find out if they have a place
The University College Dublin campus at Belfield. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times
The long wait is almost over for tens of thousands of students hoping to gain a place in higher education. The first round of offers from the Central Applications Office are due to reach students by post on Monday morning and they will finally learn whether they have managed to secure their first preference or an alternative choice.
The CAO points requirements for all the places on offer are now known but not yet published, so effectively the figures are set and the die is cast. The number of applicants is slightly up this year, according to statistics released by the CAO, with 76,121 applicants in 2013 compared with 76,073 for 2012.
All the round one offers will be available on the CAO website, cao.ie, from 6am on Monday and most of the paper offer notices should arrive by post at the addresses given by the students.
Applicants may receive more than one offer but only one acceptance may be recorded in each round – in other words, applicants may not hold two places at once and so must choose which offer to accept. The CAO recommends that students don’t delay and make their choices by the deadline, Monday 26th August at 5.15pm.
Offers may be accepted online or by returning the appropriate part of the offer notice to the CAO. Almost all students now register their choices online.
In 2012, 99 per cent of acceptances were made online. On the first day of round one in that year, more than 20,000 acceptances were recorded online, so the CAO expects the website to be very busy on Monday morning.
Most but not all students (64,581 this year) will be using the common points scale for the Leaving Cert, a system in place since 1992 and administered by the CAO.
The office warns it is important to follow the procedure carefully, although it is not complex. Its advice is very simple: do not panic. If you follow the simple CAO instructions, you will not lose any place to which you are entitled.
The second round offers will follow shortly after the first so do not delay in making your decisions. Round two offers will be available on the CAO website from 6am on Thursday 29th August. Paper offer notices will be posted on Wednesday 28th August to arrive on Thursday 29th. The reply date for round two offers is no later than Wednesday 4th September at 5.15pm.
At any stage, applicants may check the status of their application online on cao.ie.