Key CAO dates, from change-of-mind right through to appeals

Keep on top of your college application process with this calendar of crucial dates

Keep on top of it. Photograph: iStock

Keep on top of it. Photograph: iStock


May: The CAO change-of-mind facility opens on May 5th. Candidates get a statement of application record by post before the end of May, listing all details supplied by applicants to date. Inform the CAO if you do not receive it, or if there are any errors on this form.

June 7th: Leaving Certificate written examinations begin, and continue until Friday, June 23rd.

June 26th: Applicants under 23 who sat the Hpat test on February 25th receive their results to enable them to factor these marks into their final consideration of course choices before July 1st CAO deadline.

July 1st (5.15pm): Final date for any amendments to course choices and order of preference on all CAO applications for entry to college in September 2017. Almost all current year Leaving Cert applicants make some adjustments to their final course choice decisions/amendments during this “change of mind” period in May-June each year.

Initial CAO offers during first week of July: The CAO makes more than 6,000 offers to mature (over-23) applicants, and to applicants who accepted and then deferred places in 2016. These offers are made by post and online on, and remain open for a week. Mature and deferred applicants who may be away from home should ensure any offer in early July is dealt with, as offers lapse if not accepted within a week.

July 22nd: An exceptional closing date for current third-level students who wish to drop out of their current college course and re-apply for a new list of choices through the CAO. More than 300 students exercised this option in 2016.

Round Zero offers, early August 2017: More than 2,000 places on courses are offered to applicants presenting further education awards and to an additional cohort of mature applicants. Applicants for graduate medicine are also offered places in this round. Offers are open for one week.

Wednesday, August 16th: The State Examinations Commission delivers 2017 Leaving Cert results to more than 700 schools, and makes them available through a secure online service at from noon. Full analysis of the results will appear in an Irish Times supplement.

Monday, August 21st: The CAO releases Round 1 offers to candidates online at 6am. Offer notices posted to candidates will also arrive on this date. Minimum points required for entry to each course are available on the CAO website from 6am and are printed in full in that day’s Irish Times college offers supplement.

Tuesday, August 22nd: Leaving Cert students who are unhappy with a grade and wish to view their marked exam scripts in their school must return the application forms, in their Leaving Cert results envelope, to their school by this date. There is no financial charge for viewing your marked exam scripts.

Monday, August 28th (5.15pm): Closing date for receipt of acceptance of CAO Round 1 offers.

Wednesday, August 30th: The CAO posts Round 2 offers to applicants, to arrive by post on Thursday, August 31st. The minimum points required for entry to each course are released on the CAO website at 6am on that date, and are published in an Irish Times supplement on August 31st.

Friday-Saturday, September 1st-2nd: 2017 Leaving Cert students, along with one person of their choice, can view their scripts in school. The scripts cannot be viewed by anyone else unless the student is present. They may choose to appeal their grade in any subject following this process.

Wednesday, September 6th (5.15pm): Closing date for receipt of acceptance of CAO Round 2 offers. This is also the final date for receipt by the State Exams Commission of Leaving Cert appeal applications. A fee of €40 per subject applies, which is refunded in the case of an upgrade.

Mid-October: Results of Leaving Cert appeals are released by the SEC. Final offers of places by the CAO will be made up to October 18th.