CAO helpdesk: what to do if you were not offered a college place

There are options if you got no offers at all


Guidance counsellors Brian Howard and Deirdre Garrett answer questions asked on our live blog

My son only put three courses on his CAO form and has had no offers due to the increase in points. He has 485 points and had TCD Computer Science, TCD Engineering and TCD Science. Do you have any advice?

I would advise him to keep an eye on available/ vacant places on Application for such courses is now available.

Is he disappointed with any grade in any particular subject? If so has he filled out the form to view his script? One out of five were successful in the appeals process last year resulting in an upgrade and therefore got more points.

He may get an offer in round two on Thursday, August 27th.

Would he enjoy taking a gap year and reapplying in 2016 and putting in more course choices?

I received 390 points in Leaving Cert and unfortunately got no offer in the first round as all points for science went up. Could you suggest a PLC course I could do that would assist me getting science next year?

Sorry to hear this. Hang in there and something may come your way in round two. In terms of the PLC courses, there is a great facility on the CAO website where you can enter any CAO course code and it will tell you the PLC courses that are suitable for that CAO course. From looking at it briefly it seems a course such as laboratory techniques (CASFX), which is run in a lot of PLC colleges, is accepted by a lot of the linked university courses. For IT science courses, they seem to be open to any PLC course. Have a look at the CAO colleges you may be interested in to go to next year at the site.

My daughter failed her honours Irish paper, has she failed her Leaving Cert? She has got no offers for Level 8 courses.

She has not failed her Leaving Cert. She more than likely hasn’t satisfied the minimum entry requirements for her choice of courses.

She could meet the entry requirements by repeating Irish only in LC 2016 providing that she has the necessary points.

My daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia just before the Leaving Cert began this year but bravely she still sat the exams from hospital. Grades are short on entry requirements, is there a recourse to appeal? I’m sorry to hear this, she sounds like a brave young girl. Usually the colleges are quite rigid when it comes to entry requirements but I think it would be worth your while contacting the admissions officers of the colleges your daughter applied to and speaking to them about your daughter’s condition. Obviously, there is the appeal process to see if she could get her grades upgraded with the State Examinations Commission, if she felt this would be worthwhile, but I am not aware of any appeal process in relation to not meeting entry requirements due to a medical condition affecting results.