No CAO offer after the second round? You still have options

The CAO isn’t the only way to access third level. If you didn’t get your choice of college offer, there are other routes

Dublin Business School

Dublin Business School

 

Today marks the end of the CAO offer season for the vast majority of students, although several dozen places will be offered weekly over the coming month for a variety of reasons, with even more offered in mid-October after the results of script re-marking.

These extra places may be offered when students who initially accepted an offer change their minds. Students may feel the course is not for them or they may not be able to afford to take the place or find affordable accommodation.

As students apply for the remaining places listed on the available places list on the CAO website, colleges will continue to fill course places through further offers.

Also, some calculation errors will be discovered in the tots on the front cover of exam answer booklets this weekend during script viewing, and some new offers will be issued.

But for the majority of students who have not secured a satisfactory offer in this second round, it is now time to make decisions about alternative options outside the CAO. Some of those options are:

 

Further education

There are some excellent options for Leaving Cert students who didn’t get a CAO offer. All further education (FE) colleges are still taking enrolments and students can apply on college websites. Classes start in early- to mid-September, so there is plenty of time.

Colleges continue to hold open days, so check out your local colleges’ websites. Assessment and certification for FE courses is based on work during the year and exams at the end. The majority of FE courses offer progression onto a CAO course through reserved places. The details of every FE course is on both qualifax.ie and careersportal.ie.

 

Private colleges

The private education sector still has a wide range of courses available, either through vacant places on the CAO or by direct application to the college. Fees are about €4,000-€7,000 and tax relief of €400 may be claimed. Dublin Business School offers a variety of programmes, Griffith College has a number of campuses in Ireland and a number of other specialist colleges locally and nationally have a range of programmes. (See more details, right.)

 

Study in Europe

Application deadlines have passed for many continental European degrees, taught through English in public universities which feature in the top 200 colleges in international rankings. However applications are still open for a range of courses for entry this September or starting in January/February, particularly in the Netherlands. Check out what is available, deadlines and fees on eunicas.ie.

 

Repeating the Leaving Cert

This is an option if you genuinely believe a further year of study will get you a much improved result in August 2016. You need to ask: what will change within me that will bring that improvement about? You can repeat in the public school system in your local school, or through a college managed by the Education Training Board (ETB), or through private providers such as the Institute of Education, Dublin; Bruce College, Cork; the Tutorial Centre, Limerick, or Yeats College, Galway.

 

Gap year

There are many creative ways to take a year out before you decide what you want to study at third level. They including volunteering at home or abroad, or getting a job for a year to experience the hard reality of life on the bottom rung of the career ladder.

  • For more information on many of these options, see irishtimes.com/education
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