Second round CAO offers issued to thousands of students

Almost 3,000 offers for college places issued in latest round with a deadline of noon on Friday

CAO Round Two: Students have until midday on Friday, 25 September, to accept if they receive an offer.

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Some 1,098 applicants who were not offered a course when the Central Applications Office (CAO) issued the first round of college places earlier this month were informed Wednesday morning that they were successful the second time around.

Of those who received Level 8 offers in Round Two this year, 883 (46 per cent) received an offer of their first preference course; for Level 7/6 offers, a total of 874 (85 per cent) applicants’ first preference offers were issued in this round.

A total of 1,923 Level 8 offers, and 1,032 Level 7/6 offers, were made to 2,630 CAO applicants in this round with 1,098 applicants receiving an offer for the first time.

In all, 2,630 applicants received an offer in Round Two, representing an increase of 117 on the 2,513 applicants who received new, or in some cases their first, offer from the CAO in the same round last year.


Students have until midday on Friday, September 25th, to accept if they receive an offer.

The number of places offered in round two are always far lower than those issued in round one. Earlier this month, the CAO issued 78,950 round one offers to 53,815 CAO applicants.

Marking the release of the Round 2 offers this morning, Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris tweeted: "The CAO Round 2 offers are issued this morning at 10am. Good luck to all those awaiting offers. We saw a record number of people receive and accept offers in Round 1. Round 2 will bring more offers and exciting opportunities."


The majority of Round Two offers were of courses in the fields of Health (253), Business and administration (257), Arts (215), Social and Behavioural Sciences (189), Engineering and Engineering trades (153) and Biological and related sciences (116).

Of the first preference courses offered in Round Two, most were in Business and administration (121) followed by Arts (115), Social and Behavioural Sciences (90), Health (84) and Engineering and Engineering trades (71).

In a statement issued on Wednesday, CAO communications officer Eileen Keleghan said applicants should carefully consider their options and to be mindful of Friday's deadline.

“Many of the applicants receiving a second round offer today may have already accepted an offer in Round One, and it is important that they take the time to decide between these courses and inform CAO before the reply date of this Friday, September 25th at noon if they wish to accept the new offer. Accepting the new offer will automatically cancel a previous acceptance.

“If this is an applicant’s first offer they can choose to accept this offer and this will not prevent them from receiving a higher preference course in a later offer round if they are deemed eligible. It is important to note, however, that the majority of offers have been issued at this stage and this may be the only offer that they will receive.

“For those who have been unsuccessful in receiving an offer (or their desired offer) there are many options, including further education courses, which offer qualifications in their own right, as well as opportunities to progress to third-level; apprenticeship schemes; taking a year out and reapplying through CAO next year; sitting one or more of the Leaving Certificate examination in November, or repeating the Leaving Certificate.

“The Available Places facility also has almost 200 courses advertised, and some additional offers will be issued on a weekly basis from today until mid-October” she added.

The CAO Available Places facility is free to existing applicants, and open to new applications for a fee of €45.

Applicants can check if they have received a Round Two offer by logging in to their CAO account using the “My Application” facility. Successful applicants will also receive an offer notification by email and SMS text message if they have selected this option. There will be no paper offer notices issued this year for Round Two.

For more information about the Offer and Acceptance process or Available Places visit the CAO Handbook (also available online) and watch the CAO video guides at

For applicants who have already received an offer in a previous offer round, the CAO offers the following advice:

1. Accept the new offer by the “Reply Date” of Friday, September 25th at noon if you prefer this course to the one that you have already accepted – this action automatically cancels your previous acceptance.

2. If you do not wish to accept the new offer you can simply do nothing and your previous acceptance will still stand.

3. If you wish to defer your current offer you must contact the Admissions Office of the offering institution immediately by email with the text “Deferred Entry” in the subject line of the email. See CAO Handbook page 19 or the CAO website for more information.

Available Place offers are issued from Round Two. Round Three offers will be available to view from 10am on Thursday, October 1st.

Éanna Ó Caollaí

Éanna Ó Caollaí

Iriseoir agus Eagarthóir Gaeilge An Irish Times. Éanna Ó Caollaí is The Irish Times' Irish Language Editor, editor of The Irish Times Student Hub, and Education Supplements editor.