‘Which offer should I accept?’ . . . Your CAO questions answered


I wasn’t offered my first CAO choice, but have received one of my lower choices. What should I do now?
Having received an offer today, you must decide over the coming week whether to accept it or not. Whatever your decision, your name will remain in contention for any courses higher up on your list of CAO choices than the one you have been offered in round one. Don’t assume points requirements for your higher choices will decrease in later rounds, as only a small number of places are offered after round one offers have been processed. Therefore you should not bank on receiving any further offers, after this round.

If you do accept either a level eight honours degree, or a level seven/six ordinary degree /higher certificate course offered today, should the points requirements come down in later offer rounds for a course higher up your order of preference, and you want to accept it, you may transfer your acceptance to that place, at no additional expense to you.

I received an offer of a course, but it’s a good way down my list and I don’t really know anything about it. Should I accept it anyway?
First, log on to qualifax.ie, check out every aspect of the course, and consider visiting the college and talking to a staff member in admissions or the faculty. You may then feel this course will help you in developing your career – if so, go online and accept your place.

If you feel that this course is really not for you, I advise you to let the offer lapse. Thousands of students every year accept courses in both publically funded and private college, which they either drop out of or fail at the end of first year.

If that happens to you at the end of this year, and you reapply for another course next year, you will be charged with the full course fee, which the State pays to the college on your behalf this year, even if the course you are currently considering is in a private college.

I have been offered my highest preference course, but from my level seven/six course list. I have been offered one of my lower preference courses on my level eight list, but not in my favourite discipline. Which one should I accept?
Do not let snobbery or fear of what your friends or relations may say distract you from your long term career goals. If the level six or seven course offered to you, is in the area that you want to study, and it allows you to progress on to a level eight degree, on successful completion of your course, it would be unwise to accept the level eight place, that you have been offered this morning, if it is not in an area of genuine interest to you.

Remember, what you study in college frames your career options into the future, so study what you are genuinely interested in and you will progress steadily. Don’t get diverted from this path, by the perceived prestige of one college, course or academic level.

I do not wish to accept the offer, which I have just received from the CAO.
In your situation you need take no further action. Your name will remain on the waiting list for any course(s) higher up your order of preference, than the one currently offered to you. But be aware, that there is no certainty that you will receive a further offer.