Everything you need to know about filling in your CAO form

Charlie Flynn


Charlie Flynn

Everything you need to know about filling in your CAO form

Local Guidance Councillor Patricia Harrington has some advice for those filling out their CAO forms this year. Read below to hear what she has to say.

The CAO application form opens on November 5th and it is a substantial document.

It includes:
 - CAO form.
 - Higher Education Access Route (Hear) form:
 - Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) form:
 - Trinity TCD Feasibility Study Option form:
 - Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) SECTION:
 - National University of Ireland (NUI) Exemption section:
 - Order of Preference.

Students should register on cao.ie as soon as possible after November 5th: they should click ‘Apply’ on cao.ie, fill in their personal details, email and password and get their CAO number. Once registered, students can access their form via ‘My Application. Students have up to 20 course choices, ten Level 6/7 and ten Level 8. It is vital to place courses in order of preference.

Students should place their most preferred course number one regardless of points. In August if students have the entry requirements and the points for their first choice, offers will be made and the rest of the lower preferences will disappear off the CAO system. If a lower than first placed course is offered and accepted, it will not prevent students from receiving a possible offer higher up in a subsequent round (see CAO video guides).

Restricted Courses.
Students should enter restricted courses before February 1st. Course choices can be changed for free from May 7th, 2019.
A restricted course can be replaced but generally cannot be added after February as ‘most of the additional entry requirements, such as interviews, are run in March and April.

Students who wish to be considered for HEAR and/or DARE must indicate this on the CAO form by February 1st next. They must complete HEAR/DARE application forms by early March 2019. All supporting documents must be sent to the CAO by April 1st next.

TCD Feasibility study 2018
Places are set aside on some TCD courses for the Trinity Feasibility study. There are ten places each for History and Law and five for Ancient and Medieval History and Culture.
Students who wish to apply to TCD for these courses can apply twice, the usual CAO route as well as the TCD Feasibility option. Students are assessed on their points, personal statements and contextual data (see tcd.ie)

Students should indicate on the CAO form that they are applying for a grant, the CAO will then provide their details to SUSI. In March/April 2019, students apply for the grant on Susi.ie.

NUI Exemptions
Students who are applying for an NUI exemption should indicate this on their CAO application. Under the EU General Data Protection Regulation, the CAO needs permission to share students’ data with the NUI. The Box ‘I would like CAO to provide my details to the NUI’ should be ticked. Students must then fill in the exemption form available on nui.ie, if they have an Irish/third language exemption to ensure that they will meet NUI, E.G NUI Galway, entry requirements. Students who were born outside Ireland are also entitled to apply for an Irish exemption.

Finally a few other specific things to point out:
- Students should read the CAO handbook.
- Use the online checklist!
- Keep your application number safe.
- Print receipts of everything.

Patricia Harrington is a Guidance counsellor at Oakland’s Community College, Edenderry, Co. Offaly.