No need to rush accepting your CAO offer

After a particularly long wait, the class of 2022 are receiving their offers at 2pm today.

opefully, most candidates will receive two offers, one from their Level 8 (honours degree) preference list and one from their Level 7/6 (ordinary degree/higher certificate) list. It is important to remember that applicants will receive an offer for the highest listed course for which they are eligible on each list. If an applicant receives two offers, one at Level 8 and one at Level 7/6, they may accept only one.

Once an offer has been made, all courses listed below this choice on their order of preference list will disappear and they will no longer qualify for a place on these courses. What this means is that it may be possible for an applicant to receive an offer in a subsequent round for a course that is

higher placed on their list, if one becomes available, but never for one further down the list than the course for which they have received an offer.

Applicants have until Wednesday, September 14, at 3pm to accept their offer. It only takes seconds to log into the CAO account and accept, so if there is any doubt or questions in the applicant’s mind about whether or not to accept the place, they have time to consider the offer before hitting that accept button, or not.

If an applicant wishes to turn down an offer they do not need to take any action. Any offer that is not accepted by the September 14 deadline will re-enter the system and be distributed to other candidates in future rounds.

Sometimes an applicant receives an offer they want to accept but would still like to be considered for another course they have listed higher on their application. In such a situation, they should treat the offer they have received as the only one they will be getting and consider it accordingly. If a higher preference course becomes available to them in a future round, they will still receive this offer even if they have already accepted one. Applicants can then accept the new offer or stick with the one they have already accepted.

If an applicant has not qualified for any offer in Round 1, they will receive a ‘statement of application’ by email, with the information the CAO holds in relation to them. Anyone who receives this statement should check it carefully and ensure all the details are correct. I have met applicants who only noticed the CAO did not have any qualifications listed for them at this point and therefore could not make an offer. If you notice any errors or omissions contact the CAO immediately.

If an applicant has met the minimum cut-off points for a course and was expected to receive an offer that doesn’t arrive, they should check the entry requirements, such as subjects and grades. Before points enter the equation, applicants have to meet entry requirements for a course. This is often the reason that no offer has been made.

It is also a good idea for an applicant to check that they have calculated their points correctly. Anyone who feels there has been a mistake should contact the CAO through their online contact facility. The CAO rarely makes mistakes in their offers but it can happen from time to time.

It can be very upsetting to receive a ‘statement of application’, but the last few years have been difficult for everyone. Many students may not have performed at their best.

The absence of an offer doesn’t mean that a chosen career area or course is out of reach. It is certainly no reflection of the student as a person, or how successful they are likely to be in the future. If a student has not received an offer, but would like to attend college there are many options still available to them, as noted elsewhere in our Going to College section on

Aoife Walsh is a guidance counsellor at Malahide Community School, Co Dublin

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