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CAO Offers

When are offers out and what do I do next?

Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in education

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Once you have calculated your points, it is time to play the waiting game and wait for your CAO offers. First-round offers will be available online from 6am Monday, August 21st, and also by post that day. Remember that if you are unsure about your first choice, you don't have to accept it straight away, you have a week to think about it before making the decision.

Accepting an offer:

  • A Reply Date will be printed on Offer Notices. If you wish to accept an offer, you must do so by 5:15pm on the “Reply Date” printed on the Offer Notice.
  • The closing date for acceptance of CAO round one offers is 5.15pm on August 28th. If you are away or unavailable, someone else may accept on your behalf, as long as they have the offer notice.
  • In addition, offers will be presented online at the CAO website, and you may record your acceptance online.

Check out this video from CAO on the acceptance process:

The Offer and Acceptance Process from CAO on Vimeo.

Round Two:

  • CAO round-two offers will be available at 6am on August 31st. If you missed out on your choice of course in round one, you may now be offered a place on a higher preference course if a place becomes available, even if you have accepted an earlier offer. You can accept the new offer or simply ignore it.
  • The closing date for acceptance of round two offers is 5.15pm on September 6th.

After Round Two:

Thereafter, offers will be issued as necessary until October to fill any vacancies, which may arise.

More than one acceptance:

If you receive more than one offer, acceptance automatically cancels and supersedes any previous acceptances – you can have only one current acceptance in the entire CAO system.

Offer of highest preference:

  • You will be offered a place in the highest of your course preferences to which you are entitled.
  • This will be done, independently, in respect of Level 8 and Level 7/Level 6 choices.
  • You may, therefore, receive two offers at the same time; one for the highest Level 8 preference to which you are entitled and the other for the highest Level 7/Level 6 preference to which you are entitled – but only accept one.

Exclusion from lower preferences:

  • When you have been offered a place, you are excluded from considering any course, which is lower in your order of preference than the one in which you have been offered a place.
  • This means that while you may subsequently move upwards in your order of preference (if places become available due to withdrawals) you will not be considered for a place in a course which is a lower preference than that already offered.

Later offers for higher preference:

If you are offered a place in a course, which is not your first choice, you may be offered a place in a course of higher preference if a place becomes available in the round two stage or after.
This applies whether or not the earlier offer has been accepted.

Non-acceptance of round two offers:
Having accepted an offer of a place, you are not obliged to accept a subsequent offer. You may retain the original offer simply by ignoring the subsequent one.

Acknowledgement of Acceptances:

  • Formal notification of receipt of acceptances will be sent by post within 3 working days after the Reply Date for acceptances for that round. (This is NOT within 3 days of the date you posted the acceptance or accepted online.)
  • If you accept online, an acknowledgement will also be sent to your email address.
  • You may also check that your acceptance has been recorded online at

*For each course to which you have applied, your Leaving Certificate results are checked to see if you meet the minimum entry requirements for the course. Points will be calculated only after it has been determined that the results on your CAO file meet the minimum entry requirements for the course.

To determine who should be offered places in a course, the applicants for that course are placed in order of merit, i.e. the applicant with the highest points) is placed at the top of the list and the applicant with the lowest points score goes to the bottom of the list.

If a number of applicants have the same points and are tied for places on a particular course, they are given a number and picked at random for the place.

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Published August 15th, 2014
Last updated August 24th, 2017
Tags college cao exam results
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