Thousands have received a CAO round one offer today, with over 84,000 students having applied for a college place for the 2021/2022 academic year.
This year’s offers are coming later than previous years due to the delayed release of the Leaving Certificate results which were only published on Friday, but the process remains the same.
With the portal now live this afternoon, students will need to enter their eight-digit CAO number, their date of birth and their CAO password to view their offer.
Students will be offered the highest course from their list of preferences for which they met the points requirement (the CAO points calculator can be used to check the number of points obtained).
The points requirement for each course is determined by the number of spots available in the course versus the demand for those places.
The impact of calculated grades, inflating results achieved by students in this year’s Leaving Cert, was expected to cause points to jump once again.
Although the increases may mean some students will not receive their first option, the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) president Clare Austick says it is important to take time to consider your options.
“Try and approach the results with understanding and not being too hard on yourself,” she says.
“There are always different options. The main thing is not to panic and not to worry – sometimes the second or third choice works out better for some people.
“Look at the different options: would you prefer to take the second offer, or would you prefer to defer?
“It all comes down to the individual and what works best in that situation,” Ms Austick adds.
If students feel they should have received a higher grade in one of their exam subjects, they also have the option of appealing the result between September 11th-13th.
If they receive a higher grade following the appeal, the student’s points total will be updated accordingly and may entitle them to a course higher on their CAO preference. However, students are warned results may go down as well as up.
As with previous years, the CAO will continue to make offers until all places are filled. If a student accepts an offer in the first round, but subsequently qualifies for a course higher up on their list of preference they will be offered a place in the higher course which they can choose to accept or decline.
A guide to results and appeals published by the Department of Education can be found here, while the National Parents Council Post-Primary Leaving Cert helpline (1800-265 165) will reopen on Wednesday, offering advice from qualified guidance counsellors. Additional information and support can also be found on the Irish Second-Level Student Union website and Spunout.ie.