Apply immediately, say CAO as application deadline is fast approaching

The Central Applications Office (CAO ) application deadline for undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutions is this Sunday, 1 February at 5:15pm.

Applicants who have not yet completed their application are urged by CAO to do so immediately, particularly restricted-category applicants or applicants applying for one or more of the restricted courses on offer.

Restricted-category applicants, and applicants for restricted courses, must have applied by the 1 February deadline and may not be able to use the late application facility which is available up to 1 May at 5:15pm.

Restricted-category applicants include mature applicants and applicants for the HEAR and DARE schemes.

General Manager of CAO, Joseph O’Grady, asks potential applicants who have not yet started their application to carefully read the CAO Handbook and to go to the CAO website and click on ‘Apply’ to start their application.

“It is extremely important that applicants start their application before the weekend in order to avoid any issues which may arise if they leave their application to the last minute,” said Mr O’Grady.

“We appreciate that the completion of a CAO application can be quite a stressful time for applicants, but the most important step at this stage is to get registered on the system in order to avoid disappointment.

“Our website contains a number of guides and supports for applicants which should make the application process easy to navigate, including a demo application facility and video resources,” continued Mr O’Grady.

“Every year a number of applicants leave the submission of their application to the last couple of hours, or even minutes, without thinking about the consequences of their browser timing out, their internet connection failing, or payment issues. In order to be fair to all applicants strict deadlines apply, and applicants should submit their application in a timely manner,” he added.

Applicants who do not process their application in advance of the deadline can submit a late application at an increased fee of €50 for an online application or €80 for a paper application. This facility closes at 5:15pm on 1 May and restrictions apply.

Applicants who have already submitted their CAO application have up to 5:15pm on 31 January to add, remove or reorder courses free of charge. If an applicant is considering applying for a restricted course they should make sure to include the course details in their application before this deadline – if they do not apply for a restricted course before the deadline an additional fee of €10 applies for the use of the Change of Course Choices facility which is available to registered applicants only from 5 February to 1 March at 5:15pm.

To apply to CAO go to and click on ‘Apply’. Information for applicants is available in the ‘Student Resources’ section of the website which includes the CAO Handbook, checklists, and CAO video guides.


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