Advice As The CAO ‘Change Of Mind’ Deadline Approaches

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Third level applicants have until 5.15pm on Saturday to submit a CAO ‘Change of Mind’ and Billy Ryle has some advice for students as the deadline approaches…

The state exams are done and dusted so the thoughts of exhausted candidates are no doubt turning to holidays, summer jobs and travel.

But there is still a very important task to be undertaken. The 80,000 plus applicants to the Central Applications Office (CAO) must now turn their attention to the CAO “Change of Mind” facility which affords each applicant an opportunity, if s/he wishes, to register a change of course choices online by 5.15pm on Saturday, 1st July.

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Many applicants are happy with their original course choices submitted to CAO by 1st February, but others might have done further course research or simply changed their minds about the courses they would like to study.

Whatever your reason for submitting a change of mind form, now is the time to do so. After the 1st July you can make no further changes to your CAO application form.

If you decide to submit a change of mind form, work on your choices before going online. Don’t tinker with your original list while online as it’s very easy to make a mistake. Start from scratch and prepare a new list of courses.

Check the minimum course requirements and the special requirements for each course you are including on the change of mind form.

Don’t list any course which has been cancelled, but you may include any new courses which were announced after the 2017 CAO Handbook was published. All of this information is easily accessible on the CAO website,

When you have finalised your choices, open up your CAO account via the “My Application” facility. Click on “Add Level 8 Course Choices” and/or “Add Level 7/6 Course Choices.”

Then use the “New Courses” list to enter your new course choices. Remember that every choice is important and it’s advisable to fill up all ten choices in each category.

The two course categories – Level 8 (Honours Bachelor Degrees) and Level 7/6 (Ordinary Bachelor Degrees/Higher Certificates) are totally separate from each other for the purpose of submitting a change of mind form.

You may change one category and leave the second category unchanged or you may change both. On the other hand, you may decide to stick with the choices you submitted by 1st February last.

Check that your courses have been updated by using the “My Application” facility by 5.15pm on 1st July. You may change your course choices free of charge as often as you wish up to the closing date.

The final change of mind form that you submit is the one that will count for your CAO offers in August, so be very careful to check online before 1st July to make sure that all is in order.

The Leaving Certificate Examination results will be delivered to schools on Wednesday, 16th August.

The results will also be available via internet at from 12 noon on that day. Round One offers of college places will be available on the CAO website, from 6am on Monday, 21st August. The reply date for acceptance will be 5.15pm on Monday, 28th August.


• You have until 5.15pm on 1st July to avail of the CAO “Change of Mind” facility

• Not all applications to CAO avail of the change of mind facility

• Don’t list any courses which you haven’t researched.

• Don’t apply for any course which you know that you won’t accept

• Never apply for a course in which you haven’t the slightest interest

• Work on your new list of course choices before going online

• Check the requirements for the courses you are including on the change of mind form

• The two course categories are separate from each other on a change of mind form

• The remaining days provide you with a valuable window of opportunity

• After the 1st July you can make no further changes to your CAO application form

• SUSI online student grant application system for 2017/2018 is now open at, or

• The closing date for the prioritising of new SUSI grant applications is 13th July

• Leaving Cert exam results will available on Wed., 16th August

• Round One offers of college places will be available on Mon., 21st August

• Junior Cert exam results will be available in mid-September

Billy Ryle is a Career Guidance Counsellor and freelance writer

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