Billy Ryle: CAO ‘Change Of Mind’ Deadline Is Approaching

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Third level college applicants have until Monday, 1st July to submit a CAO ‘Change of Mind’. Billy Ryle looks at what this entails for students…


With the State Exams concluding, the thoughts of exhausted candidates are no doubt turning to holidays, summer jobs and travel. But there is still an important job to be done.

The 80,000 plus applicants to the Central Applications Office (CAO) for a coveted college place must now focus on the CAO “Change of Mind” facility which affords them an opportunity to register a change of course choices online by 5.15pm on Monday next, 1st July.


Many applicants may be happy with the original course choices they submitted to CAO by 1st February.

Others may have changed their minds about the courses they would like to study. Whatever an applicant’s 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 the CAO application form.

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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 and special course 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 2018 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. Every choice is important so fill in 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. 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 5.15pm on 1st July to make sure that all is in order.


The Leaving Certificate Examination results will be released on Tuesday, 13th August. Round One offers of college places will be available on the CAO website, from 2pm on Thursday, 15th August.

The reply date for acceptance is 5.15pm on Friday, 23rd 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
• After the 1st July you can make no further changes to your CAO application form
• Leaving Cert exam results will available on Tues., 13th August
• Round One of CAO college offers will be available on Thurs., 15th August at 2pm.
• The reply date for acceptance of Round One offers is 5.15pm on Fri., 23rd August

Billy Ryle is a Career Guidance Counsellor and freelance writer

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