Or don't choose a course just because your bestie thinks it's hot, and eleven other things to cross check against your CAO choices before 1 July
So, college is part of your plan for the next few years. And after that, a job, maybe even a Masters, and all the exciting prospects the future holds.
Whether you filled out your CAO lists months ago or you have plans to re-order, it’s important you double check.
Here’s a checklist to help you confirm your CAO choices are in the right order of preference for you.
1. This is about you Your dreams, hopes, and future. Don’t let your choices be swayed by what your parents think you should study, what your clique are choosing, or what points you think you may get. List what courses you want in the order of what you want most. www.wit.ie/how
2. Sense of place You like the college, and the campus, and have checked it out online in detail on the virtual tour at www.wit.ie/ask.
3. Work Job-focused? Then you’ll have a chosen a course with work placement or strong employer links. Find out what graduates have gone on to study. www.wit.ie/studentstories
4. Money You may have all the points in the world, and have dreams of studying far away, but if it isn’t affordable and there is another option you’d be happy with, closer to home, or that is affordable, put some serious thought into your order of preference (or brainstorm how to make your dreams a reality). www.wit.ie/how
5. Class One way to make the leap from school to third level easier is choosing a college that has both small class sizes, where lecturers know your name as well as having a large campus with loads of facilities so you actually feel like you have left school. www.wit.ie/studentstories
6. Track record Some of the things to look out for are word of mouth reputation, graduate employability, student satisfaction, and how the institute ranks against other colleges and universities. www.wit.ie/cao
7. City life The advantages of studying in a city (small or large) ranges from culture to nightlife and from good bus/train/road links to a variety of student accommodation and rooms to rent. www.wit.ie/cao
8. A place called home Home bird? What are the options that allow you to live at home, or at least return home regularly? Just want the comfort of home? Check out ‘digs’. witstudentpad.ie
9. Friends Check that everything on your list is what you want to do, not what your bestie thinks is hot.They may not get offered their first choice and may end up studying elsewhere. www.wit.ie/how
10. Points There’s no point guessing points based on your exam performance. Points change each year for courses depending on the demand for them. Don’t be disappointed by applying for a course where you don’t meet the minimum entry requirements. Check this. https://www.wit.ie/courses
And two other things you should also give thought to
11. So many levels Don’t get hung up on the Level 8 list only. There’s 10 spaces on the level 7/6 list to fill. Remember you can use it as a ladder to get a degree in the same amount of time, without committing to four years up front. Read our piece on How to use level 6 and 7 to progress your educational goals.
12. Common entry If you find you’re drawn to a number of different courses that are broadly in the same area of study, maybe it’s time to push a common entry course further up your list so you have time to choose after you start the course. www.wit.ie/commonentry