Tips for CAO Change of Mind applicants/parents as tension rises

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Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

Many homes are experiencing tension as school leavers and college applicants attempt to make the right decisions before the 1 July 5.15pm deadline

1 July at 5.15pm is the final opportunity for traditional CAO applicants to change their minds about the order of the courses they wish to study.

“Increasingly college applicants are making their final decisions in the days before the CAO 1 July Change of Mind Deadline,” says Dr Derek O’Byrne, Registrar and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Waterford Institute of Technology.

“The absolute key to making the right decision is to list courses in the order of preference. Applicants should choose what they really want, and not for example what their friends are doing.”

He also adds that applicants should be considerate of those around them as tension increases in the lead up to making final decisions before the deadline at 5.15pm.

There are ways to do last-minute research:

  • read course descriptions and student/graduate case studies on the college website. WIT's CAO hub is
  • ask for help – WIT has a web chat, hotline and drop-in centre on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. WhatsApp support is available on 087-3771770 on Saturday. All details are available on


O’Byrne outlines five key things to consider when making a choice

  • Course choice: We recommend a prospective student chooses courses that they will enjoy studying.
  • Campus fit: A key factor for many students is they've visited and could see themselves studying at that college campus.
  • City life: How ready are they for a big move? Waterford city, for example, is compact in size and offers good value with a wide range of student accommodation to be found which immediately removes a number of stressors.
  • Progression routes: We recommend that students look carefully at their level 6 and 7 choices. There are progression routes for students from level 6 to 7 and 6/7 to 8. Students also progress from colleges of further education into WIT.
  • Friends: Don’t follow your friends’ choices. They may not get offers of a course at the same college and there are many opportunities to make new friends once you start college.

 A booklet which helps in decision making is available to view and download at

Ask WIT events

WIT helps students make the right decisions and gives support to parents in a number of ways. In the run up to the 1 July CAO Change of Mind deadline WIT runs Ask WIT events which consist of live online Q&As, a drop-in centre, and phone support. In 2017 they run between Wednesday 28 and Friday 30 June ahead of the CAO Change of Mind Deadline at 5.15pm on Saturday, 1 July. See for details. The CAO Change of Mind Helpline is for parents and prospective students is open until 9.30am-5pm until 30 June. Telephone : 051 834176 / 834177

Campus tours

Want a look around WIT? Book a one-hour campus tour online at WIT Arena tours for prospective students are also bookable online.

About WIT

WIT has more than 8,000 students across five campuses in Waterford city, with education delivered from higher certificate to doctoral level. Prospective CAO applicants have 70 CAO courses to choose from across a range of disciplines including business, engineering and architecture, sports and nursing, law, social sciences, arts and psychology, the creative & performing arts, languages, tourism and hospitality, science and computing. The Institute has continued to make a huge contribution to the educational, societal, and economic health of the region.

WIT has been hugely successful over the last 46 years, with close to 2,500 students graduating each year, and acts as a catalyst for positive change in the south east and further afield.

Over the last 10 years, the Institute has been granted in excess of €150 million in external research funding, leading the field of research in the institute of technology sector, and similar to some smaller universities.

Technological University

Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) has for many years been on the path towards gaining university status and is committed to the delivery of a 21st century university to the South East.

In 2016, the Higher Education Authority announced a funding commitment of €1.5m towards the planning process for a technological university for the South East region. This will enable WIT and IT Carlow to develop and implement an action plan to lead to delivering a university of international standing for the South East which will support the economic and social development of the region.

WIT Arena

650 Health, Sport & Exercise students are benefiting from the Institute’s €20 million state of the art WIT Arena which opened its doors to students, staff and the general public in September 2016.

As well as serving as a resource for the Department of Health, Sports and Exercise Science, the 2,000-person capacity WIT Arena will be used as a sports facility for students and a valued addition to the region as a conference, entertainment and sporting venue.

A free shuttle bus links WIT’s main campus on the Cork Road with the €20m WIT Arena.

Sports Scholarship Programme

The Sport Scholarship Programme at WIT is aimed at supporting high performance athletes in a wide range of sports. The support services offered include: WIT Arena High Performance Unit, academic support, sport science, medical and personal development are all tailored to help the athletes reach their potential. For 2017 a new “Emerging Talent” Scholarship package has been announced that will allow more students to benefit from the scholarship programme’s support structures. Prospective students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

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