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.
  • ask for help – WIT's CAO hub is

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

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