CAO offers: The waiting game

All News/Events
How to research your CAO options has really useful worksheets to help students decide what they really want to study - see [url=][/url]

How to research your CAO options has really useful worksheets to help students decide what they really want to study - see [url=][/url]

The time between Leaving Cert results and CAO offers is both full of excitement and uncertainty for college hopefuls but can be used to explore options

“What course will I be offered? Do I have enough points? What college will I be calling home for the next few years?” are some of the questions prospective students waiting on their CAO offers have.

Depending on the student’s situation there’s many a quandary. However, the waiting period can be used to explore options.

I don’t think I will get offered my first choice

Figure out what it is you really want to do using our worksheets in the booklets at

I will have enough points for my first choice but I don’t want it.

You won’t get offered anything lower on your CAO list than what you’re offered in Round 1 offers, that's why you put courses in order of genuine preference. Your options to explore include:

  • further education college opportunities and progression routes into what you do want
  • really examine the opportunities the courses you’re likely to be offered in Round 1 will give you
  • progression routes from a Level 7/6 course into your desired Level 8 course/career
  • keep an eye on the CAO website for courses offered on the CAO’s available places list

I still don’t know what I want to study

Starting a course you don’t really want to do and later deciding not to continue it will offer you plenty of life experience and an opportunity to gain knowledge – however it may result in paying fees in the future or impact your grant. Look at other options such as:

  • college of further education courses to help you mature and refine your interests
  • working for a year or two while you learn more about yourself and reapply
  • enquire about deferring a place.

I'm worried about the cost of going to college

If you reckon you’ve enough points for your first choice and have realised moving away from home/or to an expensive city is not in the family budget you could:

  • enquire about deferring, and work for a year to save money
  • choose a college of further education near to home and apply to somewhere less expensive/closer to home for 2019 entry
  • look out for available places courses on the CAO to see if a course you would like is offered within commuting distance of home or in a less expensive place to live

Helpful links

I want to find more about deferring a place

I want to re-examine what I’m really interested in

I want to find out how to help my son/daughter/family member

I want to find out about progression schemes from further education colleges

I want to find out about progressing on from a Level 7/6 course. Read our How to use level 6 and 7 to progress your educational goals article on our news section.

I want to find out about available places

I want to find out about common entry courses

I want to know about WIT registration and orientation

I have a question. See for details of how to contact us through our Ask WIT campaign by phone, web chat, WhatsApp or to find out drop in centre times.

I failed maths. Go to

Featured News