CAO 2020 – Careers

If you are unsure about your course choices, you can make amendments to your application from May 5th, when the Change of Mind Facility Opens. With the re-scheduling of the Leaving Certificate examinations this year, it is likely that the closing date for the CAO Change of Mind facility will be moved forward from the usual date (July 1st) to a week after the final exam has finished in August. We will confirm the exact closing date as more information becomes available from the CAO.

As a CAO applicant, you will be able to register change of course choices online, free of charge. If you make changes online, an acknowledgement will be sent to the e-mail address you used at the application stage.

There is no fee for using the Change of Mind facility, and there is no limit to the number of changes you can make up to the closing date. However, there are some exceptions and restrictions which are mentioned further down.

Make sure you read the following before Making Changes:

  • If you submit a Change of Mind it cancels and supersedes all the previous course choices in any category in which changes are made. However, choices in the two categories (Level 8 and Level 7/6) are considered to be completely separate from each other for this purpose e.g. a change of Level 8 course choices will not affect Level 7/6 choices.
  • If you do not wish to change the courses in one category, do not submit a change. Your original courses in that category will remain unchanged.
  • Do not mix courses from different categories (Level 8 and Level 7/6) and make sure to list all of your course choices for the particular category which you change.
  • You may enter courses which did not appear on your original application, except for Restricted Application Courses/Restricted Categories of applicant (see page 3 of the CAO handbook and details below)

Restricted courses

You cannot enter restricted courses as a Change of Mind.

Exception! You may be permitted to introduce a restricted course which shares the exact same assessment procedures with a course you had applied for by the 1st of February. Please note that you should consult with the Admissions Office of the relevant third level institution before introducing such a course.

Mature applicants

Some third level institutions may impose restrictions on Change of Mind for mature applicants. These are generally the same as for late applications.

Mature applicants should make enquiries from individual Admissions Offices before introducing new course choices after 1st February.

Change of Mind confirmation

If you submit a Change of Mind you will receive an e-mail to confirm your new course choices. You can also log in to your account via the My Application facility to confirm that all of your details are recorded completely and correctly.

It is very important that your course choices are absolutely correct. If you are going to be absent at the time when the revised statement is due, you must arrange for someone to check that the contents are correct and accurately reflect your wishes.

Errors and Omissions

Do not wait until August to notify CAO of errors or omissions as it will be too late to do anything about them at that stage. If you notice any issues, contact the CAO straight away. See contact details for CAO here.


For all College updates please go to


The Central Applications Office is responsible for processing applications and recording acceptances to Higher Education Institutions.  Please click on the link below for application deadlines and  information on courses.

Go to



I would like to invite you to an information talk for parents/guardians and students on the ‘ CAO Process’ on Wednesday 27th November 2019 at 6:30pm at Drogheda Grammar School.   You may already be familiar with the CAO process and indeed it can be downloaded on the CAO website. 

The CAO System – Summary

  • The institutions in the CAO (handbook)
  • Entry requirements
  • The points system and new grading system
  • Order of preference of courses
  • The application fee
  • Important dates to remember
  • The change of mind process
  • The offers stage
  • Deferring an offer
  • CAO Parent’s Guide – online

CAO Requirements

A student may have to fulfil 3 types of requirements to be eligible for a college course

  1. The College matriculation requirements
  2. The specific course requirement
  3. The points requirement – calculated from a total of the best six Leaving Certificate results

(See for all the above)

Important Dates – 2020

20th January 2020 – 5.15 pm Deadline for online discounted rate of €25.  After this date €40
1st February 2020- 5.15 pm

Normal Application Closing date

Restricted Application must be included by this date.  Each applicant is allotted a CAO number on application

1st May 2020 – 5.15 pm Late Application Closing date
5th May 2020

Online change of mind facility becomes available

Applicants may alter their applications as many times as they wish

By end of May All applicants will receive a Statement of Application Record
1st July 2020- 5.15 pm Closing date for Change of mind