Advice for Students and Parents – January 2022

Advice for Students and Parents – January 2022

Key Dates

– Apply by Thursday 20th Jan to avail of discounted application fee of €30.00.

– Close of date for normal application is Tuesday 1st Feb with a fee of €45.00.

– Ensure to tick box for DARE/HEAR application if one intends to apply for such admissions schemes.

– DARE/HEAR can offer places to eligible students on reduced points and extra college support.

– DARE is an admissions scheme to promote equity of access to higher education for school leavers with disabilities or students who have experienced additional educational challenges in second level education.

– HEAR is a third level admissions scheme for school leavers from socioeconomic disadvantaged backgrounds.

– Restricted Courses -These courses have an additional assessment procedure – e.g. Admission Test (HPAT for Medicine), application fee €152.80 closing date 21st Jan, late applications accepted up to 2nd Feb for extra fee.

– Closing date for portfolios for art courses, auditions for music/drama etc. must be applied for by 1st Feb.

– Online facility to amend course choices becomes available from 4th Feb at noon, to 1st Mar 2022 for an additional fee of €10.00. (Generally it is only those who have omitted a restricted course would utilise this facility).

– 1st March is closing date for completion of online DARE/HEAR at 5.00pm (DARE/HEAR supporting documentation to arrive at CAO before 15th Mar at 5.00pm)

– Closing date for late applications is 1st May with an additional fee of €60.00 online.

– Change of Mind Facility opens on 5th May and continues up to 1st July at 5.00pm. This facility allows students to introduce, delete or move the order of courses already selected as much as one likes with no extra fee.

– Change of mind closes on 1st July at 5.00pm.

All details regarding applications are set out in CAO Website. Seek clarification, and if in any doubt about procedure, check with a guidance counsellor or contact CAO.

Mature Applicant Courses

Application should be made by 1st Feb. Some institutions request applicants to make direct application to their colleges – see details on CAO handbook. I would suggest that mature applicants should make direct contact with the college that they wish to apply for to ensure that the necessary procedure relevant for that particular college or course is correct.

Course options other than third level CAO

FETAC/Post Leaving Cert Courses (PLC)
QQI FE /FETAC Level 5/6
– One may also progress from these courses to higher education on a links but competitive basis if one desires. It is important to note that these courses, level 5/6 are very worthwhile in their own right and may be quite sufficient for some students.

– If one intends to apply for QQI FE course, one should make application directly to various colleges. See details on their websites. Early application for these courses is advisable.


– The range of careers in this area is expanding with the possibility of some programmes having a third level qualification, (e.g. Level 8 BA Hons in Insurance practice) 3 years.

– For further information check website –

Colleges outside of Republic of Ireland

– Colleges in Northern Ireland and UK see details on website –
– Colleges in Mainland Europe see details on –

Useful Websites – Central Applications Office – National database with course information on National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) – Quality and Qualifications Ireland – Information on HEAR and DARE schemes – Expert Group on Future Skills Needs in Ireland

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