The CAO Change of Mind deadline is today (July 1) at 5.15pm and is very much on the minds of the Class of 2020.


This is the last opportunity for you to make changes to the courses you hope to pursue in the autumn. After what has been an exceptionally difficult year filled with much uncertainty it is important at this stage to review once again the choices you have included for Level 8 and Level 7/6 courses. Take note of the following tips in your review:

List your courses in Order of Preference:

This is the golden rule. None of us have a crystal ball to see what the points will be for the various courses or what results you will get.

Include courses on both sides of the CAO (Level 8 and Level7/6). This gives you the best chance of getting two offers when the Round 1 Offers come out after the Leaving results are issued (the top choice you qualify for on each list). You will then have to choose which one you prefer.

Fill up as many courses as you can. You have the option to fill up 10 on both sides, giving you 20 possible options for college in the new academic year. You can add in courses at this stage that were not on your original application but ‘Restricted Courses’ cannot be added in at this stage.

Ensure you research in detail any course that you are including on your CAO application – check entry requirements, modules, placement opportunities and career options from the course. Make use of the extensive information that is available online currently and from the last couple of weeks from the different faculties in the various colleges. This takes the format of webinars and live Q&A sessions. Many of the sessions have been recorded and are available on the college websites and various social media platforms so check out the colleges you are considering. These are invaluable as they include testimonials from students who are studying or have completed the courses recently and the expertise of college lecturers.

HEAR/DARE Application Outcomes:

Those of you who applied for the HEAR and/or the DARE Schemes will have received notification of the outcome of your applications on Tuesday last, June 23 via your account and email. If you have any queries as a result of those outcomes you can contact the relevant staff in the various colleges on the following links, and

As the class of 2020, you have had the most turbulent of years as Leaving Cert students. So much has been taken out of your control including the exams! That said the most important decision is still very much in your hands. You have full control of the choices you decide to put in your CAO applications and the other applications you make to Colleges of Further Education and apprenticeships. Make sure it’s an informed decision and allow whatever changes you need to before the deadline.

Exceptional Closing Date:

Subject to some exclusions and the usual conditions for Change of Mind, if you are currently an undergraduate student in any year of any of the Higher Education Institutes (HEI) and you entered that HEI through the CAO system in the first place, you may submit a Change of Mind, in paper form only, to arrive in CAO by July 22 at 5.15pm. The Change of Mind form must be stamped by the Admissions Office of the HEI where you are a student.

Niamh Dwyer, Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore & PRO of Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors.

Parents or students with queries on the Change of Mind or other career options can email Niamh on or text/phone 087 9801105.